Rome Sights to See - The Villa Borghese
Like many another major metropolitan city, Rome is a bustling, buzzing hive of outdoor activity.
While much of this is naturally going to be a source of excitement and
an attraction for tourists, there comes a time when anyone will want to
find some peace and quiet. No spot in Rome could serve that purpose
better than Villa Borghese.
Cosidered to be moderately sized by some standards, the Villa Borghese
is 148 acres (80 hectares) of greenery containing aviaries, museums and
a stunning artificial lake. A vineyard in the 16th century, Cardinal Borghese
had it transformed into a park with geometric landscaping ala
Versailles. A villa, whose design was based on a sketch by Cardinal
Borghese himself, was later constructed.
By the end of the 18th century an artificial lake had been added in the
center, which contains a small Ionic temple dedicated to the God of Healing.
Aviaries held several exotic bird species like peacocks and ostriches
for the Borghese's viewing pleasure and gazelles once graced the
Donated to the Eternal City at the turn of the 20th century, it had
grown to hold several temples, fountains and numerous sculptures. Among
the latter are the original Tritons
from the Fountain of the
Moor from the structure in the Piazza
Navona. The ones currently in the fountain are
19th century replicas.
The park, open to the public for 100 years, holds many other delights
as well. At certain times of the year visitors may be fortunate enough
to catch one of the many horse-jumping events in Siena Square. The Piazza di
Siena amphitheater is sometimes used for outdoor concerts
and there is a botanical garden. Nearby is a beautiful 18th century
arch, the "Arco
di Settimio Severo", a stunning example of Baroque
There's even a small bar located in the middle of the park where a
hungry visitor can have some authentic Italian pasta or sip a Campari. Not far
from there are several pavilions built for the 1911 World Exposition
representing many countries.
But unquestionably, much of the impetus for tourists are the many
museums housed on the grounds.
e Galleria Borghese, for example, has on display several
sculptures by Bernini,
the artist responsible for many of Rome's famous fountains. Among other
pieces, Bernini's Abduction
of Proserpina by Pluto is here. The gallery also holds
many paintings by masters of the Renaissance including Titian and Raphael.
Also on the grounds is the Museo
Nazionale Etrusco, housed in the Villa Giulia.
The villa derives its name from having been built as a summer residence
for Pope Julius II
in 1553. As the name suggests, the museum contains a number of Etruscan works
excavated from the hills outside Rome.
Located north of the Spanish
Steps, the entrances are above the Piazza del
Poppolo and the Porta Pinciana
at one end of the Via Veneto.
The Villa Borghese offers tired tourists the perfect respite in a busy
holiday. Spend a half-day or longer, fully recharge and prepare to take
on the incomparable Roman nightlife.
the Eternal City