Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Galleria Borghese

where: Piazza Scipione Borghese, Parco della Villa Borghese
getting there: metro - Linea A Flaminio or Spagna
open: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00-19:00, closed Mondays, New Years Day and Christmas Day
visits to the Galleria Borghese are by reservation only — online or telephone +39 06 32810 to make a booking for the two hour admission
cost: €18 + €2 booking fee
website: Borghese Gallery website

On my trips to Rome I always include a visit to the Borghese Art Gallery in the immense Borghese Park in the hill above Piazza del Popolo. 
In  1903 the villa and gardens were bought by the city of Rome from the Borghese family and opened to the public. The gardens are the second largest in Rome and here you will find shady spots, picnic areas, cafes, lakes, temples and cool fountains away from the centre of Rome.

In 1605 the Borghese family had come into power with the elevation of Cardinal Camillo Borghese to Pope Paul V, and family members received wealth and benefits with his election to the papal throne.
In 1607 favourite nephew and secretary to the pope, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, designed and commissioned the building of a villa to house his large collection of art and sculptures. 
Part of his collection was 107 paintings confiscated from Giuseppe Cesari for non payment of a tax bill. 
The Cardinal was such a ruthless collector that in 1608 he had Raphael's Deposition removed from the church of San Francesco in Perugia and taken to Rome for his gallery and Domenichino imprisoned when he refused to deliver to the Cardinal a painting of Diana commissioned by another cardinal.

Today Galleria Borghese holds an amazing sculpture and art collection which includes Gianlorenzo Bernini's statues of David (1623-1624),  Apollo and Daphne (1622-1625), Pluto and Proserpina (1621-1622), Aeneas and Anchises (1618-1620) and Truth (1645-1652).
Caravaggio's Madonna of the Palafrenieri, Saint Jerome, il Bacchino Malato, Boy with a Basket of fruit, David with the Head of Goliath and Saint John the Baptist.
Raphael's The Deposition, Lady with the Unicorn, Portrait of a Man.
Titian's Sacred and Profane Love, Venus Blindfolding Cupid, The Scourging of Christ.

Artists in Galleria Borghese
Paul Brill
Lavinia Fontana

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Helpful Hints

Getting Around

I found walking Rome was the best way to see everything.

The metro, trams and buses are also an easy and cheap option.

Buses and the metro can get crowded. Tickets must be bought before boarding and validated.

Beware of pickpockets.

Buses 40 (express) and 64 start at Termini and end near Saint Peter's, traveling past places of interest, returning the same way.

Some stops along the 64 route are:


Piazza Venezia

Via Nazionale

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Bus 75 takes you past the Colosseum to Trastevere

Bus 910 takes you to Villa Borghese

Ticket Options

€1.50 B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro, unlimited tram or bus rides within 100 minutes.

€7.00 B.I.G ( Biglietto Integrato a Giornaliero) is a daily ticket valid for unlimited metro, tram, bus and train travel within Rome.

Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

Newsstands, train stations, metro stations, kiosks with the ATAC logo and tabacchi shops sell tickets for the metro, trams and buses.

Large fines apply to travelers not holding or validating their ticket. Tickets once validated start from the time they have been stamped.

These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.

other sites I trust for information on Rome are:
Rome Art Lover
Churches of Rome wiki