Villa Farnesina

028A little out of the way, behind Piazza Trilussa, heading towards the Vatican lies Villa Farnesina, also known as Agostino Chigi’s Villa. This Villa was built for Chigi, a banker from Siena, in the early 1500’s. It is decorated by artists such as Raphael, Piombo, Romano and Il Sodoma. It is small, just a few rooms, including the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche, The Perspective Room, The Room of Alexander the great and the Hall of Galatea, displayed here.

Apologies for the quality of the photograph, but it is difficult to grab all the details. I just wanted to share my favorite aspect. In the Hall of Galatea is the Triumph of Galatea, by Raphael, and the ceiling is painted with stars and symbols of the zodiac. The upper wall however, in the corner at the end of the room, includes this unfinished head.

It is very out of place, and not much is known about it, some say it may be raphael but it is unclear. It is my favorite piece in the Villa, the face has such an interesting scale and perspective along with an interesting expression.

If you are visiting Rome Villa Farnesina only takes abou an hour to walk through and appreciate and is fairly close to the Vatican, it is also cheap, only a few euros. There are some amazing works in there that should not be missed!



  1. I wrote an entry on Villa Farnesina recently – it is such a beautiful property and a great villa museum for it’s architecture, murals and gardens. I’m so glad you wrote this and shared your favorite moments in the museum and your recommendations! It’s definitely on the top of my list of places to see art on the off the beaten path.


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