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  • Writer's pictureSelima Smith-Dell

Getty Villa: Architectural Masterpiece, Heavenly Gardens and Ancient Works of Art

The Getty Villa is an architectural masterpiece that is made up of several heavenly gardens and its genius truly blew me away. It is a museum created by J. Paul Getty who was inspired by Ancient Greece and Rome architecture and art. So much so that he created this illustrious, picturesque villa.

The museum has an absolutely breathtaking amphitheater that brings you back to the birth of theater in Greece circa 500 BC. It has several rather heavenly gardens including a herb garden that I absolutely adored. In addition to the gardens and amphitheater the villa has numerous exhibitions displaying ancient artifacts from Persia, Rome, and Greece. It’s truly a calming, beautiful, enriching experience visiting the Getty Villa. It’s my favorite kind of museum.

Treya and I met up on Sunday at 9:30am and headed over to the Getty Villa so that we could arrive just as the villa was opening its doors to guests for the day. The villa opens at 10am on the weekends. If you’ve been following along with the past few blog posts, you already know that Treya and I have made a bit of a tradition of early weekend morning adventures. We arrived to the villa, showed our tickets (entry ticket and parking ticket) to the villa attendant and made our way to parking. Entry into the villa is free and parking is $20. Which is a totally great deal. We parked (there was plenty of parking) and walked up a lovely little path to the entrance of the villa.

After getting off the elevator we landed right in front of the magnificent amphitheater and were greeted by a lovely employee who gave us a nice overview of what to enjoy at the villa.

We made our way into the main garden area. As you can see in the pictures it was truly stunning. The crystal blue water, the statues, and all the lovely flowers. The architecture was genius, and the colorful tile was a fun little detail. After we had our fair share of fun in this garden, we checked out a few of the Persian exhibitions.

Then we made our way into the herb garden, which was my favorite. I played Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet many moons ago and so seeing all the rue, lavender, rosemary, thyme and herbs etc. reminded me of Ophelia’s words.

“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts,” said Ophelia to her brother Laertes. “There’s fennel for you, and columbines. There’s rue for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays. O, you must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.”

In the herb garden there was also asparagus, onions and nectarines growing amongst other yummy veggies and fruits. There were two lily ponds with coy fish and other little cute fish swimming around. The herb garden was a serene sanctuary. I could spend hours there meditating, drawing, writing, or reading.

After enjoying many moments in the gardens, we made our way inside the museum to take in the many Greek and Roman exhibits. I’m always so fascinated that art from 500 BC is still around for us to enjoy. It’s amazing how universal the human experience is regardless of when you walked the planet and that was so apparent in all the artwork we viewed.

After taking in many of the exhibits we headed out at which time the gardens and exhibits were bustling with people. I am truly so happy we got there as it opened because around noon it began to get busy. If you are looking for quiet, serene moments in the garden and browsing the exhibits I suggest arriving at 10am when the villa opens as we did. It’s also the perfect time to arrive if you are looking to take lots of photos and not have a ton of people in the background. However, if you are looking to be the life of the party and mix and mingle then I suggest arriving at noon time. It’ll be a fabulous riot of a time for you.

Now for the fashion portion of this post. I decided to wear one of my favorite dresses. It's probably one of my most complimented pieces in my wardrobe, if not my most complimented piece. I wanted to wear a fashion piece that was colorful that's own architectural design would compliment that of the villa. This dress was the perfect piece for the job. The dress is a graceful combination of bright lilac and heliotrope. It has the most delicate flower details that are primarily black with a splattering of blood orange moments. The little blood orange moments in the dress is what inspired me to go out of my comfort zone and accessorize with accessories that are different shades of orange.

I've never paired orange and purple together but they really do compliment one another in the most shocking fun way. I remember seeing so much purple and orange at NY Fashion Week shows and this felt like the perfect moment to emulate so much of what I have seen on the runway the past few years. I paired my dress with a see through apricot orange mini purse, pumpkin orange sunglasses and apricot orange sandals with an orangutan orange triangle heel.

The material of the dress is organza. I literally search organza on any of my favorite stores websites because it is truly my favorite material of clothing. Organza just gives off ethereal high fashion princess vibes. I loved how the light and airy energy of the dress juxtaposed the more structured sunglasses and triangle heel.

My friend Treya is wearing a lovely brown monochromatic look with very structured and beautiful gold accent jewelry. She is wearing a long sleeve sand colored corset top and espresso colored slacks. She not only accessorized with golden jewelry but also with a pretty beaded bronze clutch. I loved how her monochromatic look popped against the colorful marble exhibit and how it blended so well with the pillars and other macaroon colored white architecture.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post and get a chance to check out the Getty Villa!

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