Take part in an amazing 3-hour guided tour inside Villa Farnesina, where the architectural design and pictorial decoration fuse into a single marvelous synthesis. Your guide will lead you and tell you about all the art and facts of this unique place.
Villa Farnesina, built in the early 16th century, is one of the noblest and most harmonious creations of the Italian Renaissance. The sober volumetric and spatial layout of the Villa, devised by the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi, is indeed the perfect setting for its rich interior decoration, boasting frescos by great masters such as Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi known as Sodoma, and Peruzzi himself.
After a troubled history and many changes of ownership, the Villa now bears the name and preserves the memory of the Farnese family, who acquired it in 1579, in violation of the binding legal conditions imposed by its original owner. It should have been named after Agostino Chigi, the highly ambitious patron and art-lover, who commissioned the Villa as the tangible sign of his own personality and high culture, decorating it magnificently and living in it until his death in 1520.
When he got married, the wedding banquet was a memorable event, but no less sumptuous were the many feasts that Agostino gave. The chronicles record for example that in 1518, on the occasion of the christening of the eldest child, gold and silver vessels used for the banquet were flung into the Tiber as a sign of munificence. After its acquisition by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese the Younger, and after the death of his nephew Odoardo who inherited it, the Villa was abandoned, being occasionally lent to important visitors to Rome such as Cardinal Richelieu, Queen Christina of Sweden and various ambassadors of Louis XIV.
In 1735 the Villa was bequeathed by Elisabetta Farnese to Carlo IV, King of the Two Sicilies, and became the residence of various Neapolitan ambassadors until Francesco II of Naples, having retired to Rome after his abdication, granted a 99-year lease on the Farnesina to the Spanish ambassador of Naples, Salvador Bermudez de Castro. Finally, the Villa was acquired in 1927 by the State, which used it to house the Italian Academy and in 1944 gave it to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, housed in the nearby Palazzo Corsini.