The tour of Villa Farnesina begins in the famous Trastevere neighborhood in Rome, in via Lungara 230.
Villa Farnesina was commissioned to the architect Baldassare Peruzzi by the rich Sienese banker Agostino Chigi. The villa was begun in 1506 and in 1511 it was already completed. During the tour itinerary we can even walk in the viridarium, the garden which, originally, was lapped by the Tiber.
Agostino Chigi, called the magnificent, lived here, amidst riches and honors, his wonderful life as Renaissance patron; a patron of artists and friend of princes and cardinals who he liked to receive in his home. Memorable was the banquet where the food was served in dishes of gold and silver, which at the end of the meal were thrown into the Tiber; but nets carefully hidden in the water restored the precious dishes to their shrewd owner.
We will begin the tour of Villa Farnesina in the entrance hall, moving then into the so-called Loggia of Galatea, decorated by Baldassare Peruzzi, Sebastiano del Piombo and by Raphael, where you will see various scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a great figure of Polyphemus by Sebastiano, and the figure of Galatea, executed by Raphael. We will continue the tour itinerary of Villa Farnesina with the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche, decorated by Raphael from 1517 on, in anticipation of the wedding of the banker with Francesca Ordeaschi. The last room we visit on the ground floor is the Sala del Fregio (room of the frieze), used as a waiting room for guests, but also for important ceremonies such as the reading of the will of the banker. In the frieze, with obvious allegorical allusion to the virtues of the man who commissioned it, the artist frescoed the twelve labors of Hercules and other feats of the hero, as well as various mythological episodes.
The tour will then continue on the first floor of Villa Farnesina, where we will enter the Hall of the Perspectives where, on August 28, 1519, the wealthy banker held his wedding banquet. The room, decorated by Peruzzi, derives its name from the panoramas of urban and country views, and is one of the most mature and accomplished pictorial creations of Baldassare Peruzzi.
The last room we meet in the visit of Villa Farnesina was one destined to welcome the newlyweds. It was the most intimate room of the Villa and Agostino Chigi entrusted the decoration to Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, called Sodoma. Under a magnificent coffered ceiling decorated in monochrome, in 1519 he executed the scenes of: the wedding of Alexander the Great and Roxanne, the magnanimity of Alexander towards the mother, the wife and daughters of King Darius, the taming of the horse Bucephalus and the culmination of a battle, on the walls of the room.