On September 18, 2019, English Honors classes had the privilege to visit the Getty Villa and experience 7,000 years of Greco-Roman art. It was only fitting– after all, we had just finished a unit on The Odyssey.
Naturally, I was excited for all the beauty and history I would witness there. The ride there and back however was far from exciting. Annnnd the fact that we had to arrive at school by 6:30 AM wasn’t the most thrilling idea either. Nonetheless, I was prepared for a wonderful learning experience that would take us outside the regular routine of sitting down and writing.
When I woke up on the 18th, I somehow managed to drag my half-asleep body through all of my daily morning routines and arrive at school on time. After tactically choosing a seat that was close to my friends, everyone on the bus was forced to endure a roughly 5-hour ordeal getting there. The seats barely had enough leg room for me, and definitely had none for anyone that was even remotely taller than me. Luckily, the ride was mitigated by one of my friends having the foresight to bring some video games for us to play. Unfortunately, we could not have predicted that we would be delayed by about 2 hours, turning what would have been a 3-hour commute into a 5-hour one.
When we arrived at the Getty Villa gates, we were greeted with lavish gardens. It was clear that it was tended regularly. Our bus came to a halt and we disembarked. Due to arriving fairly late, we were forced to rush everything and act in the most efficient way possible. I hastily got off the bus and my group funneled into the Getty Villa entrance. The moment the interior of the villa came into view. It became apparent to me how faithful the replica was to a real roman villa. The sturdy pillars and marble floors were identical to those of a true roman villa. Every corner was a love letter to the architecture of the ancient world.
Unfortunately, we were not granted much time to admire the stunning recreation in front of, below, and above us. We had to immediately find our tour guide. After some basic formalities, we were put into groups and sent on our way to observe a small portion of Greek and Roman life. The tour guide was very adaptable and decided to slightly change our plans. Rather than going for a more in depth tour of only a few places, we had a broad overview of additional museum sites. There were too many to really name however there were quite a few notable ones. Under the replica of a classic Roman dome, stood a nude statue Heracles/Hercules formed out of marble. There were plenty of ancient Greek and Roman pottery that depicted iconic moments in mythology. The outdoor gardens provided a serene retreat for anyone who needed a break. Though we didn’t stay long in each spot, it did certainly fuel my intrigue for these places further, and encouraged me to come back to find out more on my own time. Though I wish I could enjoy the sites more, it came time for us to leave. Our time was short but sweet, and made me want to come back here even more.
We all boarded the bus and went on our way back home — on a charter bus this time, luckily. The charter bus had AC and a charging port. We endured the long commute, once again, which took about 4 hours. At long last, we arrived at home and to the comfort of our beds.
Overall, I’d say that the Getty Villa visit was worthwhile. Unfortunately, we did not get to enjoy all of the sections for very long and only briefly skimmed over the museum. The commute was by far the worst part of the entire outing. If you didn’t bring something to keep yourself entertained, the trip probably wouldn’t be worth it. The weather is adequate, and umbrellas are provided, so baking in the sun will not be an issue. The art was beautiful, and learning about the history behind all of the pieces truly enhanced the experience. I would recommend going to the Getty Villa on your own time, if possible, so that you may set your own pace. Having to adhere to a strict schedule declined the tour.
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