Villa Borghese in Rome
Villa Borghese is a splendid park in Rome, built in the English style. Its size is impressive: it occupies almost the entire hill of Pincio. It is the third largest park in Rome, the first place belongs to Villa Doria Pamphilj, the second to Villa Ada.
Photo: Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock.com
There is much to do in the park: visit galleries and museums, walk the most beautiful paths among elegant statues, enjoy the fountains and ancient temples, go for a ride in a boat, climb the observation deck… And that’s not all!
Ticket prices and opening hours are as of 2022: check official websites.
History of Villa Borghese
The beginning of the park dates back to the 17th century. It was the order of Cardinal Scipione Borghesius, nephew of Pope Paul V, who arranged the park in place of the former vineyards. Gradually it was decorated with statues in the antique style.
The villa was designed by the famous architects Giovanni Vazanzo and Flaminio Ponzio.
One of the most famous sculptures in the park at that time was the “Borges Wrestler”, later purchased by Napoleon in 1807.
In the 19th century, English features appeared in the design of the park. The restoration of the landscape was carried out by Elena Borghese, who was one of the owners of the park, – the granddaughter of the Russian dignitary Konstantin Alexander von Benckendorff.
The park became the property of the state in 1903. As a result of extensive works on the vast territory new bushes and trees were planted, amusements and playgrounds for children appeared, and the Borghese Museum became accessible to all comers.
What to see
The park covers an area of about 80 hectares. To go around it, not even a day is enough: so it is better to focus on the main sights. The most important is Villa Borghese, after which the park is named.
The famous Galleria Borghese, built in the 17th century, contains paintings that belonged to the Borghese family. The decoration of the palace delights with its beauty.
In the halls of the second floor you can admire the works of Antonio Canova, Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, Raffaello Santi, Michelangelo Caravaggio, Tiziano Vecellio, Pieter Paul Rubens, Paolo Veronese and many other painters.
In addition, the gallery keeps the ancient Roman mosaics, created in the 1-3 centuries.
On the first floor there are sculptures, the centerpiece of which are magnificent creations by Bernini. Among the most famous are Apollo and Daphne, a statue of David, and the Abduction of Proserpine.
The real treasure of the gallery is the sculpture of Paolina Bonaparte in the image of Venus, made by Antonio Canova.
How to get there
Galleria Borghese is located at Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5.
If you take the Metro, take line A, get off at Spagna station.
How to get there by bus:
- Nos. 92, 910 from Termini metro station to the Pinciana/Museo Borghese stop;
- Nos. 89, 490, 495, 61, 160 from Flamino Metro station to the S. Paolo del Brasile stop;
- Nos. 63, 83, 61, 160, 52, 53 from Barberini metro station;
- Nos. 490, 495 of Tiburtina subway station.
The gallery can be visited Tuesday through Sunday from 9.00 to 19.00 (the doors close at 17.00). Not open on Mondays, December 25 and January 1.
A maximum of 360 people can pass at one time according to the following schedule: from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The price of a ticket to the Galleria Borghese is about 20 euros.
Tickets to the Galleria Borghese must be booked in advance on the official website www.galleriaborghese.beniculturali.it. There is a fee of 2 Euros for advance reservations.
Ticket prices and opening hours may vary – check the official website for information. For example, entrance fees may increase during temporary exhibitions.
National Gallery of Modern Art
Stroll through the halls of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna y Contemporanea and discover the evolution of painting from the 19th to the 20th centuries.
The gallery features works by such prominent artists as:
- Claude Monet (Oscar-Claude Monet),
- Vincent van Gogh,
- François-Auguste-René Rodin,
- Edgar Degas,
- Paul Cézanne,
- Wassily Kandinsky and others.
Total in the museum exhibited about 5,000 paintings. To see them all you have to walk around the 75 halls.
How to get there
The National Gallery of Modern Art is located at Viale delle Belle Arti, 131.
- Take the Metrobus line A to the Flaminio station;
- By streetcar № 3 and 19;
- by shuttle buses nos. 61, 89, 160, 490 and 495 to Piazzale del Fiocco.
- Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m;
- On Mondays the gallery is closed.
A ticket costs 10 euros (full) and a discount of 5 euros.
For more information, visit the official website lagallerianazionale.com/.
National Museum of Villa Giulia
The Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (National Museum of Villa Giulia) is located in a building that served as the suburban residence of the popes in the 16th century. It is worth a visit to admire the largest collection of Etruscan art.
The villa takes its name from Pope Julius III, for whom it was originally built. The architect was Bartolomeo Ammannati, a famous representative of Mannerism.
The building that now houses the museum is only a part of the former residence.
The museum, with its collection of Etruscan art from Umbria, Lazio and Etruria, appeared here in 1889. In its halls you can see sarcophagi, jewelry, ancient figurines, household items, ancient bas-reliefs.
In addition, there are reconstructions of models of Etruscan cities – Vei, Todi, Vulci, Cerveteri.
How to get there
The National Museum of Villa Giulia is located at Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9.
- By streetcar № 2 and 19;
- Take the Metrobus to the Flaminio station, line A.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm. The last entrance is at 18.30. On Mondays the museum is closed, as well as on December 25 and January 1.
Be aware that some rooms may be closed or run on a different schedule. See the official website for exact information.
A visit to the Museum Villa Giulia costs 10 euros.
Check the official website for information at www.museoetru.it.
Temples in the park
Walking through the alleys of the park, you will see a large number of ancient temples, including Diana, Antoninus and Faustina, Aesculapius and many others.
Around the temples there are many fountains, interesting from an architectural point of view:
- Winged Victoria,
- the fountain of the turtles,
- the fountain of Venus,
- sea horses,
- The Mask.
Other attractions in the park
In the park of Villa Borghese there is also the house-museum of Pietro Canonica, the Italian composer, sculptor and painter. Nearby is the Globe Theatre, where audiences have the opportunity to admire plays based on Shakespeare’s plays.
The Museo Carlo Bilotti has a collection of modern art paintings, as well as Giorgio de Chirico and temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists and sculptors.
The halls of the Villa Medici house the French Academy of Arts.
Photo: Denis Babenko / Shutterstock.com
Since the park is one of the largest in Rome, take a considerable amount of time to stroll through it. There is much to admire here, and it’s not just the works of art that abound in the park.
Photo: Stefano Pellicciari / Shutterstock.com
You can even find monuments to Alexander Pushkin and Nikolai Gogol! In addition, there are monuments to Hugo, Goethe, Byron and many other famous geniuses in the park.
Photo: Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock.com
In the park, you can ride horses or rides and watch amazing animals in the scenic biopark.
Photo: Catarina Belova / Shutterstock.com
A great idea is to go around the park on a bicycle or sigwei. Another option is to ride through the alleys on a small steam train.
Another favorite activity for tourists is to take a boat ride on a beautiful lake with swans swimming in it. By the way, in the middle of the lake is a small island with a temple, decorated with a special water clock.
Be sure to climb to the observation deck: it offers a stunning view of all of Rome! To do that, you have to walk a few meters from the gallery without making a U-turn.
How to reach Villa Borghese
Take the Spanish Steps to enter the park; you have to go all the way to the top. The best way to reach the stairs is along Boulevard Trinità dei Monti. Another exit to the park is from Piazza del Popolo. It is located north of the central part of the city.
The cost of a ticket to the park
You can walk in the park for free.
Excursions in Rome
If you want something more interesting than the traditional walk around the city on the map, then try an unconventional format of sightseeing. Nowadays, unique excursions from locals are becoming more and more popular! After all, who better than a local knows the history and the most interesting places in Rome?
You can see all the tours and choose the most intriguing one on Tripster.
Villa Borghese in Rome
The park is open 24 hours a day. The Borghese Gallery Museum is open rues-within-weekdays 09:00-19:00, the last entrance is at 17:00. Other attractions each have their own mode of operation.
Entrance to the park is free. Ticket to the gallery 13 euros, reduced 2 euros, +2 euro reservation. Entrance to other museums is paid separately.
In the heart of the beautiful city of Rome is a beautiful green park, named after the ancient villa that is the centerpiece of the attraction, Villa Borghese. The park itself is the largest green space in the city, and one day is not enough to enjoy a walk here, combined with a tour of the Borghese collection. Villa Borghese is a favorite hiking spot for locals and tourists alike.
The Borghese Park was founded in the XVII century by the famous Roman cardinal Sipione Borghese, who is a nephew of Pope Paul V. Borghese, according to historians, was a man with quite good artistic taste, and among other things was also interested in objects of art. Throughout his life, he worked in every way to enrich his beautiful collection of sculptures and paintings, and when their number exceeded the size of his apartment, Borghese decided to build a separate building, where he could store all the valuables. He himself called the project “a place of joy and pleasure.” For the design and construction of the Villa Borghese were hired famous architects of the time: Pietro Bernini, Ponzio and Vasanzio.
The park and villa fulfilled their function and did not change for decades, until in the XIX century, a descendant of Scipione – Elena Borghese – decided to renovate the park and bring its appearance closer to the English style. After that, after another hundred years, at the beginning of the XX century, there were no surviving direct heirs of Cardinal Borghese, and the park and the villa became the property of the city of Rome. At this time the landmark began to be actively developed, under the direction of the architect Luigi Canin planted many new trees and shrubs, put playgrounds and attractions, and the museum-collection of Borghese was opened to all comers.
Besides the Villa Borghese building itself, the complex of attractions here also includes the park itself, which has an area of about 80 hectares, and is sometimes called the “park of museums” because of the large number of galleries there. It is one of Rome’s largest parks in terms of size. A beautiful garden with antique statues and sculptures has been laid out where vineyards used to bloom. The design of the largest Borghese Park is in the English tradition. In the park you can see many beautiful sculptures and several fountains in the antique style. There is also a zoo and amusement park. Sometimes at the Villa Borghese organize real races, but also a simple horse walk pleases many tourists, especially children. You can rent a segway or a bike in the park, or take a boat trip around the local lake to take a closer look at the temple with the water clock, the likes of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
On the grounds of the villa itself is also the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Borghese Museum. The gallery houses a huge collection of art and paintings that have been carefully collected over the years by the Borghese family. The villa itself was built by Cardinal Borghese in the 17th century and rebuilt in the late 19th century by his descendant, Marcantorio Borghese. The architecture of the villa is in the style of classicism. At the entrance, on the lowest floor of the gallery there are sculptures: robots by Bernini, statues by Algardi and Valadier. On the second floor is an exhibition of paintings by famous artists such as Titian, Rubens, Caravaggio and many others.
Another building that is part of the Villa Borghese complex is Villa Giulia. In this museum you can see the largest exhibition of Etruscan art in the world. The exhibition was opened at the end of the XIX century.
Nearby is the house museum of Pietro Canonica, a unique artist and sculptor, as well as the Italian composer. Nearby is the Globe Theater, made in the shape of a ring of oak wood, which shows productions of Shakespeare. The French Academy of Arts is in Villa Medici, and another contemporary art gallery is in the building of the museum of Carlo Bilotti, an Italian collector of American origin. The Villa Borghese also houses the Cinema dei Piccoli, a 63-seat cinema, and a zoological museum with 5 million exhibits.
The complex of attractions here also includes many ancient temples: the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the Temple of Diana, the Temple of Aesculapius, the Obelisk of Antonius. The temples are surrounded by many fountains, such as: the fountain of the sea horses, the fountain of the turtles, the fountain of Moses, the fountain of Venus, the fountain of the Mask and the fountain of Winged Victoria. By the name of the temples and fountains is not difficult to guess what is their main and central decoration.
Visitors to the Villa Borghese, who want to look at beautiful Rome in all its glory, can leave the building of the gallery and without turning anywhere to go straight a few meters. Here is an observation deck, which, especially if you get here in the evening during sunset, offers an amazing view of the city, blooming with bright colors.
For tourists from Russia, the park and Villa Borghese, in addition to other beautiful sculptures, also have monuments to Pushkin and Gogol. For everyone else, the monuments to Goethe, Hugo, Byron and many other prominent personalities will also be of interest.
Opening hours and entrance fees for Villa Borghese in 2022
The museum at Villa Borghese can only be accessed during certain hours and for no more than 360 people at a time. Cameras and cameras are not allowed in the building, so at the entrance visitors are asked to leave all belongings in a special locker. The villa itself is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but the last visitor will be able to enter at 5 p.m. sharp, as the museum is open for two hours. Only on Thursday, the Villa Borghese is open until 9 pm. The building is closed on holidays, December 25 and January 1.
You can buy a ticket to enter the Villa Borghese on the lower basement floor of the building (the ticket office is located next to the bookstore), as well as online.
The cost of the ticket depends on the various exhibitions in the gallery building, as well as on the privileges available to visitors. For any category of citizens, pre-booking a ticket will cost 2 euros plus the cost of admission itself. A regular ticket to the Villa Borghese costs 13 euros, a guided tour for a group of up to 10 people is 200 euros. A discount ticket (for citizens of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland from 18 to 25 years) costs 2 euros.
Free admission to the gallery is available to disabled people from the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, tourist guides of the European Union only at the time of their professional activity (confirmation document required). The same, but with a guide will cost these categories of tourists 6.5 euros. For a group visit to Villa Borghese, the headset rental will be 1.5 euros per person. A personal guide will cost 150-200 euros, depending on the language in which the tour will be conducted. Entrance fee for school groups is 60 euros.
On the first Sunday of each month admission to the Villa Borghese is free (you pay only the reservation fee of 2 euros). The cost of admission may be increased by temporary exhibitions. Purchased tickets cannot be refunded or replaced.
How to reach Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese and the gallery and park of the same name are located in close proximity to the center of Rome on Pincio Hill. The entrance to the grounds is from the west side either through Piazza del Popolo or by walking just below along the famous Spanish Steps. The site can be reached on foot from the center of Rome along Boulevard Trinità dei Monti.
Villa Borghese is also easily accessible by public transportation. If you take the subway, take the orange line, A, and get off at Flaminio station. Buses and streetcars also stop near the entrance of the park; the nearest stop of bus routes 52, 53, 63, 83, 92, 223, 360, and 910 is Pinciana/Museo Borghese, while streetcars numbered 2, 3, and 19 stop at a place called Bioparco.
You can also use cab services in Rome: Taxi Tevere Roma, Compagnia Taxi, Cooperativa Pronto Taxi and many others. The driver needs to name the final destination Via Pinciana or Via Vittorio Veneto.