Villa Madama is a suburban villa in Rome located on the slopes of Monte Mario, on the right side of the Tiber near the Foro Italico, in the XVII Town Hall. It is used as a representative office by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.
The works for its construction began in 1518, under the papacy of Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de 'Medici), at the behest of his cousin Cardinal Giulio de' Medici. In the period following the Middle Ages, in fact, the new Roman society came out of the dark and fortified palaces within the walls, to enjoy peaceful stays in the country villas. In those years, the splendor and elegance of the villa, later known as the "Farnesina", commissioned by the banker Agostino Chigi and built by Baldassarre Peruzzi in via della Lungara, caused a lot of uproar. The future Pope, therefore, also wanted to commission the construction of a country villa on a spur on the slopes of Monte Mario.
In this regard, he commissioned Raffaello Sanzio to carry out the project, and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (Raphael's help in the San Pietro construction site) to take care of the execution of the works. The works slowed down due to Raphael's untimely death in 1520 at the age of 37 but resumed and were completed for the building part (1524-1525) after the election of Giulio who became the second pope of the Medici family with the name of Clement VII (1523). A formidable group of artists was involved in the work. In addition to Antonio da Sangallo, Giulio Romano, heir of Raphael's workshop, who dedicated himself to decorations together with Baldassarre Peruzzi and Giovan Francesco Penni, were present on site. Giovanni da Udine took care of the stuccoes and Baccio Bandinelli of the sculptures.
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