The massive villa, originally a Roman country villa for the eponymous Florentine bankers, is no longer situated in the countryside but integrated into Rome’s modern urban fabric. But unchanged are the stunning views from the villa and gardens afforded from its high vantage point. From here you can see the twin towers from the Church of the Holy Trinity (Trinità dei Monti); the chariots atop the Vittoriano monument in Piazza di Spagna; the Fontanone, far off in the distance, on the Gianicolo Hill; the colonnade at St. Peter’s Square and, of course, the iconic St. Peter’s dome; even the square colosseum (Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana) all the way in EUR is visible from here.
The Villa represents the official seat of the Academy of France in Rome, and regularly hosts artists of all disciplines for its residency programs. It’s not uncommon to bump into an artist here, taking inspiration from the impressive grounds. It’s a special place that seems almost set apart from the rest of the city but at the same time, so closely connected to it.
Several different tours of the Villa Medici, the Academy of France, and its gardens are available to the public in multiple languages. Below you’ll find more information about the tours and the in-house restaurant, Caffe Colbert, which is definitely worth a visit even for just a quick espresso or glass of wine.
There are several different kinds of tours offered of the Villa Medici, General Tours and Special Tours for children and on the weekends.
General tours are available Tuesday to Sunday to visit the gardens, Cardinal’s apartment on the piano nobile of the villa, and private pavilion of Ferdinand de’ Medici. Tours last about 1.5 hours and groups are no larger than 25 guests.
The following tours are offered in the following languages:
10am / French
11am / French & English*
12pm / Italian
2pm / French
3:30pm / English
4pm / French & Italian*
*Times indicated with more than one language are given in 2 separate groups
Tours cost €12/person (€6 reduced) and include the general tour as well as access to the gallery on the ground floor.
Tours for Children Tours geared for families visiting with children are offered at 10:30 (duration 1.5 hours) on Sundays for €6/person (Italian language only)
Medici Tours Special tours of the exclusive living quarters of the Medici family are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 5:30pm for €12/person (€6 reduced) (Italian language only)
Academy of France Tours of the Academy of France, explaining the residencies and works of historical figures who studied there (including Fragonard, Ingres, Bizet and Debussy) as well as current artists, are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30pm (duration 1.5 hours) fro €12/person (French language)
Gardens A tour dedicated to the gardens at the Villa Medici, which changes according to the season are offered on Saturdays at 3:30pm (duration 1.5 hours) for €12/person (€6 reduced)
There is a splendid little restaurant in Villa Medici, a perfect place for a glass of prosecco, a light salad, a plate of pasta, or just something sweet. Located on the second floor of the Villa, the restaurant is open to the public even if you don’t plan on taking a tour.
Open Tuesday – Sunday (closed Monday), 10am – 6pm (but you can stay inside until 7pm)
The kitchen serves hot dishes from 12 – 3pm
Take a look at the Villa Medici vacation rental by Rome Accommodation. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment can accommodate up to 9 guests. Antique wooden-beam ceilings and a mix of antique and modern furnishings offers comfort and elegance in one foul swoop. Modern conveniences like air conditioning, complimentary wifi, a washing machine, and dishwasher are all available in the home that’s located just a stone’s throw from Piazza di Spagna and Villa Medici on the Pincio Hill.
Have you visited Villa Medici? Share your experience in the comments below!