Villa Borghese Gardens

Rome, Italy

Villa Borghese is a landscape garden in the naturalistic English manner in Rome, containing a number of buildings, museums and attractions. The gardens were developed for the Villa Borghese Pinciana, built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches by Scipione Borghese, who used it as a party villa and to house his art collection. The gardens as they are now were remade in the early 19th century.

In 1605, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V and patron of Bernini, began turning this former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome since Antiquity. The vineyard's site is identified with the gardens of Lucullus, the most famous in the late Roman republic. In the 19th century much of the garden's former formality was remade as a landscape garden in the English taste. The Villa Borghese gardens were long informally open, but were bought by the commune of Rome and given to the public in 1903. The large landscape park in the English taste contains several villas. The Spanish Steps lead up to this park, and there is another entrance at the Piazza del Popolo. The Pincio in the south part of the park, offers one of the greatest views over Rome.

A balustrade (dating from the early seventeenth century) from the gardens, was taken to England in the late 19th century, and installed in the grounds of Cliveden House, a mansion in Buckinghamshire, in 1896. The Piazza di Siena, located in the villa, hosted the equestrian dressage, individual jumping, and the jumping part of the eventing competition for the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Today the Galleria Borghese is housed in the Villa Borghese itself. It contains an art gallery of paintings for example by Titian, Raphael and Caravaggio. The Villa Giulia adjoining the Villa Borghese gardens was built in 1551 - 1555 as a summer residence for Pope Julius III; now it contains the Etruscan Museum.



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Founded: 1605
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Italy

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User Reviews

Marouane FERTAT (16 months ago)
Huge and beautiful park. Spent the whole afternoon there and managed to see an amazing sunset few steps from the park. If you go there, make sure you get a ride on one of those 2-sided bikes, so fun and helps you get throughout the park and see everything!
Celene Ocampo (2 years ago)
Beautiful park! We took a tour on a small bus/cart and didn’t realize how big this park was. Strongly recommend doing the small tour. They also rent golf carts, bikes etc. There are many small stands that sell snacks. If you’re planning on visiting the museum, I highly recommend buying tickets online prior to your visit, maybe even a few days before. They sell out very quickly!
Liz Sanglier (2 years ago)
If you are in Rome and are looking for a break from tourists, this is a lovely oasis worth visiting, especially before dusk. Besides the interesting architecture, sculptures, pathways, and assortment of plants, you can also see the bright green parakeets of Rome flying and singing everywhere. It was truly an enchanting and peaceful place, lots of people riding bikes and walking dogs or simply enjoying the scenery with a beverage. Glad I went!
Manuel Nogueira (2 years ago)
What a nice garden in the middle of the most beautiful city I've ever been. Rome has so many monuments, and pretty houses, a ton of beautiful architecture, that we completely forgot about visiting any gardens. Out of nowhere while moving inside Rome we found this garden and just decided to come inside. It was way more interesting and pretty than we thought! I recommend walking a bit in this amazing escape on such a big city
Veronica N (2 years ago)
The most beautiful, incredible park I have ever seen. A local said it is like Rome’s version of Central Park, but I think it is so much more than that. My breath was taken away as I walked around—the fountains, statues, and nature were incredible to be immersed in. It was quiet as I entered through the gates rather than where the buses and taxis are, so I would recommend venturing off further into the park if you want to be around less people and enjoy nature. I wish I had something this beautiful at home and am endlessly jealous of the locals with their wonderful city.
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