Ever since we first visited The Getty Center I've been anticipating a visit to the museum's sister property, The Getty Villa. The Villa is located atop the bluffs north of Pacific Palisades, similarly considered the very southern part of Malibu. If The Getty Center location is their hub for fine arts, like paintings, The Getty Villa is their hub for Grecian architecture, sculpture, and other artifacts from early Grecian and Roman cultures.
Located where it is, the Villa is a bit more difficult to get to only because you have to drive through Santa Monica to get to the Pacific Coast Highway before heading north. We left Irvine right around 10am and were parked at the Villa in an unprecedented 65 minutes; I still don't know how we managed such magic! (The drive home, on the other hand, took just under two hours. Timing man, it's everything here!) Like the Getty Center, admission to the museum is completely free but reservations and printed time-entry tickets are required to even enter the property. Parking is paid upon entry and is $15; if you visit both campuses in one day you only pay for parking once and can use the same pass at the other location. This location is opened from 10am-5pm but has some evening programming. A good thing to know is that the Villa is NOT open on Tuesdays, but is open the other six days of the week. We've almost visited on a Tuesday before; I'm so glad we didn't make the drive only to find it closed!
Here is what you'll see at the Getty Villa:
Marble: Everything here is made of marble! The walls! The floors! The columns! I don't think I've ever seen so much marble in my entire life. A volunteer in one exhibit told us that they spent $175 million on their 2006 renovation, and most of that was the cost of marble. Oh, and don't forget the marble statues, busts, and other pieces!
Statues: Busts, busts, and more busts. I've never seen so many heads of so many ancient people. Sculptures of Greek goddesses and deities. Creepy busts and statues with eerie white eyes, yikes. Basically, you've stepped back in time and are now in 20 A.D. Greece or Rome.
Jewelry & Coins: I loved looking at the jewelry on display; it may have been one of my favorite parts. I like to try to imagine the men and women who wore those pieces, and think of how long ago they lived. Rings and other pieces can be so personal. I frequently looked down at my grandmother's ring on my right hand and thought that maybe I was looking at something that another girl my age truly treasured, just almost 2,000 years ago.
Gorgeous Grecian Architecture & Gardens: I could go just to wander the grounds and be fine missing out on the art! There were hundreds of roses, shrubs, and even pomegranate trees! (I'd never seen a pomegranate tree before!) I cannot even put into words how beautiful the museum and the gardens are. You just have to see to understand. I hope these photos will suffice!
And don't forget to look up and look down! Again, the architecture and the details here are an exhibit of their own. The floors in the halls and different exhibit rooms differ, offering many different styles and designs, made mostly (if not completely) with exquisite marble. The ceilings are painted or decorated with intricate carvings.