One of Rome’s very best art galleries can be found on the grounds of the Villa Borghese park. It was originally the private art collection of a wealthy cardinal, but now is a public art gallery, and one of Rome’s greatest attractions. Within the gallery, you’ll find incredible masterpieces from famed artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini, Raphael and Titian. In today’s post, we’re telling you 5 facts about the Villa Borghese, as well as a little insight of our tour of the gallery and gardens.

Villa Borghese

5 Facts about Villa Borghese

  • It’s the third largest public park in Rome – covering over 80 hectares of land, the gardens of Villa Borghese cover a large portion of Pincian Hill as well as Campus Martius.
  • You can visit the museum for free – On the first Sunday of each month, admission to the Villa Borghese is free. Don’t forget to book your tickets though!
  • Crowds are limited to a certain number – To avoid the overcrowding that we all know and hate (We’re looking at you, Louvre and Vatican Museums), the Villa Borghese limits numbers to 360 per visit. This is why booking your ticket in advance is so important, so don’t let it slip your mind!
  • The museum is closed on Mondays – But not to worry! It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday, so there’s plenty of time to visit.
  • There are several buildings in Parc Borghese – Obviously, you have the Villa Borghese itself. But there’s also Casina di Raffaelo, a home believed to have belonged to Raphael himself, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, which is the National Gallery of Modern Art, and Bioparco di Roma, a cageless zoo located in the north-east area of the park.
The Rape of Proserpina by Bernini

About Our Villa Borghese Tour

While we’re chatting about the gallery, why not take a Villa Borghese tour? Proclaimed as Rome’s second most important art collection (first being the Vatican Museums, of course), it’s absolutely worth a visit when in the Eternal City. To get to the villa itself, you’ll travel through the beautiful Borghese gardens, surrounded by natural beauty and calculated landscaping at every turn. This 17th-century villa was built by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, hence the fitting name. As an art aficionado, Scipione commissioned a lot of the works now presented throughout the gallery, including those of Caravaggio and Bernini. You can choose how to experience the Villa Borghese, whether that’s with an expert guide, or exploring the gallery and gardens at your own pace.

Villa Borghese gardens

As you traverse the gallery, you’ll see a wide selection of masterpieces, including paintings, sculptures, and pieces of furniture from antiquity. Your accompanying expert guide will provide an insightful commentary on everything you see as you explore the gallery, providing both the history and intriguing facts about specific pieces, such as Raphael’s ‘The Deposition’ and Bernini’s ‘Apollo and Daphne’. You’ll also have the opportunity to take a leisurely walk through the Borghese gardens. Styled as per the traditional English design, you’ll witness a variety of stunning plants, flowers and trees throughout. Finishing at the Pincio Terrace, your tour will be perfected with the stunning views of Rome before you from the edge of the terrace.

If you’re going to Rome, be sure to check out our range of Rome tours!