The hills of Malibu isn’t a place you would expect to find a picturesque Roman country house, but that’s exactly what you’ll discover with a visit to The Getty Villa. Funded by art collector J. Paul Getty in the 1970s, the villa was designed as a recreation of the luxurious Villa die Papiri that once stood in Herculaneum, Italy.
The architects for the project, Langdon and Wilson, worked with an archaeologist to replicate and develop construction details used over 2000 years ago, making the museum itself an exhibit much like the ancient art it houses inside. The exhibitions inside of the Getty Villa the complex cover more than 7000 years of history, with artifacts taking you on a journey from the Stone Age through to the fall of the Roman Empire. The villa also boasts four gardens based on those found in ancient Roman times.
The museum is available to visit Wednesday-Monday and admission is free. If you’re also interested in learning more about the architecture of both The Getty Villa and the history of the Villa die Papiri then I highly recommend taking the architectural tour. There is also a garden tour available that explains and discusses the practicalities and aesthetic purposes of the four gardens. More information can be found here.