/ / Villa Madama: photo, description (Villa Madama)

Villa Madama: photo, description (Villa Madama)

Villa Madama, a famous Renaissance Villa, situated on the slope of Monte Mario to the West of Rome and a few miles to the North of the Vatican. Luxurious Villa with its loggia, enclosed by columns, the main garden and the hanging gardens have always had a special influence on the architects of the High Renaissance.

Cardinal Giulio de Medici, cousin who ruled in the time of Pope Leo X, commissioned the construction of the villas of the great Raphael. However, in 1520 Raphael died at age 37, leaving Villa far from complete, and construction began two years earlier, came under the guidance of his disciples. And so it happened that on the building was home to one of the most outstanding teams of all time: Antonio da Sangallo the Younger developed the final plan of the Villa and watched her completion, Giulio Romano and Baldassare Peruzzi, was responsible for the decorations of Giovanni da Udine created a stucco bas-reliefs imitating the creations of the epoch of Nero. Over Villa also worked Giovan Francesco Penni of Florence and the sculptor Bandinelli, Bachchio. In addition to the loggias painted by Raphael, a landmark of the estate is a large hall, painted by Giulio Romano.

Villa Madama was one of the first country villas of the Roman type, created for entertainment and amusement, and built in such a way to relive the descriptions of ancient villas. The Villa was a courtyard with a monumental staircase, circular yard, around which was a garden, open air theatre built right in the hillside, a Hippodrome and a hanging garden, overlooking the Tiber.

The word "Madama" in the name of the Villa is related to the Duchess Margaret of Parma, illegitimate daughter of Charles V, the one whose name is perpetuated in the name of the Palazzo Madama in Rome, which now hosts the Italian Senate. After the death of cardinal Giulio de 'Medici, the Villa remained in the possession of the family, and at first belonged to Ippolito de' Medici, and later to Duke Alessandro, Governor of Florence. He married Margaret, but left her a widow at the age of just 15 years. She soon married Ottavio Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III, so the Villa was a property of the Farnese family, rulers of Parma and Piacenza. The latter is not particularly interested in inheritance, and Villa Madama gradually fell into disrepair. Only in 1925 it was bought by Carlo di Fassa, who along with his wife took up the restoration of the building. Later they gave the Villa to the Italian Ministry of foreign Affairs, and in 1941 it was bought by Mussolini.

Today the Villa Madama is the property of the Italian Government, which uses it to press conferences and host important foreign guests. Access to the building is limited, and for the garden tour must obtain permission of the foreign Ministry.