Los Angeles and its neighboring cities have their fair share of museums. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the Natural History Museum (NHM), take your pick. But the one that I love the most is The Getty Villa in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pacific Palisades. Of course, the expansive collection of Roman & Grecian art is reason enough patronize this museum but that’s only part of the reason I continue to return. I remember the first time I visited the Getty Villa, I was in college. I took an art history course and we were given an assignment that involved visiting a museum and writing a paper on a piece of art we saw. I’ve been in love ever since.Upon arriving at the Getty Villa, you’re greeted by an amazing view overlooking the ocean and so much more beauty awaits you. Once you enter the main entrance to the museum you can’t help but look up notice the ornate details on the ceiling. The gold detailings lends an air of splendor to this space.
The Getty Villa was modeled after the Villa of the Papyri, a private residence in the Roman city of Herculaneum. Walking the grounds of the Villa, you can’t help but be awestruck by the fact that this is how someone once lived. For me, this feeling is strongest in the outer peristyle where you are surrounded by opulence and grandeur. Could you imagine walking into your backyard and seeing a reflecting pool? Column lined walkways? Grapevine covered archways?It is a museum, so I would be remiss to not mention the sculptures that are casually placed throughout the property that seamlessly fit. I loved this sculpture most because it was one of the few pieces that you could actually touch. If you look over the low walls lining the walkway leading to this sculpture, you will find a cobblestone pathway and vine covered stone arches.The Getty Villa serves as a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. From driving along the Pacific Coast Highway to reach this destination to walking these beautiful grounds, this makes a perfect day trip or weekend getaway. I appreciate places like Getty Villa; places reminiscent of somewhere far away that can temporarily satisfy your wanderlust. I often say that daydreaming is the start of my best travel plans and this time was no different. Greece and Italy are never far from my mind and I look forward to the day I walk along the canals of Venice, explore the ruins of Greece and study the art of both countries. But until then, I’ll always have The Getty Villa.
Tips for visiting:
- Admission is free, but you have to have a timed reservation that you can make here; Parking is $15
- The Getty Villa is open Wednesday-Friday, 10am-5pm
- I recommend getting there as early as possible so that you can have your run of the museum with as few people around as possible and it makes for better pictures 🙂
- There’s an on-site cafe so you can easily make a day of taking in the exhibits, breaking for lunch, and then exploring the rest of the grounds