Villa Borghese, Rome

4.5 out of 5 stars 76 Reviews

Via Aldrovandi, Via Raimondi (2 entries), Via Pinciana (2 entries), Piazzale Sao Paulo, Piazzale Flaminio Square Cervantes, Rome Italy +39 06 0608

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  • Bring a picnic
    Bring a picnic
    by goodfish
  • We had a few beers here
    We had a few beers here
    by goodfish
  • One of the park's numerous fountains
    One of the park's numerous fountains
    by Jefie
  • icunme's Profile Photo

    VILLA BORGHESE - A day in the park.........

    by icunme Updated May 23, 2006

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    Villa Borghese is overwhelming in its natural beauty, art treasures and cultural history and sheer size. According to the Herald Tribune: "Until 1902 Villa Borghese, with a circumference of 9 kilometers, was the Borghese family's private property until nationalized by the state in 1903 when it became a public park."
    The steady accumulation of property and influence of the Borghese family peaked in 1605. The nephew and heir of Pope Paul IV, Scipione, was made cardinal. Scipione's wealth enabled him to amass one of the greatest art collections ever assembled. Between 1606 and 1619, he built Villa Borghese to display his acquisitions - most notably Bernini and Caravaggio. Only Gallery Borghese boasts 6 Caravaggio canvasses.
    The marriage in 1803 of Camillo Borghese to Napoleon's sister, Pauline, was to have great significance. In 1807 Napoleon and Pauline cajoled and bribed Camillo into parting with well more than 500 pieces. It took 2 years to pack and ship them to Paris, where they became the cornerstone of the Louvre's classical collection. Happily for Rome, Napoleon seemed indifferent to Old Masters.
    Camillo called on Canova to execute what was to become the sculptor's single most celebrated piece, his portrait figure of Pauline Borghese, reclining semi-naked on a couch as "Venus Victorious." In fact, Camillo got to spend a great deal more time with this sculpture than he did with its subject in the flesh. Within months of their nuptials, Camillo and Pauline's relationship had ended. In the 1780s Marcantonio IV entrusted the Scottish landscape painter Jacob More with the task of transforming part of the park into an English garden, complete with lake and temple. While the local critics were rather sniffy about More's handiwork, it was an instant success with the Romans at large, and in due course provided the backdrop for hundreds of portraits by local and visiting artists.*
    SEE OUR TRAVELOGUE FOR MORE SECRETS OF VILLA BORGHESE.

    Gallery Borghese Tempio di Esculapio - Via del Lago Vasca Ovale (Oval Fountain) - Via Fiorello La Guar Spring has sprung in Villa Borghese April 2006 Goethe statue - close to Veneto entrance
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    Villa Borghese LAKE - Tempio di Esculapio

    by icunme Written Aug 17, 2009

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    Imagine a lovely ride in a row-boat on a peaceful lake in the center of Rome! This serene lake in Villa Borghese will take you into a living Monet painting - lush greenery, swans, small row boats seek out little hidden nooks around the lake and the center-piece Tempio di Esculapio. Villa Borghese is an oasis of peaceful serenity in the center of Rome - my favorite get-away. As you stroll through the gardens, paths and, especially the lake - there is a sense of simplicity and calm that will slow your pace.
    Photo 1 - Full View Lake
    Photo 2 - Swan & boat explore the Lake
    Photo 3 - Close-up Tempio di Esculpio
    Photo 4 - Hidden nook in the Lake
    Photo 5 - Rear walkway behind Tempio di Esculpio
    Don't miss the Casina del Lago - restored to house a new charming cafe - right close by the lake amidst the garden on the left. New VT restaurant tip just added.

    Full view of the Lake from front Boat & swan explore the lake Close-up Tempio Hidden nook in Lake Walkway behind Tempio on Lake
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    Goethe statue sets trend in Villa Borghese

    by icunme Updated Aug 19, 2006

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    In 1903 the German Emperor William II commissioned a statue to commemorate the Roman sojourn of Goethe and this was placed in Villa Borghese. Other governments followed and meet many world renowned poets: Puskin, in particular seems to enjoy the Roman sunshine and rightly so, as he was used to the never-ending Russian winter nights. The Persian Firdousi and the Egyptian Shawky were more accustomed to a bright light. Many other notables can be found in the busts that adorn Piazza Bucarest on the Villa Borghese's Pincio.

    Photo and reference text by Permission Roberto Piperno - granted for non-commercial purpose only. Visit Roberto's website: http://www.romeartlover.it/

    Goethe in Villa Borghese Goethe has his own little mound
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    villa borghese

    by doug48 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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
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    1908 - Bioparco di Roma

    by belgianchocolate Updated Jun 29, 2004

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    In 1908 'bioparco di roma' was founded.
    In 1911 it opened it's doors and it was
    a huge succes back then.
    You need to know that 'Carl Hagenbeck' standards
    were used. Now , that name probably doesn't
    ring a bell if your not into zoo's.
    He was an animal trader from Hamburg but
    he also created his own zoo.
    The unique thing about this was that he didn't
    used iron cages. He used rocks and water
    and other more visual attractive enclosures.
    You could also see the lions and the zebra's
    in one enclosure. Of course they were
    separated by a deep canal.

    But soon the Rome zoo came in decline.
    In 1933 the architect Raffaele De Vico began
    the work on the new area, which would
    include two major attractions: the big aviary
    and the reptile house.

    And the story repeats. Untill a few years
    ago Bioparco di Roma had an awfull
    reputation. New money was found and the
    zoo ones again starts a new life.

    When I was there the reptile house was
    getting redone. The crocodiles were waiting
    for a new exhibit. That without loosing the
    charm of the old reptile house.

    My favorite exhibits were the bear-enclosure ,
    and the chimpanzees enclosure.
    What was nice to see is how the old
    Hagenbeck-lion enclosure was transformed
    into a modern lion-enclosure.

    There is a futur for the bioparco di Rome.

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    VILLA BORGHESE

    by ruki Written Aug 16, 2005

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    This is the largest park in Rome with a perimeter of six kilometers and it is also the loveliest with a wealth of trees and charming paths. Entrance is from the overpass of the Viale del Obelisco or from the Porta Pinciana...There is the beautiful lake where you can rent the boat.
    I was very surprised when I saw the monument of Petar Petrovic Njegos in the park.

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  • Sandi-2004's Profile Photo

    The Art and The Park --Villa Borghese

    by Sandi-2004 Updated Sep 16, 2004

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    Villa Borghese is 3 1/2 miles in circumference. It was created by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the 1600s. Umberto I, king of Italy, acquired it in 1902 & presented it to the city of Rome. It's filled with huge trees, grassy lawns, sidewalks, ponds. People enjoy bike rides, boating & family picnics.

    Inside the park are museums & galleries. The most impressive is the Galleria Borghese, with mosaics, sculptures by Canova and Bernini and works by Rubens and Titian as well as numerous Caravaggios.

    The photo shows The Rape of Proserpine - By Bernini in 1622. The God of the underworld, Pluto, carries Proserpine away to be his bride. In this sculpture Bernini places in contrast the taut musculature of Pluto with the soft yielding flesh of Proserpine.

    Click to enlarge
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  • Henrik_rrb's Profile Photo

    For art-lovers and torturers...

    by Henrik_rrb Written Dec 27, 2004

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    Villa Borghese is problaby the most famous park in Rome. It’s quite close to the Piazza Spagna (the Spanish steps). It’s a huge green park, perfect for picnics it’s said, and where you also can visit the famous Gallery Borghese, an art-museum created by the cardinal Scipione Borghese, a nephew to the Pope Paul V.
    There you can see statues and paintings of all different kinds, from artists like Raphael, Caravaggio and Gianlorenzo Bernini.

    I’ve been there once, and although the pers… eh… girl.. I went there made it all totally worth it I can’t see myself going there again. But then I’m not the big art-lover neither…
    It was the day after a huge party, and let’s only say that I wasn’t tip top the day after… After some discussion of what to do, I said “why don’t we just take a walk around Rome”. She agreed – and took me to Villa Borghese, on the other side of town…

    Now, I’m been reading at other VT-pages that you’ll have to do a reservation up to some weeks before, for being allowed to enter the Galleria Borghese. Obviously this wasn’t the case this day, as they let us in without problem, although we had to wait for 1 ½ hour… A time that I spent by ordering a sandwich with, which I discovered later, spinach. Not my favourite… So, there I was, with a very bad hangover, an old spinach sandwich, and a guard who told us “welcome in”…

    Argh…

    After two hours or torture (well, not really, but if it hadn’t been for this girl I’d never even thought about looking at that cra… eh…art!) I was finally let out, and could ran away for the closest pizzeria, which was just about 20 kilometers away… Have never been so close to death…

    But, to be honest, there were of course things that even I liked. The roof paintings were really interesting, as some of the other paintings.
    That I liked the paintings in the roof had by the way nothing to do with the fact that I could lie down when I was looking at them…

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  • STEFZAMM's Profile Photo

    VILLA BORGHESE

    by STEFZAMM Updated Mar 24, 2005

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    Villa Borghese goes way back to the 1580s when it was owned by the Family Borghese themselves. In the beginning of the 1600, Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese decided to start buying the surrounding land in order to form this 'territory'
    Basically this is a massive garden which holds a large Villa boasting of the World's most renowed pieces of art.
    This massive paradise is divided into the following: Valle dei Platani, Giardino Piazzale Scipione Borghese, Giardini Segreti, Giardino del Lago and Parco dei Daini.
    These gardens boast of tall trees and flowers, a calm serenity, birds and the sound of water coming from five wonderful fountains: Fontane Oscure, Mostra dell' Acqua Felice, Fontana dei Cavalli Marini and Fontana del Fiocco. Nonetheless the Fontana dei Cavalli Marini being my favourite and most appealing of all.
    These gardens are huge, one could easily take up a whole morning to walk around this garden. I advise visitors to wait by the entrance for a couple of minutes until the touring bus passes buy. It costs only 1Eur and it will take you all around the garden and finally to the Villa Itself, now Galleria Borghese.

    See my Galleria Borghese tips.

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  • Dutch1980's Profile Photo

    Apollo and Daphne...

    by Dutch1980 Updated Oct 2, 2004

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    A must see is Villa Borghese it's a beautifull park were you find the Museao e Galleria Borghese, a collection of important paintings and sculptures gathered by the Borghese family.

    I saw a beautifull sculpture ther " Apollo and Daphne" by Gian Lorenzo BERNINI, I really fell in love by this marble sculpture.
    Read the story http://www.online-mythology.com/apollo_daphne/

    In Villa Borghese you also will find a replica of the Sculpture "David" ( fighting Goliath ) also by Bernini. The original David stands in Florence.

    I f you want to visit Villa Borghese call well in advance because it's only possible to visit with a reservation.

    apollo and daphne
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  • WheninRome's Profile Photo

    Borghese Museum and Park

    by WheninRome Updated Jan 27, 2009

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    I highly recommend the Borghese Museum and surrounding park, although we had very little time to explore the park due to the onset of night. We were able to walk here from our hotel and did so late in the afternoon of our arrival in Rome. It was nice way to begin our week.

    We purchased our Roma Passes here. Rick Steves recommends making reservations up to a week in advance; however, we arrived about an hour early and had no trouble buying tickets. That might not be wise in the summer though. Even with tickets, you must arrive at least a half hour in advance.

    The beautiful sculptures and paintings were almost too much to behold all at once. Overwhelming to the senses, but a good primer for the week that lay ahead (i.e. Vatican Museum, Colosseum, etc...).

    A fellow VT'r also recommended going to the Etruscan Museum, which is very close to the Borghese Museum, but unfortunately we ran out of time that day and did not get back to this area.

    Borghese Gallery Borghese Park Borghese Gallery at Night Statue at Borghese Gardens

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  • AlexDJ's Profile Photo

    Villa Borghese, the central park

    by AlexDJ Written Jan 9, 2006

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    The Villa Borghese is the largest public park in Rome. The park is located north of the Spanish Steps. Main entrances are at the Piazza del Popolo and the Porta Pinciana at the end of the Via Veneto. The park is a pleasant refuge from the hectic streets in Rome.
    Walking through the park you may reach the terrace of Pincio, where you have a beautiful view of the town.
    The park also houses the Borghese Museum and Gallery, with some important sculptures of Canova and Bernini and a collection of paintings from several masters including Titian, Rubens and Raphael.
    Again, Villa Borghese contains the Modern Art National Museum.
    What can I say? Relax and Culture!

    The entrance from Piazzale Flaminio

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  • Henrik_rrb's Profile Photo

    More about Villa Borghese...

    by Henrik_rrb Updated Dec 27, 2004

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    But, to be honest, there were of course things that even I liked. The roof paintings were really interesting, as some of the other paintings.
    That I liked the paintings in the roof had by the way nothing to do with the fact that I could lie down when I was looking at them…

    The park itself, which we of course never looked much at, is 6 sq kilometers big, and there is also a famous zoo, which we, by the way, didn’t visit either…

    As I wrote above, it might be a good idea to make a reservation in advance. Just call “+39 06 32 810, or via www.galleriaborghese.it
    It costs a lot to enter, even more if you want a guided tour, or just a “telephone” which will tell you what you’re looking at. 8,50 costs the normal entrance, then another 2 just for the presale. Count up 5 euro more for a guided tour, or the “phone”.

    Could I have three beers instead…?

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  • chiara76's Profile Photo

    Villa Borghese

    by chiara76 Written Nov 7, 2004

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    There is the great art gallery in the Villa Borghese. You can see there a lot of great paintings and especially wonderful sculptures of Bernini! You just have to see it!
    My advice, you have to reserve the tickets more earlier than you want to go there , the best by the phone.
    There is also nice park around the art gallery so you can go there for a walk.

    The park near the art gallery.
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  • Jmill42's Profile Photo

    Villa Borghese

    by Jmill42 Updated Feb 9, 2006

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    Villa Borghese is Rome's version of NYC's Central Park. It is an extremely large park that has numerous places to picnic, stroll, read, or whatever activity you chose. My favorite path is starting in Piazza del Popolo, up to Pincio, down Viale di Oblisk, across the highway on Viale Magnolie and on to Viale di Lago to the beautiful lake there. A wonderful way to enjoy this part of Rome.

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