The Getty Villa is one of two Getty museums in town. The other Getty (the Getty Center) is larger and more popular, but the Getty Villa is pretty special in it’s own right. Either one should make the list of top L.A. destinations. The Getty Villa specializes in art and cultural artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The Villa houses a broad range of items, especially antiquities, but also coins, jems, jewelry, glass, and vessels.
The Villa houses part of the collection of J. Paul Getty. He was heavily involved in it’s design, although he lived in England when the Villa was under construction. The museum houses a range of interesting artifacts, but the architecture is one of the most interesting aspects about the place. The Getty Villa was designed to recreate a roman villa as it would be 2000 years ago. The blueprint was inspired by the Villa of the Papyri, which is a large country house that was destroyed in the eruption of mount Vesuvious and uncovered in the 18th century. The Villa is situated on an incline, which prompts some creative individuals to draw parallels with an archeological dig. You can watch a video with more information on the Getty website.
The entrance to the Villa is located along highway 1 in Malibu. The drive up to the parking lot was not very intuitive, but a few employees were there to direct us along the way up the incline to the parking lot. We grabbed a nice lunch at the Villa cafe that overlooks the museum grounds. When you explore the museum be sure to keep in mind that the stone statues may have looked considerably more colorful when they were created thousands of years ago. They may have originally looked much more vibrant (and tacky).
Address: 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Cost: Admission is free but you have to reserve your tickets in advance. Parking is $15