Etruscan museum of Villa GiuliaVilla Giulia, located in Villa Borghese area, was built as a country retreat for Pope Julius III, at the time it hosted a collection of innumerable statues which were moved to the Vatican Museums after the Pope's death.
Vignola, Vasari and the sculptor Ammannati planned the gardens (Michelangelo contributed as well).
Since 1889 it has been the most important Etruscan museum in Italy. It exhibits handicrafts originating from the main excavations in Lazio and in Tuscany.
The facade of the Villa Giulia, the pattern (1552) of which reminds a triumphial arch, the courtyard andthe gardens, as well as the splendid Nymphaeum, a scenographic complex with stairs, caves, passages, four caryatids supporting a little balcony and, underneath, the Acqua Vergine Fountain, are particularly admirable. It decayed along the centuries and acquired its old splendour in 1889; ever since that year it has been the most important Etruscan museum in Italy (Villa Giulia National Museum) hosting handicrafts originating from th emain excavations in Latium and Tuscany:
We would like to recall the "Dawn Faliscan Crater" of the 4th century BC, the very famous "Couple Sarcophagus" from Cerveteri of the 6th century BC; the "Ficoroni BUckle" and the "Veio Apollo".
The "Etruscan-Italic Temple from Alatri" can be considered as a sort of apendix of the museum: it was built in 1891 by Count Adolfo Cozza who based himself on the excavations made in the 19th century and on Vitruvium's description. This magnificent complex had been the seat of the famous Strega Prize for Literature since 1953.
Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9, Rome
Metro A: Flaminio. Tram: 2, 3, or 19
Price: Admission 4€ (2008)