The Villa Borghese Gardens are one of the largest public parks in Rome and houses the popular Borghese Gallery that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Galleria Borghese has an iconic collection of Italian art which makes it to the list of top museums in Italy, not a mean feat! The real surprise though is outside the gallery walls, in the lush green open spaces of the Villa Borghese Gardens. The ornamental beauty of the gardens is breathtaking, while the attractions, monuments and the zoo keeps visitors busy with exploring the park filled with surprises at every corner!
Villa Borghese - In a Nutshell
Villa Borghese - Things to know
|⏰ Suggested Duration:||2 Hours|
|☀️ Best Time to Visit:||Early morning or late evening|
|🎟️ Villa Borghese Tickets:||€22|
|🚇 Closest Subway:||Flaminio station|
Villa Borghese Opening Hours
• Tuesday to Sunday: 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
• Monday - Closed
Must-see at Villa Borghese
Teatro Dei Burattini San Carlino
Victorian Water Clock
Villa Borghese Address
00197 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Why is Villa Borghese worth visiting?
- Stunning Natural Beauty: Villa Borghese is a vast park located in the heart of Rome, offering visitors a retreat from the bustling city.
- World-Class Art Collection: The park is home to the Galleria Borghese, a renowned art gallery that houses an impressive collection of sculptures, paintings, and antiquities.
- Majestic Architecture: The villa itself is a stunning architectural masterpiece. Designed in the 17th century, it showcases the grandeur of Italian Baroque style. The intricate detailing, elegant façade, and well-preserved interiors offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Borghese family.
- Spectacular Views: From various vantage points within the park, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of Rome's skyline.
- Romantic Setting: Whether it's a romantic picnic by the lake, a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride through the park, or simply hand-in-hand walks along the garden paths, the park offers a romantic escape for lovers.
Villa Borghese Tickets
If you're looking to buy Villa Borghese tickets, here are the top recommended ones. From guided tours to skip the line tickets, we have them all listed!
History of Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese has a rich history that spans several centuries. The villa was originally established in the early 17th century as a vineyard and garden retreat for the influential Borghese family, who were prominent figures in Roman society. Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a passionate art collector, transformed the estate into a grand villa adorned with exquisite sculptures, paintings, and antiquities. The villa and its expansive gardens were designed in the Italian Baroque style, showcasing the family's opulent lifestyle and love for art. Over the years, the villa changed hands and underwent various modifications, but it retained its allure and continued to be an esteemed cultural and recreational hub. Today, Villa Borghese stands as a testament to Rome's aristocratic heritage and houses the magnificent Galleria Borghese, attracting visitors from around the world to admire its treasures.
Architecture of Villa Borghese
The architecture of Villa Borghese is a magnificent representation of Italian Baroque style. Designed in the early 17th century, the villa showcases a grandeur befitting the Borghese family's prominence. Its façade exudes elegance and features intricate detailing, including ornate balconies, pilasters, and decorative elements. The symmetrical layout of the villa emphasizes its harmonious proportions, while the central entrance with a grand staircase creates a sense of grandeur. Inside, visitors can marvel at the well-preserved interiors, adorned with frescoes, stucco work, and intricate woodwork. The villa's architectural beauty is complemented by its surrounding gardens, with carefully manicured lawns, fountains, and statues that harmoniously blend nature and artistry. The architectural splendor of Villa Borghese is a testament to the artistic prowess and opulence of the era, offering visitors a glimpse into the grandiose lifestyle of the Borghese family.
Top Highlights of Villa Borghese
The Borghese Gallery is the centre of attraction at the Villa Borghese Gardens in Rome. The building of the Galleria Borghese itself is an architectural marvel and was built in the 17th century. Within the walls are invaluable artistic treasures of masters such as Caravaggio, Canova, Raphael and Bernini.
The Villa Borghese Gardens is dubbed the 'park of museums' due to the number of museums it houses. The sprawling gardens are spread over 200 acres housing a variety of villas, monuments, lakes and beautiful manicured spaces. The Borghese Villa gardens were designed in the 17th century by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Today, there is no entrance fee for the Villa Borghese Gardens, however visitors need to purchase tickets separately to visit the museums and galleries in the park.
Villa Medici is an exquisite villa located in the vicinity of the Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy. Completed in 1544, it has passed on many hands. The most important one that decided the fate of the Villa took place when Napoleon Bonaparte transferred the French Academy in the premises of Villa Medici. The building of the villa and its gardens are now restored to their past glory and a delight to see.
4The San Carlino - Puppet Theater
Traveling with kids to Villa Borghese in Rome can get incredibly boring for them. The fine Italian art might not impress them but ‘Pulcinella’ at the San Carlino theatre just might! Located within the Villa Borghese park is a small theatre for puppet shows especially targeted towards children. Pulcinella is a popular puppet character on whom the shows are based. The theatre has roots in Naples, where the show was created.
5Victorian Water Clock
This water clock is one of the most interesting attractions at the Villa Borghese. Also known as the ‘hydrochronometer’ it accurately calculates the time even today! The Victorian Water Clock was built in 1867 by the inventor Giovan Battista Embracio who wanted to combine scientific endeavour with the force of nature. You can spot it in nestled in a clock tower in the middle of a pond in the beautiful Borghese Gardens.
6Bioparco di Roma Zoo
The Bioparco di Roma is a zoo that has been transformed into a bio-park and is home to more than 1,000 animals from over 200 species. The zoo is located in the Villa Borghese premises and is one of its most popular attractions. The Bioparco di Roma zoo ticket is affordable for both adults and children. Witness unique animals like Anaconda, Macaws, Camel, Elephant, Lemur, Iguanas, Orangutan, Mandrill and even Lions here!
7Casa Del Cinema
Casa Del Cinema or the ‘House of Cinema’ is pays ode to the cinematic art of the 21st century. The cinema located in the vicinity of the Villa Borghese museum functions is an old building that has seen a tumultuous past - from its origins as a restaurant to being used a cow shed and now as a new-age cinema theatre. The cinema runs world movies and also has an exhaustive library and a classic restaurant on the premises.
8Pincian Hill/Passeggiata del Pincio
The Villa Borghese Park itself sits on one of the most popular hills in Rome, the Pincian Hills. The Pincian hill although not one of the Seven Hills of Rome, falls within the legendary Aurelain walls. The Passeggiata del Pincio is a popular pathway lined with statues and busts of popular figures and is a famous walkway in Rome. The Pincio Terrace accessible by the Villa Borghese Roma offers spectacular views of Rome including straight up to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica!
9Casina di Raffaello
The Casina di Raffaello is a striking building in the Villa Borghese gardens. Although it has no connection to the famous artist, Rafael, the building has beautiful frescoes and is worth a visit. It currently runz as a children’s activity centre and has workshops, events etc for kids. The tickets for the Casina have to be brought separately and are not included in the Borghese gardens tickets.
10Museo Pietro Canonica
Within the walls of the Villa Borghese Roma is an excellent example of an artist-centric museum. The Museo Pietro Canonica is an ode to the mastery of the great Italian artist ‘Pietro Canonica’. The museum houses the artist’s works including marbles, bronzes as well as his sketches, studies and replicas. Unlike the Borghese Museum Rome tickets, you don’t need any tickets to enter the museum. The museum has free access to all and has lot of events, workshops and exhibitions taking place regularly.
Best time to visit Villa Borghese
The best time to visit Villa Borghese in Rome is during the spring and fall seasons. From March to May and September to November, the weather is generally pleasant, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months. During these seasons, the gardens are in full bloom, showcasing vibrant colors and lush greenery, enhancing the beauty of the park. Additionally, the moderate weather allows for comfortable outdoor activities like strolling, picnicking, or renting bicycles to explore the expansive park. By visiting Villa Borghese during the spring or fall, you can fully enjoy the park's tranquility and natural splendor while avoiding the peak tourist crowds.
Additionally you can learn more about the Best Time to Visit Rome.
Villa Borghese Timings
- Borghese Gallery and Gardens: Daily 9 AM to 7 PM. Closed on Mondays.
- Bioparco di Roma Zoo: Daily 9:30 AM to 6 PM
- Casa Del Cinema: Depending on show timings
Metro is the cheapest form of transport and quickest way to reach the gardens. There are two metro stations that provide access to the Villa Borghese –
• Spagna Metro which is on the Line A
• Flaminio – Piazza Del Popolo which is also on Line A
The nearest entrances from these metro stations are a short walk of less than a kilometre.
Bus is also a convenient way to reach the Villa Borghese. Bus numbers 61, 117, 119, 120, 150, 160, 490, 495, 590, 628, C3 will take you to Villa Borghese. Some of the other bus stations you can enter Villa Borghese from are –
• S. Paolo Del Brasile
• Villa Borghese
• Galleria Art Moderna
The nearest entrances from the bus stations are a short walk of less than 500 metres.
Tram Number 2 has a stop right outside Villa Borghese.
Insider tips to visiting Villa Borghese
- There are a few cafes and food stalls inside the Villa Borghese Gardens. However, the best way to enjoy the gardens is to grab a picnic basket before coming to the Borghese gardens. Several restaurants, like Ginas and Franchi Gastronomia, around the gardens offer customised picnic baskets.
- Toilet facilities are an issue in Villa Borghese Gardens as there aren’t many public restrooms. You can use the one at the Villa Borghese Gallery which is included in the ticket to the gallery.
- The Villa Borghese Gardens are fairly large and you should keep a map on you at all times. You can use online maps or buy a physical map near the main gates.
- Bring a valid Photo-id apart from your passport, as you will need to place it as deposit for rental of audiophones at the gallery as well as bike rental stalls. Don’t leave your passport at the stalls under any circumstance.
- Schedule your visit to the Borghese Gallery during the afternoons so that you can explore the gardens later and end your visit at the Pincio Terrace for sunset. The views of the city are spectacular at dusk.
Interesting facts about Villa Borghese
- Beneath the Galleria Borghese, there is a hidden underground gallery called the Casino dell'Uccelliera. It houses a collection of ancient Roman and Greek sculptures, providing a unique glimpse into classical art.
- The gardens of Villa Borghese feature an Egyptian-style monument called the Temple of Diana. Built in the 19th century, it pays homage to the ancient Egyptian culture that fascinated the Borghese family.
- Within the park, there are several hidden fountains that are often overlooked by visitors. These hidden gems offer refreshing spots to relax and enjoy the soothing sound of flowing water.
- Villa Borghese is believed to have inspired the setting for Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet." The iconic balcony scene is said to have been influenced by the Borghese family's balcony overlooking the gardens.
- During the Napoleonic era, Villa Borghese became the residence of Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister. She adorned the villa with luxurious furnishings and hosted extravagant parties, adding to its allure.
- The Casino Borghese, a small neoclassical building within the park, was used by the Borghese family for private gatherings and leisure activities. It now serves as the ticket office for the Galleria Borghese.
- While constructing the Villa Borghese gardens, workers discovered ancient Etruscan tombs. These tombs, dating back to the 6th century BCE, are a testament to the rich history and archaeological significance of the area.
Restaurants around Villa Borghese
Brillo Restaurant offers a delightful culinary experience that showcases the rich traditions of Roman cuisine. From dusk till late into the night, patrons can indulge in a wide array of mouthwatering specialties. The fragrant pizzas, prepared in a traditional wood-fired oven, captivate the senses with their authentic flavors. Delight in a selection of cold meats and cheeses, expertly curated to tantalize your taste buds. Save room for the classic and innovative desserts, meticulously crafted by our skilled pastry chef.
Terrazza Borghese offers a unique dining experience, allowing you to savor your meal while soaking in the breathtaking views of the Eternal City from their exclusive rooftop terrace. Situated overlooking Villa Borghese, their terrace provides uninterrupted vistas that showcase the beauty of Rome. Their highly curated seasonal menu showcases the finest and freshest ingredients, creatively reimagining classic local cuisine.
Step into a world of refined beauty where stunning decor delights the eyes and wonderful scents waft through the air. Indulge your palate with delicious flavors crafted by skilled chefs, as each dish showcases culinary excellence. Impeccable service ensures that every need is met, elevating your dining experience to new heights. At Brunello Bar and Restaurant, prepare to embark on a sensory journey like no other.
Il Fellini restaurant is the epitome of flavor and culture, capturing the essence of Italian tradition. Chef Daniele Bernasconi meticulously prepares each dish, prioritizing creativity and taste harmony. Their menu showcases the importance of quality ingredients, with fresh and exceptional raw materials. Every Tuesday and Friday, they offer delectable variations of freshly caught fish. Enhancing your experience is their carefully curated wine list, featuring passion-selected labels.
Other Attractions around Villa Borghese
The Spanish Steps, located in Rome, Italy, are a famous landmark and meeting point for locals and tourists alike. The grand staircase, consisting of 135 steps, connects the Piazza di Spagna with the Trinità dei Monti church. It offers a picturesque setting for leisurely strolls and provides panoramic views of the city.!
Distance from Villa Borghese: 1.3 km
Piazza del Popolo, situated in the heart of Rome, is a public square with a rich historical significance. Surrounded by grand architecture, it features an obelisk at its center and three stunning churches. The square's open space invites visitors to relax, explore, and enjoy its lively atmosphere.
Distance from Villa Borghtse: 350 m
The Roman Pantheon, a marvel of ancient Roman architecture, is a well-preserved masterpiece located in the heart of Rome. Built as a temple dedicated to the Roman gods, its iconic dome and grand entrance stand as a testament to the ingenuity and engineering prowess of the ancient Romans. Inside, visitors can marvel at the stunning oculus that bathes the interior in natural light.
Distance from Villa Borghese: 3.5 km
The Capuchin Crypt, located beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome, is a fascinating and macabre attraction. Decorated with the skeletal remains of thousands of Capuchin monks, the crypt serves as a solemn reminder of mortality and offers a unique perspective on the contemplation of life and death.
Distance from Villa Borghese: 1.1 km
Castel Sant'Angelo, a majestic fortress in Rome, has a rich history spanning over 2,000 years. Originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, it later became a papal residence and a military fortress. Today, it stands as a museum, offering visitors a glimpse into its fascinating past and panoramic views of Rome.
Distance from Villa Borghese: 2.9 km
Palau de la Música Catalana is a beautiful Catalan modernist building located in Barcelona. Built between 1905 and 1908, the concert hall is renowned for its stunning architecture and acoustics, making it one of the most beloved venues in the city. Visitors can admire its intricate details and colorful glass façade as they enjoy some of the best music performances in Barcelona.
Distance from Villa Borghese: 2.8 km
Hotels around Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese is typically open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. However, it's advisable to check the official website for any updates or variations in opening hours.
The cost of visiting Villa Borghese varies depending on the season and the type of ticket. For the Galleria Borghese, the ticket price ranges from around €22 per person.
Yes, it is highly recommended to book tickets for the Galleria Borghese in advance. The number of visitors allowed inside the gallery at a given time is limited, and pre-booking ensures your entry.
Yes, Villa Borghese is a public park, and you can enjoy its gardens, lakes, and outdoor activities without visiting the gallery. The park is open to the public free of charge.
Yes, you are allowed to bring food and have a picnic in designated areas of Villa Borghese. It's a wonderful way to enjoy the park's beauty and have a leisurely meal surrounded by nature.
Yes, there are rental services within the park that offer bicycles, electric scooters, and other modes of transportation for visitors to explore Villa Borghese at their own pace.
Yes, photography is generally allowed in the park. However, specific rules and restrictions may apply inside the Galleria Borghese, so it's best to check with the staff or refer to the guidelines.
Yes, Villa Borghese provides restroom facilities throughout the park for visitors' convenience. Additionally, there are cafes, restaurants, and snack bars where you can grab refreshments.
Villa Borghese strives to be accessible to visitors with disabilities. The park has designated accessible pathways, ramps, and facilities to ensure that everyone can enjoy its beauty and attractions.