Agostino Chigi, banker to big-spending Pope Julius II, threw the wildest parties of the early 16th century in this pleasure villa he had built on the banks of the Tiber. When not partying, he filled the rooms with exquisite art and commissioned Raphael to fresco the place with classical scenes. The artist was too busy consorting with his lover Margherita, daughter of a Trastevere baker, to do much work himself, but his students carried out his designs to the letter, most impressively in the Loggia of Psyche, where the garlands of fruit and flowers include species that had only recently arrived from the New World. By 1577 the Chigi family was bankrupt and the villa was sold to the Farnese clan, hence the name change. It’s now home to a prestigious scientific and cultural academy.
Via della Lungara 230, 00165
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