The Villa Madama is located on the slopes of the Monte Mario hill northwest of central Rome. Designed by Raphael, this Renaissance garden is not currently open to the public. Nowaday, the main building is often used for meetings of government leaders.
Villa Madama Rome
Address: Via di Villa Madama – Rome. Opening hours and entrance fee: The villa is not currently open to the public.
History and description
The Villa Madama was designed by Raphael in 1518. The famous artist had been commissioned by Pope Leo X and Cardinal Giulio De Medici (who would later become Pope himself, as Clement VII).
He created a system of panoramic gardens with terraces that gradually slope down toward the river Tiber.
The building has a circular courtyard with a number of apses and niches, thus mimicking ancient Roman gardens.
After Raphael‘s death, Giuliano Da Sangallo and Giulio Romano took over, although they also failed to complete the construction.
The loggia has vaults painted by Giovanni Da Udine and paintings by Giulio Romano.
The villa was also equipped with a theater and a horse riding track.
Later the villa was to repeatedly change ownership. Margherita di Parma (the daughter of Charles V and wife of Alessandro De Medici) owned it for a while. She was succeeded by the Naples-born Bourbon and Dentice di Frasso. The latter eventually sold the villa to the Italian state.
In 1913, the villa was restored and completed by Pio Piacentini.