The gardens, which are unarguably the most enchanting part of the Villa, have been recently chosen as one of the locations of the Great Beauty the film by Paolo Sorrentino which won the 2014 academy award for the best foreign movie, as well as for a recent very expensive and upper class wedding party.
The villa is at the top of the Spanish Steps, just few feet away from the most famous sight of Rome and it occupies a great estate which goes from the Pincio hill to the ancient Aurelian walls and offers an astonishing view over the city of Rome.
In the ancient times, the Romans had already discover the delights of this place as the ruins of ancient villa belonging to Lucullo then to Messalina the unfaithful wife of emperor Claudius prove.
The part of the garden that I prefer is towards the edge, on the walls, where in 1576 Ferdinando I de' Medici transformed one of the guard towers into a love nest. Here even if he was a cardinal, he could meet his lovers far from indiscreet eyes.
The prince, which had refined tastes, transformed his bachelor pad into an elaborated painted garden populated by a multitude of birds work of Jacopo Zucchi, pupil of Giorgio Vasari, recently re-discovered under a more recent layer of plaster. In it, you can see the first representation of a turkey, native of Americas.
Enjoy a drink in the quiet café of Villa Medici and the modern art exhibition held in the basement. The Académie de France has a very intense cultural life and organizes exhibitions and films festivals.
If you reach the next door Villa Borghese, you can rent a bicycle and explore the central park of Rome or rent a boat on the central Lake.
A good lunch can be tasted on via Veneto at Eataly Hamburgheria, which offers hamburgers and tasty salads.
You will find the best tiramisù at Pompi in via della Croce at the foot of the Spanish steps.
Small place for tasty pizza at Grano, frutta e farina in via della Croce.
For any further information, contact me on http://www.visitrome.guide