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Villa Giulia

Villa Giulia (43)

Villa Giulia was designed as a retreat for Pope Julius III, and was built between 1551 and 1553. The Pope entrusted this building to some of the most important architects of the time such as Michelangelo, Vasari, Ammanati and Vignola. The most outstanding parts of this villa would be the façade, courtyard and garden. In its time it also housed a large selection of statues, which were sent to the Vatican after the death of Pope Julius.

Another reason to visit this charming palace, however, is that inside it houses the National Museum of Etruscan Art. The museum occupies two wings of the villa and the entrance is in the westernmost part of the portico. 

You are before the most important Etruscan museum in Italy, with pieces from the excavations of Etruria and an important group of Greek works. 

There are several works that you just cannot miss, such as the “Ficoroni Casket”, a fine nuptial casket in bronze from the 4th century BC, or the “Reconstruction of an Etruscan temple”, based on the chronicles of Vitrubius.

However, without the slightest doubt, the most famous work to be found in the museum is the “Sarcophagus of the Spouses”. This world-famous work shows a couple reclining on a sofa, and is a terracotta piece made in the 6th century BC.

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