The Getty Villa, the best bits.

This relatively small sculpture from the Getty Villa, a house built by the multi millionaire on the coast just close to Sunset Boulevard was one of the really great things I found at the place. The actual place left me a little cold, it’s quite monumental and although the main entrance is on the main road and a short walk up a hill to the place itself, one has to reach it by four wheels. As the museum is free and the parking 15 dollars this might make sense, but it seemed like madness to me. I suppose it was to discourage people like us who just parked on a side road.

We had to summon a shuttle bus which took us these few “unwalkable” yards. The driver was Mr Taciturn, young bearded and bored, but then who wouldn’t be if you spent the entire journey driving in not very big circles. My policy of cheery engagement did nothing to cheer him so we got the trip off to a poor start.

The villa design is inspired by the Villa Papyri at Hurculaneum. Concrete can never really replicate ancient stone. I’ve visited ancient places and they have a distressed charm that was lacking here. The place feels like a bunker, quite unlike the Getty Centre in L A itself which is a modern architectural triumph, this just does not seem to work for me.

It’s in a lovely spot on the coast but the gardens are fairly small and the whole place had the feel of a rich man showing off. That aside there are some really lovely artefacts to see and this one above, which is thousands of years old, was my favourite together with the one below. Quite a small sculpture, again centuries old, but what a wonderful face.

If you are in the area, then go and visit, but pay the 15 dollars to park, otherwise you are left to feel like a delivery of “povvies” to a concrete stately home.

The restaurant is very good and although the food is quite pricey, it’s very good quality and the service we had was first rate.

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