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.
Giuseppe Vasi writes in his engraving of Villa Madama:
"The plan, which I represent here of the noble casino of Villa Madama, can be said to be one of the new and most well-adapted factories, which after the barbaric taste of the Goths was seen in Rome, so the erudite reader should not look if the work is of little extension and machinery, since in those times, while the new method was beginning to be introduced, or to put it better, the good rules of the fine arts were being restored, already disbanded for so many centuries, the houses wore little extension, even of the characters: therefore Raphael only thought of imitating the most conspicuous factories of the most cults of the centuries, if the execution had not been crossed by some impediment."
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