One life is it not enough to know Rome, is the phrase that often I say to myself, especially when walking through the Eternal City, far from the popular tourists’ spots, I continue to discover new things after 10 years of living here.
I always think of the tourists who spend not more than 3 days, hungry for art and adventure that maybe they have dreamed for whole life with the idea of the Italian Grand Tour, touching, Venice, Florence and Rome.
You have learned more about myself these past weeks through this blog and you know that even before being an Attractions Expert for doitwell, I am also an Art Historian and I have made this passion as a way of life.
I always try to combine the real world with the “web world” and I ask myself a question: how to help the client? How to always have a brilliant suggestion that gives them something unforgettable in a vacation hit and run?
Today I want to present you an attraction in Rome that often seems to be not existent in online research. For example on google trends a combination of Raphael – Rome – Frescoes you will not receive the name of this Villa as suggestions but the name of a model beloved by him. How was it possible? I’m talking about a hidden gem in Rome!
At doitwell we give our best, optimizing visiting times, suggesting the best combinations event with a few days available, we love to inspire companies, and with our collaboration to create a final result full of satisfaction.
Walking around Trastevere, one of my favorite districts in Rome, I could not resist, but I returned to visit a place that feels magical: Villa Farnesina alla Lungara. This is what I love to do more, stop, and explore places, even if not for the first time because every return is a new discovery.
It must be said that the sound of these words, Villa Farnesina, should only be associated with a Rapahel masterpiece.
It’s amazing how even online research is far from providing us an immediate connection.
Raphael in Rome, is always associated with the context of the Vatican Museums and I punctually would like to say, look that in the center of Rome, there is a fantastic place, a Villa of Renaissance delights, a blaze of beauty and frescoes, that in addition to other very important names that I will later list has the genius of Raphael.
It’s a place far from the crowd of the Colosseum, it almost represents the opposite extreme. The tourist does not arrive here unless they are a tourist of a certain cultural level or purely interested in the Renaissance.
It would not be enough from my point of view because the name of Raphael sounds business by itself. I do not want you to assume to exclude the usual top sites of Rome as part of the first trip here, but I have the determination to suggest inserting this jewel within this experience.
Villa Farnesina is normally open only in the morning, the full-day opening is extended only in the presence of the exhibition. The early and limited time is not favorable to tourism. The ticket price including audio-guide is in the average of the other attractions in Rome. Being a site not with very high visitor numbers it is not necessary to purchase the ticket in advance or to skip the line.
As I said before this was not the first time for me and often I find myself in these magnificent rooms alone. What a pleasure for the eyes and the soul!
Being a true Renaissance Villa constructed on the banks of the Tiber at the beginning of the 16th century for banker, merchant and patrons of arts Agostino Chigi, it does not have huge spaces that can accommodate millions of visitors, but one could still increase the number and study a quota as it already does in other cultural sites (Last Supper Leonardo in Milan or Scrovegni Chapel in Padua).
Villa Farnesina stands as one of the Renaissance’s most impressive and successful combination in a private home. Raphael is the leading name of the entire decoration but the site is a real art history books with Baldassarre Peruzzi, Sebastiano del Piombo, Sodoma, Giulio Romano, and Giovan Francesco Penni.
As it often happens in Rome we need to use a lot of imagination to understand the context in which the Villa was built in the Renaissance, Trastevere was certainly not a popular and sometimes chaotic neighborhood of today but it was almost the countryside. The Villa, therefore, it stood in a place of peace and was used by Agostino Chigi essentially to relax and to organize parties.
The power of the Sienese banker is even more evident in the possibility of calling a young but already famous Raphael to decorate it.
The visit to the site is pleasant and fairly rapid, it can also be done in an hour. If you don’t like the audio-guides in every room there are paper descriptions in English and Italian, that can be read easily while sitting. The route is linear, obligatory and takes place on two levels. We only need to change the perspective in some points that may be in the past were not oriented as we see them today.
The points to be improved are different to have an attractive tourist offer but enable us to work miracles, for me, as Attraction Experts, it is essential to get all this into useful channels and hope to expand the market.
My aim is to give inputs that fascinate the reader, in the order, I like to emphasize that Villa Farnesina was a place of delights but also a place of love.
Agostino widower of his first wife from whom he had no children, fell in love, with a courtesan, Francesca Ordeaschi and despite the gossip, he managed to marry her. The decoration realized on Raphael’s project in the inestimable Loggia of Cupid and Psyche is something that takes your breath away, suddenly, it will seem to you to be really in the Renaissance, if you close your eyes for a moment it will almost seem you can hear the sound of spinet, and of a viola.
For example, it could be created events in period costumes, but this is not foreseen by the internal organization except for private events.
I happened to work as an art historian in similar events with musicians and costumed characters. That is the winning key that surprises the customer and makes it clear that on the return of the journey the mind continues to remember this magnificent experience.
The first floor the Loggia of Raphael will amaze you and on the second floor, the Room of Perspective by Baldassare Peruzzi will be something extraordinarily close to our contemporary. It will no longer be Renaissance but it will be like a historical version of GoogleMaps.
You can discover glimpses of Rome, recognize and the most famous monuments of the city, and even read graffiti of Lanzichenecchi who attacked Rome in 1527.
Do you know why it will be a memorable experience? Because so many elements you can easily find them even in the Vatican Museums but the quiet of this place is priceless.
Experiencing art means being able to savor everything even at different times and without crowds. Doitwell is a company moved by an international spirit, we love to confront ourselves on a daily bases, without ever losing our primary goals: improving the guest experience, identifying with their desires of our customers!
Villa Farnesina it’s definitely a thumbs-up experience having to have an evaluation.
As Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see but what you make others see”! I hope I have intrigued you enough and next time when you are in Rome don’t forget to visit this place!