Chances are, if you’re visiting Los Angeles you’ve heard of Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Sign, and Runyon Park…, but what about The Getty Villa?? I didn’t until after two years of living in LA. The Getty Villa is truly one of Los Angeles’ best kept secrets! (And its free!)
The Getty Villa is located at the south end of Malibu and is accessible by a quick, but scenic, drive up the PCH. It is one of the two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Getty Villa houses various art, sculptures, and artifacts from ancient Greek and Roman cultures. However, the architecture is my most favorite Getty Villa feature.
The Getty Villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy. The Villa dei Papiri was one of the most luxurious houses in all of Herculaneum but was destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius.
There are four gardens in the Getty Villa, which are where I spent most of my time. There is an inner peristyle, outer peristyle, east garden, and herb garden.
The Outer Peristyle is the largest garden and is full of lush rose bushes, bright green hedges, and a 220-foot long reflection pool. (Unfortunately, the reflection pool was drained during my visit because of a crack in one of the pipes)
The Inner Peristyle is in the center of the Getty Villa. There is a small, narrow reflecting pool which is adorned along its border by statues of women who have come to draw from the water.
The east garden has a circular fountain with a marble-topped bench that you can sit around to enjoy the tranquil ambiance. Behind it, sits another mosaic faced fountain.
The herb garden is located outside of the main building. It is made up of fruit trees, plants, and flowers that were used by the ancient Romans for cooking and medicine. There is also a long grape vine trellis that you can walk though.
I almost forgot about all the exhibits while I was walking through the gardens. The Getty Villa has approximately 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. Some exhibits are permanent, while others are changed and rotated.
Other information on The Getty Villa:
Admission to the Getty Villa is always free; an advance, timed-entry ticket is required.
Parking is $15 per car; $10 after 3:00 p.m.
Gallery and Garden Hours:
Wednesday–Monday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays
The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
For more information you can visit their website here: The Getty Villa
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