We had set aside today to visit an exhibition of Raphael frescoes at a museum in Rome housed in an old palace called the Villa Farnesina. It is located in the area of town where we are staying, the Trastevere. It is a Renaissance palace that was started in 1506 and completed in 1510. The Farnese family took over the property in 1577, thus the name Farnesina.
This place was originally built by Agostina Chini, a banker who was also the Pope’s treasurer. He commissioned frescoes to decorate the villa by several artists including Raphael. There are very nice gardens outside and the inside is another stunning example of Renaissance Rome.
Unfortunately, not a good picture. The garlands between the drawings are really extraordinary and have great depth which adds to the impact of the work.
This is an example of just one wall in a large room that is frescoed in this trompe l’oeil style. This is a flat wall with a perspective view that works perfectly from one point in the room. It was difficult to get this shot because of other people in the way but it gives you an idea. Fantastic!
Just across the street from the beautiful villa is another gem that we visited, the Palazzo Corsini. This one is a late-baroque palace built between 1730-1740 built upon the site of a former 15th century villa by the Riario family which had housed the eccentric Queen Christina of Sweden who abdicated, became a Catholic and moved to Rome. She was rumored to have taken many lovers both male and female while a resident of the villa.
This villa is now owned by the Italian government and displays many artworks that were donated by the Crosini as well as other pieces of mainly Italian art dating from the early Renaissance to the late 18th century.
One of the many lovely rooms in the villa. They have many pieces of period furniture which was also interesting to see. The portrait in the middle is of Quenn Christina herself.
From the sublime to the inglorious, we ended the day by looking for a flea market that one of guide books recommended that was a reasonable walk away from the villas. It is an only on Sunday event and we thought it could be interesting. Unfortunately, what we found was a gigantic area full of tables and tables of the very same cheap and unappealling merchandise.
It was doing a pretty brisk business but was really not our thing. I have to say though, we turned the corner to leave after about 10 blocks of what you see above and found another area with antiques and much more interesting items. Unfortunately, by now it was around 3pm and many of the booths were closing for the day so we left empty-handed.`