I came, I saw, I concurred… The Getty Villa is jaw-dropping. With its breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean, Ancient Roman architecture, archaeological wonders, manicured gardens, marble, pillars, arches, mosaics and murals galore, the grounds provided a visual feast that left me feeling more bloated than “Gratiarum Actione Die” (or Thanksgiving Day for non-latin speakers). If the Getty Villa is any indication of how folks lived in Ancient Rome, I could almost get past all the violence, disease, poverty and human sacrifice of the era.
Upon entering the late J. Paul Getty’s estate, I was transported 2,000 years back in history. The infamous oil tycoon was inspired by the Villa of the Papyri (which was destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius) and he spared no expense in his attempt to recreate the most famous villa at Herculaneum. Capturing the essence of Mediterranean Europe, the estate makes you forget you’re in Malibu. And while Getty was also an avid collector of antiquities, with several galleries of ancient artifacts on display inside, I was most impressed with the villa’s architectural details and gardens.
If you find yourself in Southern California, do yourself a favor and check out The Getty Villa. Admission is free (you must book a reservation online) and parking is $15.