Finding Ancient Italy at the Getty Villa in Malibu

posted by Sharon September 11, 2016 16 Comments
Getty Villa Malibu

Want to travel back in time? Visit the Getty Villa in Malibu and enter the world of first century Italy. The elegant museum is a model of a home in Herculaneum, Italy that was buried by the same volcano that wiped out Pompeii. The architecture and art are exactly what you would have seen had you entered this villa 2,000 years ago.

To get the most out of your visit, take the Architecture tour. Led by enthusiastic docents, the tour gives you an overview of the culture of ancient Italy and what it would have been like to live in this home.

Getty Villa Malibu

 

Getty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuThe art inside the rooms is genuine; the sculptures outside are replicas, for obvious reasons. Our guide explained that the Romans painted the eyes of their bronze sculptures white and inlaid them with jewels. Semi-precious jewels once adorned the Getty Villa reproductions, but they “disappeared.” I found the white eyes rather spooky.

Getty Villa Malibu

Getty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuGetty Villa Malibu

As you stroll through the villa, be sure to look up at the ceilings and intricate décor.

Getty Villa MalibuGetty Villa Malibu

 

The floors of tiles and marble are artworks in themselves.

Getty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuGetty Villa Malibu

An exhibition of Roman mosaics kept me fascinated. Imagine the patience and planning that went into placing these tiny pieces of stone into place to make a large wall mosaic.

Getty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuGetty Villa Malibu

The formal gardens outside add not only beauty but a source of food. Sadly, the pool has no water in it due to the California drought. The boxed hedges and paths still provide a peaceful beauty.

Getty Villa MalibuGetty Villa Malibu

Getty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuGetty Villa MalibuThe name of the house is Villa dei Papiri, which means “House of Papyrus.” The name comes from the discovery of piles of papyrus scrolls at the excavation site in Italy. So of course you will find papyrus in the garden.

Getty Villa Malibu

J. Paul Getty collected ancient art, purchased 64 acres of land in Malibu in the 1940s, and built this museum in the 1970s. It was closed for renovation for a while and reopened in 2006. If you are in the southern California area, spending an afternoon at the Getty Villa will transport you back to old Italy, to a genteel and art-filled way of life. And the drive to get there, along the sparkling Pacific Ocean, is certainly enjoyable.

Want to visit?

Open Wednesday through Monday 10:00 to 5:00

Location: 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Admission is free; reserved parking is required and is $15; see website

Linking up with Image-in-ing, Little Things ThursdayWednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Weekend Wanderlust, Wanderful Wednesday, Our World Tuesday, Photo Friday, and Life Thru the Lens.

Getty Villa Malibu

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16 Comments

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin September 12, 2016 at 12:05 am

What a gorgeous space!!

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kelleyn rothaermel September 12, 2016 at 11:23 am

I so wanted to go to the Getty museum last year when I was there, but it was closed on the days we were there! Beautiful!
http://travelingbugwiththreeboys-kelleyn.blogspot.com/2016/09/finding-hope-in-lantern-festival-of.html

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Abrianna September 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm

That is a beautiful place. The tile mosaics are a wonder indeed. And the floral ceiling-gorgeous.

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linky September 12, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Marvelous photos – all of them!
Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/09/los-viejos.html

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Fun60 September 12, 2016 at 7:23 pm

I would have thought it was Italy if you had not said it was California. I love Roman mosaics.

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Ida P. Krause September 13, 2016 at 2:25 am

What a grand place this is. – I would certainly visit here if given the chance. I enjoyed your wonderful photos. The “white eyes” on the statues are a little creepy. Loved the mosaics too.

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Margaret Adamson September 13, 2016 at 6:43 am

Fantastic building and art work

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Johanna Bradley September 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm

They’ve certainly recreated the beauty but it’s a little surreal in that setting. No substitute for the real thing, which is far more crumbly round the edges 🙂 🙂

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Jesh StG September 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm

If you like Italian, this is a great taste of it:) Love the statues, and the grapes and design of the garden. Many beautiful things to see here! Many thanks for sharing this with SEASONS – one of the beautiful parts of the LA basin!

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Sallie (FullTime-Life) September 14, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Beautiful … Had no idea it was there! Thanks for the guided tour.

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Barb September 15, 2016 at 12:08 am

Beautiful photos of a gorgeous space. I was wondering why the pool was empty because of drought but obviously there was much irrigation of the grounds. Those white eyes are spooky!

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Carol September 15, 2016 at 4:11 pm

It’s a beautiful building and I really love the marble

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Aditi Kaushiva September 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Beautiful space. Loved the colourful mosaic shots
Aditi

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Ruth September 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm

The Getty Villa is a gem. I take a lot of my visitors there and they end up not having words to describe the place. Proof here in Los Angeles we have tons of interesting offerings!

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Elaine J Masters September 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm

So pleased to see your details of the mosaics and tile work. There’s so much to appreciate at the Getty but that craftsmanship is rare in SoCal.

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Lisa September 19, 2016 at 5:41 pm

You really do live in such a diverse architectural area. I had no idea California had so much different influences on it architecture. It makes since, but its a lightbulb moment for me.

Lisa @ LTTL

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