Villa Borghese Rome


Villa Borghese – musement.com

Yesterday I walked Villa Borghese, one of Rome’s largest urban parks with gardens, museums, galleries, and more. The popular park is north of central Rome in the upscale Spagna district near the Aurelian Wall. Nearby attractions include Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, and Piazza di Spagna.

Galleria Borghese
Spagna Metro Station

Traffic in Rome is horrific. I took the subway to Spagna metro station (Line A). The 20-minute walk from the subway to Villa Borghese Park was confusing since several subway exits were marked “Villa Borghese”. Google Maps helped me sort it out. The metro circles Central Rome, but after arriving at a subway station getting to your point of interest always involves walking or connecting with a bus or taxi.

Pietro Canonica Sculptor

I met an Italian family who tried the same subway exists I did. We laughed after running into each other several times retracing our steps. Together we figured out that Via Veneto exit was our best way to Villa Borghese’s main entrance. I’ve learned that asking for directions in Rome isn’t wise. A fully-charged phone and a mapping app are indispensable.

Venere Vincitrice (Venus Victrix) – Antonio Canova
Remembrance (Recollections), 1916 Pietro Canonica – rocaille.it
Villa Borghese – walksinsiderome.com
Villa Borghese

Rome’s subway is massive and deep! At some stations, it takes ten to fifteen minutes just to get from the street entrance down to the trains. Yesterday, there were machine-gun-carrying guards – many with dogs – positioned throughout the subway. It’s probably connected to the most recent terror attack in the UK putting major European cities on alert. I didn’t notice this level of security on previous visits to Rome.

Villa Borghese

On the way to Villa Borghese, I passed beautiful galleries, cafés, and palazzo-style buildings in the upscale Spagna neighborhood. One gallery, THESIGN, was featuring a Frida Kahlo exhibit, so I stopped for a few minutes. Every day I notice more interesting galleries and street art.

Spagna Building
Walkway with Ornamental Laurel Trees Villa Borghese – Flickr
Park Complex

Villa Borghese is named after its first resident, Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese, who was Pope Paul V’s favorite nephew and known as the “most knowledgeable and ruthless art collector of his day”. Abundant laurel, myrtle, oleander, cypress, and plane (sycamore) trees grace the grounds. The park complex features seventeenth-century buildings and neo classical nineteenth century architecture, like the Water Clock and Lake Garden.

Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese
Spagna Building

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Villa Borghese is named after its first resident, Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese, who was Pope Paul V’s favorite nephew and known as the “most knowledgeable and ruthless art collector of his day”.

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Villa Borghese Plane Trees
Art Masterpieces

Galleria Borghese exhibits art masterpieces from the sixteenth to eighteenth century, by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini, and Canova. I assumed the museum would be open, but didn’t realize a reservation was necessary. To my surprise and disappointment, it was sold out through June 6.

Dragons Villa Borghese
Water Clock Villa Borghese
Princess Irina Jussupov Romanov – Pietro Canonica

Villa Borghese complex is home to:

Subway
Subway Art Spagna Metro Station

After unification in the twentieth century, the State acquired the complex. In 1903, the beautiful park was given to the City of Rome and opened to the public.

The Ascension 1924 Pietro Canonica Villa Borghese – rocaille.it
Museo Pietro Canonica a Villa Borghese, Rome