Malibu's Getty Villa


Unknown to many, The Getty Villa actually has an address located in the Pacific Palisades.  However, due to extremely close proximity and general public belief it is in Malibu, we happily consider it a pleasant extension of our city.  The Getty Villa is one of the most popular attractions in the area not only due to its aesthetic beauty, but also because of the educational value of its art and culture.

The Getty Villa is an art museum showcasing three major ancient cultures of the Mediterranean world; The Greeks, The Etruscans, and The Romans.  The building itself is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a first century Roman country house in Herculaneum which was buried in the aftermath of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 a.d.  The building is not an exact replica, however.  Much of the original house remains unexcavated so many of the details of the building are modeled after elements taken from other ancient Roman homes.  

The Outer Peristyle

In 1945 the Founder of the Villa, J. Paul Getty purchased a 64 acre area of land in Malibu on which the the future Getty Villa would stand.  In 1954 he opened the original J. Paul Getty Museum in his own home which featured his own art collection highlighting Roman and Greek antiquities.  By 1968, Mr. Getty decided to build a recreation the ‘Villa dei Papiri’ to showcase his ever expanding art collection.  This was eventually opened to the public in 1974.  In 1997, the Villa was shut down to the public to undergo renovations that would remain closed until 2006 when it reopened as the current Getty Villa.

Most of the artwork showcased in the Villa is on display inside the Museum.  Here you can see over 1,200 works of art from all three ancient civilizations including statues, mosaics, pottery, glasswork, and more.  The different galleries inside the museum are separated by theme which include Gods and Goddesses, Dionysos and the Theater, and Stories of the Trojan War, just to name a few.  The Villa also plays home to four beautiful gardens; The East Garden, the Inner Peristyle, the Herb Garden, and the Outer Peristyle.  The grounds also feature an indoor auditorium, a cafe, a gift store, and outdoor theater.

If you plan on visiting the Getty Villa there are a few things to know before hand.  Before you go, you must make a reservation by either calling (310.440.7300) or reserving online.  Entrance into the Villa is always free, however there is a 15$ charge for parking or 10$ after 3pm.  They are open from 10am to 5pm daily with the exception of Tuesdays when they are closed.  You are free to roam around the grounds on your own, however if you wish to do a tour they have many available.  Check their website for available tours and times.  Lastly, make sure to bring a camera with you because there are countless photo opportunities throughout the property.  

17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272