Alessandro Chigi a wealthy banker from Siena went to live in Rome in 1501. He was the banker of Popes Alessandro VI, Giulio II, and Leone X. He also did banking in Egypt, in the Medio Oriente, and Northern Europe. His very successful active life gave him the desire to have a beautiful place to rest and to entertain his prestigious friends.
He employed the best artists of the time, like Raffaello to design the masterpieces on the walls. The frescoes of figures, wild animals, putty, and birds were painted by his pupil Giulio Romano. The garland and fruit that at that time were coming from America were painted by Giovanni da Udine.
Many other artists contributed to this famous Villa like Sebastiano del Piombo. Baldassarre Peruzzi, Ludovico Seitz, and of course many others in the construction.
But the Chigi’s villa was bought by the Farnese family and that is why is called “La Farnesina”
Pictures from “Palazzo Farnese di Caprarola” Torino
When Pope Paul III, Alessandro Farnese in 1537 united all the territory owned by his family, it became the duchy of the Farnese. Pope Paul III always wanted a summer residence and selected Caprarola. The Farnese bought the Chigi’s Villa and his nephew, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese
directed the work and saw it completed a few years before his death in 1589. Magnificent works of art were created by Federico and Taddeo Zuccari, Jacopo Bertola, Giovanni de Vecchi, Raffaellino da Reggio, and the famous “Scala elicoidale” by Vignola.
It was called “The Farnesina” because, the magnificent garden became one of the first botanical gardens in Europe and the tree “Acacia Farnesina” that has a floral essence, was the important biochemical Farnese.
The name Villa Farnesina remains even if it was Alessandro Chigi that had started the history of this magnificent work of art.
From 1948 the “Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei “ actively promoted the conservation of this magnificent artistic historic patrimony.