This is a huge park of about 80 hectares (about 198 acres) ,and wonderful to walk on. Inside you have museums, little train rides, marionnettes theater, a very good restaurant (see tip), and just wonderful statues and gardens all over, great to walk and the bus 116 passes right thru the park.
it is recommended to all but especially the art lovers and families looking for a sprite under the shades with no cost.
Open from 8h to 19h everyday.
In 1605, the vinyards were transformed into a beautiful garden with high trees of 80 hectares feeding it with many fountains. It is the most important park in Rome done after the antique epoch. The entire park was finish in 1633. The current gardens are from the 19C and done in the English style. The park was purchased by the Italian government in 1901 ,ceded to the city of Rome in 1903 and then open to the public.
It is done in the area still call the Pinzio and it has amongst its many sites, the Gallery Borghèse, Etruscan national museum of the villa Giulia, Villa Medicis (French institute), National Gallery of modern and contemporary arts, the Civic Zoo museum, museum Pietro Canonica, and the museum Carlo Bilotti.
Art lovers, if you have time to visit only one museum, this is the one - especially if you’re allergic to crowds. Galleria Borghese’s 22 rooms display works by some of the Italy's greatest geniuses of paint and chisel, and you can see them without being trampled by the mob that overruns the Vatican.
The collection is housed in a two-story, 17th-century villa built especially for the purpose by a Catholic cardinal, Scipione Borghese, who purchased many of the pieces (that he didn’t outright steal from churches or the artists themselves) with funds supplied by his uncle, Pope Paul V. Almost 700 works were lost to France in the 1807 when one of the descendants sold them off to brother-in-law Napoleon and which are now exhibited in the Louvre.
This is no sterile-walled space: in the late 18th century the interior was lavishly, painstakingly redecorated and the collection restaged so that every room has a theme built around the most important piece, and colors and styles blend harmoniously. Marble, gilt and astounding trompe l’oeil decoration are everywhere, floor to ceiling, creating a museum as much a work of art itself as the treasures it contains.
Rubens, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Canova….they’re all here and then some. The stars of the show? Four priceless Bernini’s which will take your breath away. His powerful “David” - face set in grim determination, twisted and straining to hurl his sling - is a striking contrast to Michelangelo’s more famous version and my favorite of the two.
Some info on the collection:
What you need to know to visit the gallery:
• Tickets MUST be ordered in advance. This is easily done by phone or online from the website below. You will be required to choose a specific day and open, 2-hour slot: only 360 people are allowed inside at one time.
• Phone reservations are required if planning to use a Roma pass: see the website
• You are required to check in 30 minutes before your scheduled slot: bring your self-printed voucher to the desk for your tickets, and then proceed to the cloakroom counter where you must check everything on you: cameras, phones, umbrellas, bags, purses, etc. You’re allowed to keep wallets and guidebooks: purchase guides from the gift shop in the reception area if you don't have one.
• The museum is cleared for the next group at the end of each two-hour slot but is easily seen over that period of time
• Restrooms are available to ticket-holders only. Show yours to the attendant to gain access if wanting to use them before your time slot comes up.
• Your tickets are only good for the day/time for which you purchased them: no refunds or exchanges
• Audioguides and tours are available
• Closed on Mondays, Christmas and New Year’s days.
Photo #4 is a Cortona portrait (c. 1633-1635) of Cardinal Pietro Maria Borghese: heir to Scipione's ecclesiastical titles, wealth and art collection. It hangs in the Institute of Art here in my home city of Minneapolis.
I am not quite sure if the park in which the Villa Borghese is located is also called "Villa Borghese" park, but I can certainly advise to visit it. Although we (my husband and me) stayed in Rome only for three days, we decided to spend some two hours approximately in this park and we did not regret that we did not spend that time for some other things to be seen or done in Rome. On the contrary, we had a great time in that BEAUTIFUL PARK and I would suggest to everybody to have a walk in that park, which is, besides the Villa Borghese and Villa Medici and the Museum of modern art, full of beautiful monuments. It laso has a beautiful lake and, of course, beautiful flowers and green surfaces. We also enjoyed a wonderful cappuccino in one of the cafes in the park. The easiest way to reach it is from the Piazza del Popolo.
If you go to Galleria Borghese (and even if you don’t) take some time to explore the great green spaces of Villa Borghese and the Pincio. A onetime vineyard turned private park developed by the same Cardinal Scipione who built the gallery, Villa Borghese became a fully public park in1903. It’s not the carefully tended variety you’d find, say, in England but still a nice way to escape the noise and crowds of the Central Storico. Runners will find its wide paths perfect for getting in those morning miles, children will enjoy the zoo, carousel and puppet shows, and there are a few other good museums nearby. Bikes, pedal surreys and row boats - on a small artificial lake - are available for rent as well, and there are a couple of cafes scattered here and there for refueling.
There are multiple entrances but our favorite is the climb up the steps on the east side of Piazza del Popolo to the terrace at Pincio Gardens: nice view over the piazza and city from there. The Pincio (not officially part of Villa Borghese) anchors the west end of the combined park space and where you’ll find most of the recreational rentals and kid’s activities. You may also access this end of the park from the top of the Spanish Steps or from Via Vento, if you wish.
My one frustration with the park(s) is that there’s no comprehensive website for referencing all of the amenities so you sort of have to figure it out when you get there. A few maps are scattered throughout the grounds but I’d print out a google version of the general area before you go. Also be cautious of not confusing the park (Villa Borghese) with the art museum (Galleria Borghese) as visitors are apt to do.
Information about the two other museums (modern art and Etruscan) near, but not in, the north/northwest end of the park may be found here:
After four or five times in Rome, I must confess that I couldn't get time, yet, to visit the museum of Villa Borghese. But when I visited it with all the family and friends, after an exhaustive morning in the heat of August, we went to the park to rest a while.
The family took real profit of it, relaxing in the lawn, even refreshing the feet in water. I didn't stop for long, with such a beautiful park to see.
However, it was sufficiently reinvigorating, for an end of the day in the Roman Forum.
“Pauline is predestined to marry a Roman, for from head to foot she is every inch a Roman.”
— Napoleon, to his future brother-in-law, Camillo Prince Borghese about Paulina, Napoleon’s favorite sister
It is said the best museum in Rome is the city itself. As true as that is, the Galleria Borghese is a gem worth visiting. Its collections are housed in the magnificent 17th-century villa designed for and by Scipione Cardinal Borghese. Contained in 20 rooms, a visitor can see antiquities, Renaissance and Baroque art and early 19th Neo-Classical works. Visits to the Galleria, in the northeast corner of the sprawling Villa Borghese, are by timed reservation; this allows you the pleasure of seeing the collection without crowds.
Galleria Borghese is laid out in two sections: the ground floor displays sculptures, while on the first floor are paintings. The museum displays Bernini’s “The Rape Proserpino,” “Apollo and Daphne” and “David” as well as the Roman-era “Sleeping Hermaphrodite,” and Antonio Canova’s “Reclining Venus,” a portrait of the beautiful Maria Paola Bonapart Borghese (1780-1825).
Several important paintings are exhibited in the Borghese Gallery, among them are Titian’s “Sacred and Profane Love” and Raphael’s “Deposition from the Cross.” Caravaggio’s “Madonna of the Grooms,” “St. Jerome,” “St. John Baptist,” “David with Goliath’s Head,” “Young Man with a Fruit Basket” and “Little Bacchus” are riches in this collection.
Villa Borghese, a peaceful refuge from the hectic streets of Rome, features a lake, temples, fountains, statues and several museums. Located north of the Spanish Steps, the park has two main entrances, one at the Piazza del Popolo and the other at Porta Pinciana, where Via Veneto ends.
In the 16th century the land that is now Rome’s largest public park, began life as a vineyard. In 1605, Scipione Cardinal Borghese, a nephew of Pope Paul V, converted the vineyard into a park. Landscape architect Domenico Savino da Montepulciano designed a very formal park, with geometric flowerbeds and hedgerows, the first of its kind in Rome. A palazzo was built by architect Flaminio Ponzio, following a sketch made by the cardinal. The park was later designed along the English model, in a more natural way. At the end of the 18th century an artificial lake was created in the middle of the park. On the island in the lake, an small Ionic temple was built. It is dedicated to Aesculapius, the God of healing.
In 1903, the city of Rome bought Villa Borghese from the Borghese family and opened it to the public. The 148 acre park offered wide shady lanes, several temples, beautiful fountains and many statues. The World Exposition of 1911 was held in the Villa Borghese. Several of the national pavilions are still in use.
Sometimes called the ‘park of museums,’ the Villa Borghese is home to several museums. The most famous is Galleria Borghese, housed in the palazzo the cardinal designed. Its collection of sculptures by Antonio Canova and Gialorenzo Bernini and its collection of paintings include masters by Titian, Rubens and Raphael.
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, with its collection of 19th and early 20th century paintings by Italian artists, is located on the grounds of the 1911 World Exposition. Not far from here is the Museo Nazionale Etrusco, a collection of Etruscan objects excavated around Rome. The museum is housed in the Villa Giulia, a villa built in 1550-1555 as the summer residence of Pope Julius III.
Designed in the 17th century for Cardinal Borghese, the gardens of Villa Borghese became a public park around 1900. The park is planted with the typically Roman umbrella pines and makes a beautiful shady escape from the city's summer heat. Within the park, there are a zoo, museums and art galleries, in addition to a number of statues of famous characters. The park extends from Piazza del Popolo to Via Veneto and further out.
One of Rome's best known museums, la Galleria Borghese exhibits a portion of the important Borghese collection of art and sculptures, spanning centuries and many important artists. It is housed in Villa Borghese Pinciana, a sumptuous Italianate-style villa built in the early 17th century, by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who began the Borghese art collection. The surrounding Villa Borghese park was once the gardens of this very villa.
The Villa Borghese is a large green area just to the north of the hectic centre of Rome. It is a welcome relief after several days of sightseeing, especially when it is hot!
There are a few cafes dotted around the park or you can of course just bring your own food and drink and sit down and relax with a picnic by the lake.
The layout of the park is fairly formal and dotted with various sculptures. There is also a lake with a mock greek style temple (Temple of Aesculapius) on it which (for us at least) formed a sort of focal point of the park. The lake was also well populated with ducks (of course) and tortoises (more interesting).
There are a few sights in and around the park as well. the Villa Giulia is home to the etruscan museum and we found very interesting - see my review of this for more details. Far more famously is the Galleria Borghese which we did not visit but I understand you have to book in advance to go inside. Opposite the northern entrance to the park near Piazza Thorvaldsen is the Galleria Nazionale D'Arte Moderne. There is also a zoo within the green area of the park's boundaries.
These extensive gardens cover 148 acres on the Monte Pincio hill, and are easily accessible on foot from central Rome.
They were laid by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the 17th century, but the present layout dates from the 19th century.
In the park you can find shaded paths, with the beautiful pines of Rome, a lake, a zoo and several villas and museums: Galleria Borghese, Villa Medici, Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, Museo Carlo Bilotti, National Gallery of Modern Art. Some of these date back to the 17th century, and some have remained from the Rome world exposition in 1911.
There is no free entrance for seniors (without handicap) but a reduced price for European Union citizens older than 65 from what I read on the official website (in Italian as well as in English):
GENERAL INFORMATIONS (checked Sept 2011):
To book tickets in each museum of Polo Museale Romano: tel. 0039 06 32810
Guided tours booking: fax 0039 06 8555952; email firstname.lastname@example.org
To visit Galleria Borghese, the ticket reservation is needed
Tickets can be reserved on-line using the site www.ticketeria.it
Borghese Museum and Gallery
Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5, 00197 ROMA
Tel. 0039 06 8413979
Ticket reservation needed
Tel. 0039 06 32810
from Tuesday to Sunday: from 8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Closed the 1st of January, 25th of December.
Access up to half hour before the closing time
Ticket office close at 6.30 p.m.
Admission is strictly reduced at only 360 persons every 2 hours (mandatory exit at the end of time slot)
No exchange, refund or cancellation of tickets is allowed. Service charges are not refundable under any circumstance.
Starting from June 4th, all groups composed by more than 4 persons escorted by a guide must wear an audioreceiver/headphone.
The devices can be rented at this service only for the visit of Borghese Gallery at the cost of 1 Euro per person. The guide and the escort are free of charge. The use of external devices must not interphere with the internal devices.
(*) Full price € 8,50
(*) Reduced € 5,25
- European Union citizens between 18 and 25 years old
- European Union full-time public school teachers
(*) Free € 2,00
- European Union citizens younger than 18 years old
- European Union citizens older than 65 years old
- European Union students and teachers of Arts, History of Arts or Architecture courses
- European Union full-time public school teachers
- ICOM members
- European Union schools with teachers by reservation
- Journalists only by showing valid membership card
(*) Free € 0,00
- European Union citizens with handicap with accompanist
- European Union tourist guides
- European Union interpreters
(*) including mandatory service charge
When a special exhibition is held in the Museum, the price of the ticket may be increased.
The price difference must be paid at the ticket office.
Audioguides (you cannot reserve the Audioguides)
Avalaibles in italian, english, french, german and spanish
€ 5,00 + entrance ticket
Guided tours (you cannot reserve the guided tours for singles)
In english: 9.10 a.m. - 11.10 a.m.
In italian: 11.10 a.m. - 3.10 p.m. - 5.10 p.m.
€ 5,00 + entrance ticket
the villa borghese was originally built for cardinal scipione borghese in 1605. in the 19th century prince camillo borghese combined his huge art collection in the casino borghese. today the casino is home to the galleria and museo borghese. the four square mile gardens around the villa became a public park in 1901. walk through this beautiful park you will encounter sculptures, fountains, and replicas of ancient temples. the museo e galleria borghese has an excellent display of sculpture and italian paintings. probably the most famous work of the collection is canova's "pauline borghese". a very worth while museum to visit when in rome. closed mondays. advance booking required for saturday and sundays.
Villa borghese is a lovely part of Rome. It's NOT a small place so technically you could spend hours and hours here.
You could enter the whole complex either from Via Venetto (a beautiful street, by the way) or from Flaminio metro station (just start walking along via Washington). It's immense and provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy long walks through the endless gardens. I would suggest combining walks through the Villa Borghese gardens and a visit to the Galleria Nazionale D'Arte Moderna (museum of art from the 19th and 20 century, one of my absolute favorite spots in Rome).
A gem of a place for the art lover, took us until 2009 to finally visit.
You M U S T reserve tickets - there can be a 2 or 3 day lead time. You can do this online , weeks or months before you go, as we did. When we went on the day, there were some girls inquiring about pay at the door entry, whose hotelier had said to them to go along and try their luck. The ticket clerk had to turn them away, with a few choice words about the hotelier who had given such bad advice!
You can reserve from the links below or www.ticketeria.it
Be aware it is up and down a lot of stairs once in, do not recall an accessible elevator (one way or another).
Photography strictly prohibited (there is a locker system in operation such that you go in more or less hands free), but you can see from the official website that it is the expected trove of four(!) Berninis, Titian, Caravaggio, Rafaello etc. So only one picture with this tip!