If you’re looking for a fun outing in the Santa Monica – Malibu area, the Getty Villa is a great choice! My cousin was visiting this week (from Kansas). He’s really into architecture, so we spent a few hours at the Getty property in Malibu. Admission is free; however, you do need to get online tickets in advance for a timed entry to the property.
The villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country house called Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy. The villa dei Papiri was buried by the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 A.D. Much like most of Pompei, the real villa is still mostly unexcavated.
The villa building houses Greek, Roman and Entruscan antiquities. Many of the exhibits are permanent and are quite interesting.
The grounds of the Getty property (60 some acres) are beautiful. There are reflecting ponds, benches, statues and interesting plant life everywhere you look.
Walking through the gardens is probably my favorite part of the Getty Villa.
On the north side of the Outer Peristyle (formal gardens and pool), there is an Herb Garden planted with species from the Mediterranean. Fruit trees, flowering shrubs and herbs were planted that would have been used for cooking and medicine.
There are many fountains and water features throughout the property.