Villa Poniatowski is a historical building in the north-west corner of the Villa Borghese Park in Rome. Part of the building is now used a secondary seat of the adjacent Villa Giulia Etruscan Museum. The original 15th century villa was modified by the famous 19th century architect Valadier.
Villa Poniatowski Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via di Villa Giulia, 34 – Rome (tel. +39 06 44239949). Quartiere: Pinciano. Take metro line A to Flaminio, followed by tram 2 to the Belle Arti stop. Opening hours: Tuesday till Sunday from 09.00 till 13.45 hours. (Note: From April 1st 2017 until February 24th 2018 the Villa Poniatowski is only open on Thursday mornings (10.00 till 13.00, last entry 12.15) and Saturday afternoons (15.00 till 18.00, last entry 17.15). Admission: 8 Euros (the ticket for the Museo Etrusco).
History Villa Poniatowski Rome
In the early 19th century Stanislao Poniatowski, who was the grandson of the last King of Poland, who commissioned Giuseppe Valadier to transform the 15th century Villa Cesi into a villa.
Valadier moved the main façade to the Via Flaminia, with a main entrance preceded by a cordonata. The fountains along this set of stairs are supplied with water from the Acqua Vergine aqueduct.
In 1849 the villa was seriously damaged during battles between the French troops and Garibaldi‘s freedom fighters. After the Unification of Italy the villa got a new owner called Riganti, who had a tannery constructed in its gardens.
In 1989 the Villa Poniatowski became a possession of the Italian State. It was specifically acquired to be used as a second seat of the Etruscan Museum. A number of rooms are now used to display archaeological finds from Latium Vetus and Umbria. The rest of the building is dedicated to temporary exhibitions.
The villa’s vast garden consists of a number of terraces that are decorated with antique sculptures. The pergola at the top is called the Loggia delle Delizie (“Loggia of Delights”).
The most impressive parts of the building itself are the Sala dell’Ercole Farnese (ground floor) and the Sala delle Colonne Doriche (first floor).
Valadier‘s modifications brought several parts of the original villa to light. The most important ones are the wall paintings in the Sala d’Ercole, the Sala Indiana en the Sala Egiziana. Other finds include vases and fountains.