I saw on-line that we could get free passes to the Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty’s Malibu estate overlooking the Pacific.
Figuring we might as well see what all the fuss was about, we ventured over there this afternoon. The first disappointment was upon arrival, when this arrogant parking lot attendant, who had seen us park up the hill on the street, told us that we had to park in the Getty garage for $15.00 or else we couldn’t get in. So much for the free admission. Having driven 30 minutes to get there, we decided to go for it.
Once inside, we strolled around the grounds. The interior consisted of two floors filled with art, Getty’s collection of busts, statues, glassware, pottery, and a few paintings.
Next we visited the very beautiful east garden one of the most peaceful spaces at the Villa. It is shaded by sycamore and laurel trees and animated by splashing water from two sculptural fountains. Theatrical masks adorn the mosaic-and-shell fountain on the east wall, while sculpted bronze civet heads spout playful streams from the fountain at the center of the space.
From the upstairs verandas we had a lovely view of two reflecting pools. long and rectangular, adorned with statues and bright blue water. A glimpse of the ocean was down below as well, certainly the ideal place for a billionaire to survey his kingdom.
Having been to the Ringling Museum recently, or even the Breakers in Newport, R.I., I was a bit underwhelmed by the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful place, but I had been told that it was one of the premier tourist attractions in southern California, and I thought the Hancock Library was much more intriguing.
But we wandered on through, of course ending up in the gift shop, where I refused to be gouged for 1.50 a post card or any other upscale trinkets.
And that, gentle readers, was about it. We were only there for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Should you decide to go, be advised: they are watching the street and will hassle you if you park there and try to walk in.
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