The Villa Medici property, located not far from Villa Borghese, was a vineyard before construction on the lavish palace began in 1540. After its purchase by the Medici cardinal in 1576, the palace and gardens were completed with frescoes and statues. Napoleon acquired the villa in the early 19th century, and it continues to be the seat of Rome’s French Academy, where French-speaking artists and scholars are invited for year-long residencies.
The villa also hosts regular art exhibitions, musical performances, and open-air cinema events. If you’re already acquainted with Rome’s main attractions and would like to explore a lesser-known sight in the city, join a guided tour of Villa Medici. Otherwise, walking tours of the highlights near Rome’s Villa Borghese public gardens often include a stop to take in the palace from outside.