With tomorrow’s ‘Notte dei Musei’ looming large, it is only fitting to introduce you to one of the latest additions to Rome’s museum circuit: Villa Poniatowski. As an extension to the Etruscan museum in Villa Giulia, the building opened its doors to the public in January 2012 after 20 years of renovations. It houses pre-roman antiquities from Lazio and Umbria.
In the late 18th century, a Polish prince and nephew to the king, Stanislaw Poniatowski, took up residence in Rome after his ‘grand tour’ and also due to the partition of his home country. He was a patron of the arts and a hobby archeologist. His villa, originally built in the 16th century, was redesigned by Giuseppe Valadier, a chief exponent of neoclassicism in Italy, who was also responsible for the rich frescoes on the upper floor.
Villa Poniatowski can only be visited in the mornings or as part of a guided tour on week-ends.