The Villa is made up of a central block with a five-arched loggia which opens out into two parallel wings spread over six levels: the basement, ground floor, first mezzanine floor, first floor, second mezzanine floor and a lookout point. A double row of Doric pilasters articulates the exterior walls, finished at the top by a cornice with cherubs and garlands. A defining characteristic of the Villa’s structure and decoration is the close link that it has to its Italian styled garden, as if each represented the ideal continuation of the other.
Originally, the point of entry was from the Cupid and Psyche Loggia, on the north side. However the public entrance today is located at the back of the Villa, on the south side.
The tour of the inside of the Villa begins from the current entrance hall and ticket office on the ground floor. There are visits of the highly significant and beautiful rooms: the Loggia of Galatea, which displays frescoes by Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo and Baldassare Peruzzi, the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche, which boasts the fresco painted by Raphael and his workshop in 1518; the adjoining room of the Frieze, which was named after the Frieze that Baldassare Peruzzi painted around the tops of the walls.
From here you go up to the first floor and pass into the south facing Hall of the Perspective Views, with frescos painted by Baldassare Peruzzi and his workshop. It represents the ideal continuation of the great loggias on the ground floor; through painted ‘imitation’ loggias you can see painted panoramic views.
The adjoining bedroom of Agostino Chigi is situated at the end. It is known as the Room of the Marriage of Alexander the Great and Roxanna and was decorated by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, known as Sodoma.
From the windows of the first floor, there is an overview of the garden and finally, a short tour of the grounds, an example of a typical Italian garden; down a tunnel of laurel, there is the following message engraved on marble, almost meant as a farewell:
“Quisquis huc accedis: quod tibi horridum videtur mihi amoenum est; si placet, maneas, si taedet abeas, utrumque gratum”
“For you who come here, what may seem ugly to you is beautiful to me: if you like it, stay a while, if you don’t, then take your leave; either way, thank you.”