The tour of the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia begins less than a km from Porta Flaminia and the famous Piazza del Popolo, a very short distance from Via Flaminia. The Etruscan Museum is hosted in the beautiful Renaissance Villa Giulia, built by Pope Julius III during his pontificate (1550-1555).
The design and construction of the Villa Giulia was carried out by the famous architects Giorgio Vasari, Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, and Bartolomeo Ammanati, with Michelangelo to advise them. The decorative work on the Villa was left to the same Jiacopo Barozzi da Vignola, Federico Brandani da Urbino, Prospero Fontana, the brothers Federico and Taddeo Zuccari, as well as Pietro Venale da Imola.
In the tour of Villa Giulia we also visit the Palazzo, a projection, three courtyards behind, a large garden with terraces, scenic staircases, fountains and a nymphaeum, supplied from an extension of the aqueduct known as the Aquedotto Vergine, the first virgin water theather of Rome.
The National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia hosts the manifestations of civilizations which flourished between the iron age (IX-VII century BC) and the Roman Period of Lazio, particularly the northern part of this region between the Tiber and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The quantity of famous pieces and the exceptional workmanship which you can view during the entire course of Villa Giulia tour is remarkable. These include the clay Sarcophagus of the Spouses from Cerveteri (530 BC); the clay statue of Apollo from an acroterium in Veii (VI century BC); the nenfro sculptures of “Centaur” and “Young man on Hippocampus” from Vulci (VI century BC); the painted terracotta relief from the pediment of the shrine of Leucothea-Ilithyia from Pyrgi, depicting the myth of the Seven against Thebes (470-460 BC); the pure gold foil from Pyrgi, with inscriptions in Phoenician and Etruscan (late 6th century BC); the Chigi pitcher from Veii (640-625 BC); the Euphronios krater from Cerveteri (510 BC); the Ficoroni cist from Palestrina (late IV century BC); and, finally, the celebrated gold jewellery from the Castellani collection (VII century BC and some nineteenth-century re-workings).