Museo di Villa Vecchia - Villa Doria Pamphilj

Typology: Art Museum, Town Museum


Address: Via Aurelia Antica, 183
Zone: Quartiere Aurelio (Roma ovest)


Telephone: 06 39376616 (Ufficio Ville storiche lun-ven 8.00-12.00)

Opening times

Open only in occasion of exhibitions


This is Rome's first civic museum dedicated to a historic Roman villa, the birth and development of which is reconstructed from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. It is therefore a territorial museum, illustrating the different contexts that succeeded one another in the villa and which are still partly legible for the visitor.

The Museum, the central part of which is set up in Villa Vecchia, is divided into sections, which illustrate different themes developed along a chronological path: the latter begins on the ground floor with an examination of medieval sculptures documenting the sacred character of the area up to the 17th century and the 17th-century reuse of large ancient objects of a votive and funerary nature (sarcophagi, the famous base from the Antonine age, etc.), placed to decorate points of interest in the villa. ), placed to decorate the most important perspective points of the gardens, according to a political and cultural programme of celebration of the commissioning family.

The tour continues on the first floor, where the furnishings of the exedra of the Giardino del Teatro are displayed, consisting of a series of eleven antique and 17th century marble reliefs illustrating the theme of the quest for human perfection through love and the arts; then follows the theme of the fountains, among the most important of which are the Fountain of Venus, a monument to Alessandro Algardi's work in the villa, and the Triton Nymphaeum.
The next rooms display illustrious men, originally interpreted using busts with traditional subjects, taken from the twelve Caesars, and innovative ones, such as that of Paolo Giordano Orsini, from the Bernini school; funerary subjects, created in the nineteenth century, such as the famous portrait of Diocletian, and then the comparison between subjects of classical derivation, including in particular Hercules and Bacchus, and oriental myths, such as the Nile, the Sphinxes, Cybele, widely diffused throughout the villa.

The nineteenth century, the period to which the current configuration of the villa dates, is mainly represented by the monument to the French fallen and the Arch of the Four Winds, the latter monument built on the ruins of the building destroyed in the fighting of 1849, in the Palazzina Corsini, where the particular architectural features and the original use as a residence allow its use as a city exhibition centre with annexed services, documented by the wooden model by Andrea Busiri Vici and the succession of busts, heads, reliefs and sarcophagi, skilfully displayed to celebrate the 19th-century collecting of Prince Doria Pamphilj. The last construction phase of the villa is documented by the Art Nouveau sculptural furnishings and the landscape painting by Ascan Lutteroth.

For more information

Culture and leisure › Green › Gardens, villas and urban parks
Last checked: 2021-07-13 10:00
©2007 - Roma Classic version