THE GETTY VILLA

OUTER PERISTYLE

I don’t know how many of you readers have had the experience of visiting The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, California but if you are among those who haven’t, I highly recommend it if you live in or are planning a visit to California.

The Getty Villa often adds the name Malibu after its name but it’s actually located on Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway, in Pacific Palisades, next to Malibu. Admission is free but an advance entry ticket is required for each person. The parking fee is $15.00. For additional information and to acquire entry tickets, go to www.getty.edu/visit and click on The Getty Villa Malibu.

The Getty Villa is dedicated to the arts of ancient Greece and Rome and is a truly magnificent place with architecture modeled on and inspired by the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, Italy. For those interested in knowing more about the original villa in Herculaneum, which incidentally is only half excavated, visit http://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/herculaneum-1/villa-of-the-papyri.

I was fortunate to visit the Getty Villa four years ago and enjoyed every minute of it. Every aspect of the facility from the entrance to the museum galleries is superbly done with every detail carried out to perfection. My favorite part was the Outer Peristyle with its colonnades of Doric columns and red tiled roofs, its garden of well-manicured shrubs and bushes of every shade of green, its bronze statues placed throughout the garden, its fountains, and the beautiful blue reflecting pool extending almost the full-length of the garden. Benches and circular seating areas are placed strategically in the garden and one can sit in this great space of greenery delineated by surrounding colonnades, and with a small bit of imagination, feel like they are truly in a garden in a villa in ancient Rome. For ancient Rome traditionalists, the ambience is wonderfully fulfilling.

The exterior of the museum building at the north end of the Outer Peristyle is fronted with Corinthian columns and is raised up seven risers from the garden level. Here is where the museum galleries are located on two floors. Here also is the Inner Peristyle which a portion of can be seen looking through from the Outer Peristyle. The smaller Inner Peristyles garden is surrounded by colonnades of Ionic columns on all four sides and also fitted with lush plantings, bronze statuary, benches, fountains and a reflecting pool.

The galleries themselves are splendid with floors of mosaic tiles, terrazzo, and marble; beautiful coffered ceilings; and plain walls painted in relatively dark hues of blues, greens, and grays to accentuate the artifacts and treasures from ancient Greece and Rome.

In summary, and stated in the modern vernacular, the Villa is amazing.

MUSEUM FROM OUTER PERISTYLE

INNER PERISTYLE

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