Opened in 1974 the Getty Villa is a gorgeous replica of Villa dei Papiri, a Roman villa in Herculaneum covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Pompeii. It is home to the Getty’s extensive classical collection, from Bronze Age civilisations through to the Romans.
It’s an exquisite place, filled with wonderful details that help you understand how wealthy Romans lived. The pools of water in particular are beautiful.
Outside is a replica of a colourful fountain from Pompeii.
There were plenty of intricate Roman sculptures upstairs.
I’ve never really been a fan of glass works but these are incredible for their skill, age and colour.
There were a number of murals relocated from the floor to walls.
Downstairs were works by the Greeks and other civilisations pre-dating the Romans.
I’d never heard of the Cyclades before, who were around from about 3000 BC to 2200 BC, but was blown away by the modern looking forms they sculptured.
They also had some modern works reacting to Plato. Jeff Koon’s Play-Doh may have taken twenty years to create, and demonstrated technical skill use of aluminium, but was still a fairly hideous mess.
John Paul Getty died in 1976 having never seen the Villa. He lived in Surrey in the UK at the time and didn’t fly.
Entry to the Villa is free, but you need to book a timed ticket online in advance, though unless you’re visiting at the weekend in early August it was fine to book the day before visiting.