The villa Farnesina is situated on Via della Lungara, opposite the Corsini Palace. The Sienese banker, Agostino Chigi, named "magnifico" by his contemporaries, acquired the villa, which had been completed in 1509 by Baldassarre Peruzzi, a Sienese architect of great renown. The villa, a wonderful example of Renaissance art, was decorated by such famous painters as Raffaello, Sebastiano del Piombo, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (called Sodoma), Giulio Romano and Peruzzi himself, and it was furnished with such magnificence that it aroused general admiration. In the rooms of the Villa high prelates, noblemen, poets, men of letters and artists used to meet; comedies were performed there and sumptuous banquets were held. The most famous of these were the banquet of 30 April 1518 and the one in honour of St. Augustine's day in 1519. The first banquet, with a magnificent decor of tapestries and carpets was laid out in the stables, which at that time were placed near the Tiber and were later demolished when a high Tiber wall was built. The second banquet, on the occasion of the wedding of Agostino and Francesca Ordeasca, which was blessed by Pope Leo X, was held in a setting of pomp and splendour, in the great hall of the villa, and in the presence of the Pope himself, twelve Cardinals and many guests. After Agostino Chigi's death, the villa was bought by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (from whom the Villa takes its name). It passed to the Bourbon family in 1714; and finally a long lease of the villa at ground rent was given to the Spanish Ambassador Bermudez de Castro, Duke of Ripetta, who later redeemed it. The Italian State bought the Villa from the Duke's heirs and in 1928 it was destined to become the home of the Reale Accademia d'Italia. After the suppression of the Accademia d'Italia in 1944, the villa became the property of the Lincei Academy, which, by law, had succeeded the suppressed Academy.
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