Villa Borghese is the most famous park in Rome. It is a beautiful and large green area with many sights and also very popular among tourists. The Borghese Gallery is one of the most important art museums in Italy.
The large park with the unusual name “Villa Borghese” is located right in the center of Rome on a hill. A central square of the city Piazza del Popolo, for example, is only a few metres from the park entrance. Some bus lines also run through the 80 hectare city park. Villa Borghese can also be easily reached by underground. You can use the Line A underground station “Spagna” (see: Spanish Steps Rome)
The Borghese Gallery
Around the year 1600 the very rich Borghese family bought a huge plot of land in Rome and laid out a park landscape. Several buildings were also erected, the largest being the “Casino nobile”, which has housed an art collection since the 17th century. It was one of the largest private art collections in the world. In 1901 the Italian state bought the villa with the art museum.
Today the Galleria Borghese Museum is open to the public and is one of the most important museums of art in Rome and throughout Italy. About half a million people visit the Galleria Borghese every year. This high number causes problems. Not so many people fit into the exhibition rooms.
Therefore you can only visit the Borghese Museum with a reservation in advance. The number of visitors is limited, often the exhibition is sold out for a longer period (days or even weeks). On this page you can find the tickets for the art gallery on the internet.
The Museum Galerie Borghese is one of the largest art museums in the world. Every visitor of Rome who is interested in art should definitely visit the collection in the park Villa Borghese in the centre of Rome. You will see works by such world famous artists as Raffaelo, Rubens, Tiziano, Cranach, Giorigione, Corregio and Bernini – to name but a few. Absolutely worth seeing. Tickets in advance only!
Our tip: Great guided tours through the Gallery Borghese
As is often the case in art museums, the pictures only become really interesting when an expert or guide explains the works of art. Therefore, it makes sense from our point of view to book a good guided tour through Galleria Borghese. There is a very good offer for an extended tour with excellent guides in English (duration about 3 hours). Admission tickets for the corresponding date are of course included.
=====>>>>> More info, booking and prices
Some important pictures in the Galleria Borghese:
Raphael: Lady with the Unicorn (Ritratto di dama con liocorno, Young Woman with Unicorn)
Raphael: Tomb of Christ (Deposizione Borghese, The Deposition)
Raphael: Portrait of a Man (Ritratto virile, Portrait of a Man)
Rubens: The Deposition (Deposizione nel sepolcro, The Deposition)
Bernini: David (name in Italian and English is dental)
Bernini: Apollo and Daphne (Apollo e Dafne, Apollo and Daphne)
Angelo Bronzino: John the Baptist
The Zoo of Rome
Also the zoo of Rome “Bioparco di Roma” is located in the park Villa Borghese. The zoo is over 100 years old and was designed by Carl Hagenbeck, the founder of the famous zoo of Hamburg. Today more than 200 animal species live in the Biopark Rome. Unfortunately, the area of the zoo is somewhat small. Some critics think that some larger animal species do not have enough space. But the Zoo of Rome made a good impression on us.
>>> Due to the large number of visitors, more and more tourists are buying tickets for the Rome Zoo online. The tickets are available on this link
The entrance to the zoo is, like much of the Park Villa Borghese, architecturally worth seeing.
Opening hours Rome Zoo 2023: The zoo is open in winter from 9:30 to 17:00, in summer from 9:30 to 18:00. As far as we know there is no closed day.
Entrance fees Zoo Rome 2023: Adults pay 17 Euro, children, pensioners etc. About 13 Euro. Children under 1 metre hight do not pay admission.
Officially known as the Bioparco di Roma, the Rome Zoo is located in the centre of the Italian capital Rome. It was founded in 1911, making it one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Over the years, the zoo has been redesigned and expanded several times and is now a modern, well-maintained facility with a great variety of animals from all over the world.
One of the most impressive features of Rome Zoo is its beautifully landscaped grounds. The zoo covers 35 hectares and is surrounded by lush gardens and trees, creating a peaceful and natural environment for animals and visitors. The zoo is also known for its well-designed enclosures, which provide enough space for the animals to move around and display their natural behaviour.
Rome Zoo houses a wide variety of animals, including exotic species from Africa, Asia, South America and other parts of the world. The zoo’s most popular exhibits include the African Savannah, where visitors can see lions, giraffes and other African wildlife, as well as a variety of primates, including orangutans, gorillas, monkey islands and more. The zoo also has an aquarium and a terrarium, each displaying a variety of marine and reptile species.
As well as offering visitors the chance to see and learn about different animals, Rome Zoo is committed to promoting environmental education and conservation. The zoo offers a variety of educational programmes and events, including guided tours, workshops and interactive exhibits to educate visitors about the importance of conservation and the species that live there.
Rome Zoo is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Whether you’re a nature or animal lover, or simply looking for an entertaining and educational day out, Rome Zoo is definitely worth a visit. The beautiful setting, diverse collection of animals and commitment to environmental education make it one of Rome’s top attractions and a must-see for any visitor to Rome.
>>> Due to the large crowds, more and more tourists are buying tickets for the Rome Zoo online. The tickets are available on this link
Other museums in the Villa Borghese City Park
National Gallery of Modern Italian Art (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Modern): A top museum, large, over 70 rooms and about 5000 (!) works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries. After the gallery Borghese the second big museum in the city park Villa Borghese. Opening hours: 8:30 to 19:30 (except Monday). Admission 10 Euro for adults. With discount the entrance fee to the National-Gallery in Rome for Modern Art is 5 Euro.
Museum Pietro Canonica: Worthwhile because there is no entrance fee. Pietro Canonica was a famous sculptor (1869 to 1859). He lived in the house in the middle of the park where his museum is today. Quite large exhibition.
Museo Civico di Zoologia: Museum of the Zoo, outside the zoo, 7 Euro entrance fee, closed on Mondays
You should definitely take a long walk in the green area of Villa Borghese. You can watch the Romans playing football or having a picnic. At a small lake (see picture) you can rent boats. On a peninsula in the lake is a small temple called “Tempio di Esculapio”.
Those who come via the subway station Fiaminio via the Piazza del Popolo to the park Villa Borghese (our recommendation) should definitely look back after the stairs up to the park. You have a great view to the square and parts of Rome. There is a viewing platform called Terrazza del Pincio.
There is also a famous cinema (Casa del Cinema) in the city park of the capital of Italy. Mostly very good films, the house is also worth a visit because of the architecture.
Several restaurants, cafes and snack carts (see picture below) serve food and drinks..
For people with little time we recommend a walk through the park and a visit to the art museum Galleria Borghese, tickets you have to buy in advance. If you have more time, you can also go to the zoo and visit the other museums, all of which were previously the National Gallery of Modern Art of Italy.
Directions Villa Borghese
Unfortunately, there are several bigger streets through the park, which disturb the idyll very much. Many Italians even come to Villa Borghese by car, there are even larger parking spaces. Many Romans also come by taxi.
We recommend the journey with the underground (line A). The best stops are Flaminio at Piazza del Popolo and Spagna, right in the centre of Rome. From both stations you have to walk up a hill to the park. But it is not far.
Villa and Galleria Borghese on the city map
The marker on the map shows the location of the gallery.
Near the subway station Flaminio there is a bus stop with buses in the park Villa Borghese (frequent arrivals as there are several lines). You go one stop and get off (Canestre stop, roundabout). You can also walk up “Viale Giorgio Washington” (about 10 minutes uphill). Many visitors also walk behind Piazza del Popolo, a large, famous square about 100 meters from the Flaminio metro stop, up the stairs to the park.
Borghese Gallery Video (Youtube, 3 min)
More art in Rome: Another grandiose art museum in Rome is the gallery of the Vatican.
Park Villa Borghese History
Villa Borghese is a beautiful park and museum complex in the centre of Rome, Italy. It is one of the city’s largest parks and is home to a variety of cultural and historical attractions including museums, galleries, gardens, lakes and monuments.
The history of Villa Borghese dates back to the early 17th century when Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a wealthy and powerful member of the Catholic Church, bought the property and commissioned the construction of a magnificent villa. The villa was designed by the famous Baroque architect Flaminio Ponzio and was intended to be a luxurious residence for Cardinal Borghese and his guests.
Although the villa and surrounding gardens have undergone many changes over the years, they have retained the beauty and grandeur of their original design. Today, Villa Borghese is home to several museums and galleries, including the Galleria Borghese, which houses a collection of masterpieces by artists such as Bernini, Canova and Caravaggio.
The park itself is a stunning work of art with several monuments and landmarks such as the Temple of Asclepius, the famous Acqua he Paola fountain and the Pincio Terrace, which offers a magnificent view over Rome. Visitors can also stroll through the lush gardens, relax on the lawn or hire a boat to explore the picturesque lake.
With its museums and attractions, as well as its extensive open spaces, playgrounds and recreational areas, Villa Borghese is a popular place for families and picnics. The park is also a popular destination for joggers, cyclists and skaters who enjoy the scenic paths and winding roads. In short, Villa Borghese is a must-see for anyone interested in the history, culture and beauty of Rome. Whether it’s a relaxing day in the park, a cultural experience in the museums or an adventure in the great outdoors, Villa Borghese has something for everyone.