Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Living Inspiration: The Getty Villa

When visitors come to town, I tend to look at Los Angeles from a tourist's perspective. What in this city is actually worth sitting in traffic for, or spending half a day at? Pink's Hot Dogs? Nope. The Hollywood sign? From afar. The Venice canals? Maybe.

When the husbo's parents came to town a few weeks ago, we ended up spending an impromptu day at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. I'd been to the Center, but the Villa is one of those things that you hear about and never really make it to until parents are in have to make advance reservations and buy tickets ahead of time. But I was very glad we ended up going, as it made for some nice design inspiration and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Built atop a hill in the Pacific Palisades in the style of a Roman villa, the Getty Villa actually reminded me of my college semester spent abroad in Rome, Italy. Oh, if only our garden looked like this:

The main things that I remember about Rome are stuffing my face with penne all' arrabbiata and drinking red wine with my new Italian friends at Il Fox, our favorite pub in Trastevere. The alcohol eradicated any self-doubt about my language skills and allowed me to speak Italian freely and without worrying about sounding like an idiot. La vita e' bella!

Occasionally, though, occasionally, vague memories of studying ancient Roman art and architecture will trickle through all the food and drink memories. Oh yeah, Il Foro. Ohhhhh yeah, Caravaggio! He was that guy who painted, like, dark shit. Right?

The Getty Villa included a fantastic outdoor herb garden, one that I would love to have in our backyard. Unfortunately, Crazy Backyard Squirrel would put an end to that quick.

I loved how the Villa designers used color, too. Look at the contrast between the aqua tiles in the pool and the bright yellow spring daffodils.

Apparently, ancient Greek and Roman statues were actually fully painted back in the day. We're just so used to seeing them after the paint has worn off, with the pupils gone. But this just looks creepy, doesn't it?

I see you, Jake Scully.
Ahhhh... what I would give to spend a year living in Rome again.

Can you imagine if this was your home, like the Roman emperors used to do it? Imagine the bad-ass house parties you could have. I'd Gatsby that up in a second.