The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades California is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The thing that makes the Getty Villa so spectacular is that the grounds and structures that house the antiquities are inspired by, and in some instances, an actual replica of the Villa du Papyri in Southern Italy. The original Villa du Papyri was owned by Julius Caesar’s Father in Law and was encased in volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried much of the town. The original Museum building was designed and constructed by the architectural firm of Langdon and Wilson in the early 1970′s, and in 1997 the architectural firm of Machado and Silvetti Associates began to renovate and add onto the original Museum site.
The numerous roman inspired courtyards, gardens and water features create a spectacular setting to learn about and admire the ancient artwork collection.
The architectural details and the variety of materials used are amazing…
At first I was hesitant to visit the Getty Villa, knowing it is a recreation of an Italian villa. This is due to the rampant distasteful and cheap ”Disney-fication” of much of our fairly modern world. But, the Getty Villa, with it’s attention to every minute detail, both materially and historically, create a place that contributes and powerfully emphasizes the ancient artifacts.
If your in Southern California and looking for someplace romantic to spend an afternoon, with it’s beautiful gardens, amazing collection of antiquities and close proximity to the beach, the Getty Villa could quite possibly be the perfect place.