Situated near the river Tiber, built in the early sixteenth century for Agostino Chigi, a rich Sienese banker, the Villa Farnesina is one of the noblest and most harmonious creations of the Italian Renaissance, in which the architectural design and the beautiful paintings blend into a marvelous synthesis. Chigi was notorious for his lavish and parties which were regularly held at the villa. It was not unknown to find Cardinals and even the Pope amongst his guests. Chigi asked his fellow townsman, Baldassarre Peruzzi, to build his residence in Trastevere. The villa is known for its magnificent frescoed interiors, painted by great masters such as Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo and Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (known as Sodoma). The most famous of these frescoes are in the Loggia di Psyche, the loggia that looks out onto the formal gardens. The frescoes depict the love story of Psyche and Cupid. The painting was completed by assistants of Raphael, but the design was from the master himself, who was too occupied with his work in the Vatican so he could only paint a small section himself. The result is breathtaking. Raphael was also responsible for the main fresco in the Loggia di Galatea. The sea nymph is surrounded by mythological figures and rides a shell chariot pulled by two dolphins. Villa Farnesina is a jewel so well hidden that even the romans themselves are unaware of it. Book the tour now, you won’t be disappointed!