National Etruscan Museum Villa Giulia Rome

Sarcophagus of the Lions in the etruscan Museum in Rome

The National Etruscan Museum in the Villa Giulia (Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia) is housed in a beautiful palazzo in the northern part of the Villa Borghese Park in Rome. Its extensive collection shows archeological finds from the age of the Etruscans, a people who lived in (especially) the northern part of Lazio in pre-Roman times.

Villa Giulia Etruscan Museum Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Sarcophagus of the Lions - Etruscan Museum Rome
Sarcophagus of the Lions

Address: Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9 – Rome (tel. +39 06 3226571 – 06 3201706). District: Quartiere Pinciano. Public transport: Tram: 3. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9.00-20.00 (last entrance at 19.00 hours). Closed: Mondays, December 25. Admission: 10 Euros (EU citizens 18-25, 2 Euros; any nationality 0-17, free). The museum is free for everybody on the first Sunday of the month.

History

The museum is housed in a 16th century papal palazzo, the Villa Giulia, which, with its beautiful courtyard, would be worth a visit even if it did not house the museum. It was built by, and named for, Pope Julius III.

Famous architects such as Giorgio Vasari, Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola and Bartolomeo Ammannati all contributed to its construction, which lasted from 1550 to 1555. Vignola was responsible for the overall design, Ammanati and Vasari did the interior. All three of them were known architects, Vasari was also famous for his paintings and Ammanati for his sculptures.

The library was decorated by Taddeo Zuccaro.

Pietro Venale frescoed the courtyard and portico with grotesques and scenes from nature. The grotesques are based on similar frescoes in the Domus Aurea.

The loggia at the back of the courtyard was the work of Ammannati, who also cooperated with Vasari on the nymphaeum.

Remains of the ancient Acquedotto Vergine and the neviera (a precursor of the refrigerator) of Pope Julius can also be seen.

The park that used to part of the villa is no longer in existence.

Main Attractions Etruscan Museum Rome

Sarcophagus of the Spouses, Natioanl Etruscan Museum Rome
Sarcophagus of the Spouses

The Etruscans are famous for the sophisticated works of art they produced and particularly for the sarcophagi, bronze sculptures, jewellery and terracotta vases.

The Apollo di Veio: A sculpture found in the ancient Etruscan city of Veio, dating back to the 6th century BC.

The sarcophagus of the lions (6th century BC): This is one of the most famous Etruscan finds and was discovered in the best known archeological Etruscan site, Cerveteri.

The sarcophagus of the bride and groom was likewise found in Cerveteri and dates from the same period. The eyes of the smiling couple are empty now, but were originally colored black and white.

The Cista Ficoroni is a 4th century BC bronze urn, which is climbed by three figures.

Special exhibitions

Sometimes the Etruscan Museum also hosts special exhibitions. These are not always dedicated to the Etruscans.

Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9 – Rome

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