Art in Rome: an exceptional collection of works of art at the Galleria Borghese
Rome, the city of art par excellence, boasts many internationally renowned museums. Among these, it is possible to include the famous Galleria Borghese, in the spectacular setting of Villa Borghese. A cultural trip to Rome includes a visit to the most important museums in the capital: well, in a perfect tour, the Galleria Borghese is always present, next to the most famous Vatican Museums and Capitoline Museums.
A visit to this gallery is also the best opportunity to visit Villa Borghese, especially if you have never done it during your previous Roman holidays, supposing it is not your first trip to Rome. Below, you will find detailed information about the great collection of works of art in the gallery and about the museum itself housed in the building. Moreover, there are practical suggestions about a visit of the gallery and indications to reach it by public transportation.
The Collection of the Galleria Borghese
The collection of works of art in the Galleria Borghese has its roots in the first half of the 17th century, by Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese. Among the first paintings of the cardinal's private collection there were some early works by Caravaggio and "Amor Sacro e Amor Profano" by Tiziano. The gallery also contains some famous paintings by Raffaello Sanzio, such as the Baglioni Deposition.
In the past, before they were sold during the riots of the French Revolution, the Galleria Borghese had other famous paintings by Raffaello, such as the Three Graces. Today, the painting is kept in the French museum Condé in Chantilly. In addition to the paintings, there are also sculptural groups made in the early 1600s by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, including Aeneas and Anchise, Apollo and Dafne, the Abduction of Persephone and the Goat Amalthea. Every year, the Galleria Borghese is the set of some of the most important exhibitions in Italy: the last artist was Picasso, with the exhibition called La scultura.
Visiting the Galleria Borghese
The Borghese Gallery is open every day of the week, except on Mondays, from 9 am, till 7pm; the last entry is available up to two hours before closing (5.00 pm). The visits are not individual, and they take place according to shifts of two hours each: five shifts per day (9-11am, 11am-1pm, 1pm-3pm, 3pm-15pm, 5pm-7pm). The maximum number of people allowed per shift is 360. Exceptionally, the official website of Villa Borghese, the building that houses the Gallery, informs visitors that on Thursday the gallery remains open until 9 pm, with a further shift from 7pm to 9 pm (last entry allowed at 7pm).
The only two closing days according to the calendar are December 25th and January 1st. Exept for Christmas and New Year's Day, the Galleria Borghese is always open. You can buy tickets online on the official website: a full ticket is 18 euros, up to 24.50 euros if you choose to combine it with a guided tour. The price of a reduced ticket is 11.50 euros and it can be purchased by anyone between the ages of 18 and 25. Tickets do not include 2 euros required for the mandatory booking. This supplement is also valid for children under 18 admissed for free.
How to get to the Galleria Borghese
If you are in the centre of Rome, it is very easy to get to the Galleria Borghese. Take Villa Borghese complex as a benchmark, near Via Vittorio Veneto (the street of the cinema), Piazza Barberini, which houses two fountains (Fontana delle Api and Fontana del Tritone) and the building with the same name, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini during the seventeenth century.
If you choose to travel by underground, get off at the Spagna or Flaminio stop, line A. The first one is about 15 minutes walk from the entrance of the gallery. The second (Flaminio stop) is a little further away, about 20 minutes on foot. You can take buses, if you prefer: lines 88, 95, 116, 490 and 495 move within the park. You can also stop near the entrance of the park, by lines number 52, 53, 63 and 86. In addition to the underground and the buses, tram lines 2, 3 and 19 are available. If you are away from the centre, you can take a taxi. Tell the driver you want to go to Via Vittorio Veneto or Via Pinciana.
Please, add a visit to the Galleria Borghese to the other attractions of the park
After it, you can visit the other attractions of the complex, as the gallery is not the only one attraction. One of the favourite activities of foreign visitors is a visit to the small lake around the little island of the temple of Aesculapius, whose built dates back to 700. The name of the building is given by the statue of Aesculapius, a well-known figure belonging to Greek mythology, telling Aesculapius is the son of Apollo.
You also have the possibility to rent a small boat to reach the temple (3 euros, 20 minutes). Another attraction of the park is the Pincio water clock, located near the famous promenade that leads to one of the most spectacular panoramic terraces of Rome, from where you have a wonderful view of the capital. The peculiarity of the watch is hands are moved by water, which comes from above rather than from below. This curious mechanism is a solution created by Padre Embriaco in the second half of the nineteenth century. In the green area of Villa Borghese there is also the well-known Bioparco, the capital's most visited zoo throughout the year.
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