For the second day exploring the city, I had two main goals: return to the Villa Giulia and then make it  over to the flea market at Porta Portese. So in the morning, I returned to Villa Borghese and the Villa Giulia for a more in depth visit. After exploring the property again, I ventured inside to what is now a large historic museum. There was alot to see, most of the content centered on the early Etruscan civilization. However, the room that I found most interesting was one that could have easily been overlooked. In the back corner of the original villa was a small room which held an array of beautiful models and drawings of the original design for the villa. A sort of homage to Pope Julius III greeted me before entering the small room. As far as history goes, the pope assigned the initial design for the villa to Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. However, there were others who worked on the garden structures including Michelangelo. The pope himself made sure that he had a hand in the design and he spent large amounts of money maintaining and enhancing the villa. Perhaps the most important thing about the Villa Giulia is that it lies on the dividing line between Roman city and Roman country. This remains a very important concept in Roman architecture and it is one that can definitely be experienced while walking through the villa and its grounds.

Villa Giulia Plan Sketch

Villa Giulia Section Sketch

After visiting the villa, we rendezvoused with a small group and set out for the flea market at Porta Portese. I’ve always been one who loves a flea market, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to experience one of Italy’s largest and most chaotic. Located in the Trastevere neighborhood, this market gets its name from the 17th-century archway that marks a main entrance. I was disappointed to discover that the market was wrapping up by the time we arrived in the early afternoon but from the remaining vignettes of chaos, I generated a mental image of the market in full swing. This seemed like an excellent place to immerse oneself in a foreign culture because at a flea market it’s all about unique finds and bartering with the vendors 🙂 we’ll meet again on another Sunday Porta Portese.

The Entry Arch at Porta Portese