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Villa Borghese Tours


Villa Borghese

Located amidst the greenery is the Borghese Gallery, an authentic artistic treasure chest. It is the result of the passion for art of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. who in the early 1600's had the villa built on property between the Flaminio and Parioli area where the Lucullo gardens stood. It was 'donated' to him by his uncle, Pope Paul V, with the specific purpose of housing the Cardinal's art collection. The Borghese Cardinal was famous for his ability to discover new talent and methods in acquiring the works of art he wished to own. He did not hesitate to have the 'Deposition' by Raphael stolen from a church in Perugia, and he had Domenichino imprisoned because the painter did not want to give him a painting commissioned by another cardinal.

Galleria Borghese housesin 20 rooms across two floors and a visit encompassing everything on display could take as little as two hours. The main floor, mostly devoted to sculpture and Roman antiquities of the 1st to 3rd centuries AD, has a consistently breathtaking decorative scheme.

The Villa Borghese is home to two other museums, namely The National Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna), which specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Italian art, and the Etruscan National Museum of Villa Giulia (Museo Nazionale Etrusco), a collection of pre-Roman objects, mostly Etruscan, excavated around Rome.

Short History

Over the years the collection has changed. A short history:

• 1607 - The Pope gave the Cardinal 107 paintings which had been confiscated from the painter Giuseppe Cesari, called the Cavalier d'Arpino.

• 1608 - In the following year, Raphael's 'The Deposition" was secretly removed from the Baglioni Chapel in the church of S.Francesco in Perugia and transported to Rome.

• 1682 - Part of Olimpia Aldobrandini's inheritance entered the Borghese collection; it included works from the collections of Cardinal Salviati and Lucrezia d'Este.

• 1807 - Camillo Borghese sold Napoleon 154 statues, 160 busts, 170 bas-reliefs, 30 columns and various vases, which now constitute the "Borghese Collection" in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

• At the beginning of the 19th century Prince Camillo Borghese set up the art collection of the family in the casino which today is where the Gallery and the Borghese Museum stand.

Famous Artworks

The collection includes: the Artemis (a rare original by a Greek master from the 4th century BC.); Isis(2nd century BC.) in black marble; mosaics with gladiators (4th Century AD); the Dancing Satyr (2nd Century BC.); Bacchus (2nd Century AD) and the Hermaphrodite (1st century BC.). Renaissance works of art by by Raphael, Perugino, Sodom, Correggio.

Splendid sculptures of Aeneas and Anchises, Truth, Apollo and Daphne, etc. and experience the visions, stories and legends behind them. There are beautiful works by Caravaggio, such as, Saint Jerome and a self-portrait in the guise of Bacchus that will help shed light on adventurous life of the great master of chiaroscuro and murderer Caravaggio.

The gallery also contains notable works of art from other epochs, such as, the beautiful Sybille by Domenichino, the Pieta by Rubens as well as works by Carracci, Pietro da Cortona, Bellini.

The Borghese Gallery houses one of the most beautiful collections of art in the world, including such masterpieces as:

• The famous statue of Paolina Borghese portrayed as Venus by Canova,

• Titian's "Sacred and Profane Love" and "Venus blindfolding Love"

• "The Deposition" by Rafael

• "The Deposition" by Rubens • Statues by Bernini including his "Apollo and Daphne", "Pluto and Prosperino", and "David"

• Six of the most important works of Caravaggio, including "David with the Head of Goliath"

• "Diana" by Domenichino

• "The Last Supper" by Jacopo Bassano

• Works by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Veronese

Borghese Gardens

The gardens of the Villa Borghese present a romantic landscape of lakes, trees and flower gardens set with imitation Antique sculpture.

The gardens to the north of the Park are a fine example of a 17th century Italian garden, with statues and fountains. In addition to their heraldic symbols the Borghese, who owned the Villa until the end of the 19th century, decorated the gardens with little buildings in neoclassical style, for example a fake Roman temple dedicated to Antonino Pio and his wife Annia Faustina and a round temple dedicated to Diana. A little pond with a temple to Aesculapius is a late 18th century addition.

The gardens to the south were redesigned in the 19th century when the Borghese acquired other adjoining land and built a new entrance opposite Porta del Popolo. There is also an English garden landscape.


• The Garden of the Lake, which stretches around an artificial lake, and is one of the most popular corners of the park.

• The little castle (castello medievale), an imitation of a medieval fortress, which used to be the house and studio of the sculptor Pietro Canonica (1869-1959).

• A 17th century aviary - a building topped by a wrought-iron cage. J. W. Goethe was one of the many foreigners who enjoyed walking in the gardens. In particular he liked to sit in a spot near the aviary, which is called after him Rotonda di Goethe.

• The Sea-horse Fountain - commissioned in 1791 by Prince Marcantonio Borghese, who renovated the gardens

• The Piazza di Siena - named after the native town of the Borghese. Set among umbrella pines, it is sometimes used for interational equestrian events.

• Casina dell' Orologio, built in the late 18C - on the Northeast side

• The Villa also had a zoo that was set up in 1911, but which has now been transformed into a "Biopark".

National Gallery of Modern Art

This Gallery of Modern Art is a short walk from the Etruscan Museum. Its 75 rooms house the most important Italian collection of paintings and sculptures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including Balla, Boccioni, De Chirico, Morandi, Manzu, Burri, Capogrossi, and Fontana.. The paintings and sculptures include works of the neoclassical school, the romantics, historical painters, and, of course, Tuscan Macchiaoli impressionism and the Futurists. There are also "metaphysical" painters such as Giorgio do Chirico, and artists of the Novecento such as Ardengo Soffici. The regional schools of Italy are also well represented.

Works by artists belonging to most of the contemporary art movements are represented. There is a good representation of foreign artists, including Degas, Cezanne, Monet, and van Gogh. The gallery's exhibits also include works by Goya, Gericault, Delacroix, Blake, Renoir, Rossetti, Courbet, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Modigliani, Duchamp, Cara, and Klimt. Surrealism and expressionism are well represented by Klee, Ernst, Miro, Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Pollock. The National Gallery of Modern Art has a fashionable terrace cafe. Highlights: • Rodin's "Bust of a Woman" • Balla's allegory of "Doubt",a beautiful portrait of his wife • Amedeo Bocchi's huge canvas "In the Park" painted in vivid almost violent colors • The Sketch for the Tomb of Vittorio Alfieri by A. Canova • "The Three Ages" by Klimt • Two metaphysical works by Carra and Morandi • Cezanne's "Le Cabanon de Jourdan". • Modigliani's "La Signora dal Collaretto" and large "Nudo".

Etruscan Museum

Etruscan National Museum of Villa Giulia

The Museum is housed in the Villa of Pope Julius III or Villa Giulia, and was built from a design by Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola between 1551 and 1553. The Villa Giulia National Museum was founded in 1889 with the aim of collecting together all the pre-Roman antiquities of Latium, southern Etruria and Umbria, and mostly contains finds from excavation conducted in Latium between the Tiber and the sea and belonging to the Etruscan and Faliscan civilizations. Today this 6th-century papal palace shelters a priceless collection of art and artifacts from the mysterious Etruscans, who predated the Romans. Known for their sophisticated art and design, they left a legacy of sarcophagi, bronze sculptures, terra-cotta vases, and jewelry, among other items.


• One of the world's most important Etruscan art treasures is the "Bride and Bridegroom Sarcophagus" from 510 BC. The couple are shown reclining in the classical banqueting attitude. The woman is probably pouring perfume into her spouse's hand. The harmonious composition and graceful gestures of the reclining figures are powerful expressions of the affectionate ties that united Etruscan men and women. ( room no. 9). It is truly amazing.

• A remarkable 6th-century B.C. "Apollo from Veio" (in room no. 7) • State "Dea con Bambino" (Goddess with a Baby) • "Hercules" with a stag. greatly mutilated but still powerful

• In room no. 8, you'll see the lions' sarcophagus from the mid-6th century B.C., which was excavated at Cerveteri, north of Rome. • Another masterpiece of Etruscan art is in room no. 33: the Cista Ficoroni, a bronze urn with paw feet, mounted by three figures, dating from the 4th century B.C.

villa Borghese

Villa Borghese and Gardens

The most beautiful residence of Rome built in 1613 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese to receive the Roman society and to delight his friends with a splendid collection of precious works of art ancient and modern. To build a residence worthy of his status he employed two great architects of the time Flaminio Ponzio and Vasanzio.

On our tours we will acquaint you with the life of Pope Paul V, his princely court and his nephew, Scipione, who created the gallery's creation after he was named cardinal, at the age of 20, two months after his uncle's election. He was also a highly selective and ruthless art collector, and had great artistic intuition who commissioned, purchased and stole great masterpieces of antiquity.

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Borghese Museum

Group Tours & Tickets

Borghese Villa and gardens is Rome's favorite and most important green space, celebrated by artists and the inspiration of writers and musicians. Unique in the world for its concentration of cultural institutions, the park contains 5 museums and is ringed by foreign academies representing Romania, Egypt, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Britain.

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Galleria Borghese & Gardens

Duration: 3 hrs

Cost: $59.00 pp

Itinerary Details & Secure Online Booking

To request a private guide use the above Inquiry Form

Book your Skip the Line: Borghese Gallery and Gardens Walking Tour ahead of time to take advantage of jumping the queue with reserved tickets. The Borghese Gallery regularly sells out a month in advance!

One of Rome's richest and most interesting villas, the Borghese Gallery and Museum houses a vast and diverse collection of sculptures and paintings produced by masters such as Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio and Titian. Your guide will lead you through the gallery's breathtaking rooms and reveal the secrets, stories and techniques behind the masterpieces.

Then you will go for an enchanting stroll though the Villa Borghese Gardens and enjoy the surprises and tranquility of this Eden in the heart of busy Rome. The famous Villa Borghese is a truly magical setting, surrounded by vast gardens filled with fountains, monuments and diverse flora. It's a treat for all the senses.

The tour ends with a breathtaking view from atop the Pincio terrace.

All entrance fees to the Borghese Gallery and Museum are included in the tour price. Tours are conducted in small groups (maximum 25 people) with an English-speaking guide who can personally cater to you so your visit is a special and unforgettable experience.

Galleria Borghese & Gardens Tickets

Cost: $40.00 pp

Itinerary Details & Secure Online Booking

If you would prefer to visit the Borghese Gallery and Museum in Rome at your own leisure, without a guide, but would still like to skip the queue with reserved tickets (which regularly sell out a month in advance!), book your tickets now! Your Borghese Gallery ticket will be pre-booked and pre-paid, for a fast, hassle-free entry.

After meeting a representative and exchanging your voucher, gain quick access to the Borghese Gallery and Museum, one of the world's most incredible art collections in which you get to see the art in its original setting. The Borghese Gardens are amongst the most famous and beautiful in Italy and offers stunning views over Piazza del Popolo to complete your experience.

Skip the Line: Borghese Gallery Tickets include the standard ticket price plus fast-track access fee. The gallery includes:

  • The Caravaggio Room (St. Jerome, David with the Head of Goliath)
  • Bernini sculptures (Apollo and Daphne, David)
  • Canova sculpture (Pauline Bonaparte)
  • Works by Raphael (The Deposition, Lady with Unicorn)
  • Perugino (Madonna and Child)
  • Rubens (The Deposition)
  • Titian (Sacred and Profane Love)
  • Borghese Gardens

    Private Guided Tour

    A great journey into art history to discover and to appreciate masterpieces of various centuries, as well as the artists and their rich patrons.

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    Private Tour

    From Baroque to Renaissance

    To request a private guide use the above Inquiry Form

    Our tour provides a thorough and dynamic visit that allows you to fully enjoy the images with which the great artists of the past speak to us of themselves and of their epoch. It is designed to widen your appreciation of art, humanity and former times.

    Your guide will take you through the splendid fresco-painted galleries showing you the masterpieces of the collection of sculpture: "Apollo & Dafne" sculpted by adolescent G.L. Bernini, whose genius was immediately perceived by the cardinal, "David" sculpted when the artist was 21, "The Rape of Proserpina" another of Bernini's youthful works,"Hermaphrodite", a copy from a Hellenic original, "Aeneas and Anchises" sculpted by Bernini with his father's help and one sculpture of his maturity "Truth". You will then see Canova's masterpiece "Victorious Venus", sensual portrait of Paoline Borghese, wife of Camillo Borghese and sister of Napoleon.

    The Picture Gallery is home to the great paintings of the early and late Renaissance, belonging to the Borghese family and which were once inside the main residence in town. You will admire "Madonna dei Palafrenieri" and "Bacco Malato" by Caravaggio, "Sacred and Profane Love" by Titian, "Deposition"by Raphael, "Danae" by Correggio and paintings by Botticelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenichino…

    At the end of the visit a lovely walk through the park will lead us to Porta Pinciana, Roman Gate of the Aurelian Walls.


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