by: Serita Stevens

Art and history enthusiasts need to consider visiting not only to the Getty Center, but the Getty Villa as well.

When J. Paul Getty wanted a place to house his architecture, he envisioned something that would stand out, so therefore – he created the Getty Villa.   Created by Stephen Garrett, The Getty Villa is located in Malibu and is designed as a country house similar to those destroyed by the Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD.  Graced with frescos and works of art, it’s now used as an educational center devoted to the cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria.  Celebrating the famed architecture of ancient Rome, antiquities are arranged by themes as the Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses, Theatre and stories of the Trojan War.

A great place to sit and rest, the gardens are created much as they would have been in an ancient Roman home with open spaces – featuring the same bronze sculptures, fountains, lush trees, herbs and flowers used back then.  Around a narrow reflecting pool, other replicas of items found at the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum are displayed. Beyond the herb garden, wander into the mosaic of fragrant fruit trees and other plants used by the ancient Romans in cooking, medicine and ceremony. Plays are performed in the outside theatre – much like they would have been done in ancient times. Getty had clear views of what he wanted to achieve – he wanted the ordinary person to feel what it would have been liked to be a Roman citizen.

The Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California 90272, (310) 440-7300. Please note that access to the Getty Villa entrance is only from the northbound right-hand lane of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

It is possible to get there via public transportation.  Get to the Getty Villa via public transport is possible and indeed practical. The Getty Villa is served by Metro Bus 534, which stops at Coastline Drive and Pacific Coast Highway directly across from the Getty Villa entrance. To find the route that is best for you, call 323-GO-METRO (323-466-3876) or use the Trip Planner on, the Web site of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. (Please note that passengers riding the bus to visit the Getty Villa must have their Villa admission ticket hole-punched by the driver before exiting the bus.)

Please note that visitors to the Getty Villa are not permitted to park anywhere other than the Getty Villa as a condition of the Conditional Use Permit issued by the City of Los Angeles.No pedestrians may enter the Villa except for ticket holders arriving by public transportation. Passengers must have their Villa admission ticket hole-punched by the driver before exiting the bus in order to enter the Villa.

Admission to the site and to all exhibitions is free, and reservations are not required.  But parking is very limited especially at the Sepulveda venue and it’s important to call ahead and get your free ticket on line.

On-site parking is available for all ticket holders and is $15 per car or motorcycle, but $10 per car or motorcycle after 5:00 p.m. for all evening public programming, including theater, music, film, lectures, and other special programs held after 5:00 p.m.  If you go to the museum desk when you enter, you can have your parking ticket stamped so that you can attend the other museum without paying for parking.   (This doesn’t apply on Mondays – when the Getty Center is closed- or Tuesdays when the Getty Villa is closed.)