Things to do in Rome

How To Spend A Day At Villa Borghese Rome

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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!

Back in the 16th century, the Villa Borghese area was a sprawling vineyard. In 1605, the acclaimed Italian cardinal Scipione Borghese helped turn the vineyard into a park, an ode to his love for art. After this, landscaper Domenico Savino da Montepulciano and architect Flaminio Ponzio worked their magic to make the Villa Borghese the decked lung of rome. In 1903, the Roman government took Villa Borghese from the Borghese family and opened doors to public.

Why Visit the Villa Borghese

villa borghese

Pleasure and business mixed seamlessly in the city of Rome since the ancient times. Where there were extraordinary buildings created for administrative use, there were also beautiful oases in the form of gardens. The Villa Borghese is one such park, the legacy of Scipione Borghese, who designed the gardens to be a visual delight to suit the artistic wealth inside his home in the Villa Borghese.

Today, the Villa Borghese Gardens are a vast recreational space and known to have almost 90 attractions listed on the Villa Borghese Map! These attractions are ideal for all kinds of travelers. Art lovers admire the Borghese Gallery, culture vultures love the Casa del Cinema, parents & kids love the Bioparco and Casina di Raffaello and everybody loves the picturesque gardens and views of the Villa Borghese at the Pincian Hill. Travelers can enjoy all that the Villa Borghese has to offer on a self-guided tour. So, grab your Villa Borghese Tickets and set off to exploring this pandora of leisure!

How to Explore Villa Borghese

villa borghese

The Villa Borghese Gardens in Rome are an idyllic getaway from the traffic of Rome. The tree-lined avenues and dirt paths run all over the park with monuments at every nook and corner. While walking is the best way to explore the Villa Borghese gardens, there are also other modes of transport that offer an interesting way of exploring.

Rent a cycle

The wide avenues of Villa Borghese are ideal for biking and cycling. There are many bike rental shops in the premises of Villa Borghese. You may be asked to pay a deposit plus a security document. Do not leave your passport or credit card; just deposit your driver’s license if needed.

Rent an electric quad-bike

A unique vehicle you can see at the Village Borghese in Rome is the electric quadbike. The bike has pedals but is supported by batteries and has comfortable space for four. It is perfect for families looking for having fun together.

Hire a boat on the lake

Renting a boat in Villa Borghese is the best way to enjoy the pleasures of the Borghese gardens. The small lake in the premises also known as ‘Laghetto’ is ideal for rowing on a sunny afternoon.

Villa Borghese Tickets

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Top Things to Do at Villa Borghese Rome

A visit to the Villa Borghese promises a day of relaxed musings and a walk through the best of Italian art and culture. The vast park located in the heart of Rome has several things to see and do, and one can easily spend an entire day at the park. Here are the top ten things to do in Villa Borghese -

Borghese Gallery

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 Borghese Gallery tickets are available in two-hour slots with limited tickets, which offer visitors an intimate experience of exploring the art in the gallery.

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Mondays closed)
Duration of Visit : 2 hours

Borghese Gardens

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 borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : Sunrise to Sunset (Season dependant)
Duration of Visit : 1 hour

Villa Medici

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.

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM (Mondays closed)
Duration of Visit : 1 hour

Teatro Dei Burattini San Carlino

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.

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : Variable show timetable
Duration of Visit : Half an hour

Victorian 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 in Rome, Italy.

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : Sunrise to Sunset (Season dependant)
Duration of Visit : Few Minutes

Bioparco 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!

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Duration of Visit : 1 hour

Casa 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.

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : Depends on the show timings
Duration of Visit : Duration of Show

Pincian 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!

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : 24*7
Duration of Visit : 1 hour

Casina 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.

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours
- 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Tuesday to Friday, Closed on Mondays)
- 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Saturday & Sunday)
Duration of Visit : 1- 2 hours depending on activity

Museo 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.

villa borghese gardens rome

Opening Hours : 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
Duration of Visit : 1 hour

Villa Borghese Map

Here's a compact Villa Borghese Map with the top attractions you must while you're here. Download this on your phone and enjoy strolling through the gardens without losing your way!

Villa Borghese Rome - Know Before You Go

Getting to Villa Borghese

The Villa Borghese has two main entrances which are often used by visitors to the park – The gate near Porta Pinciana or the Spanish Steps and the other gate near Piazza del Popolo. Although there are several other entrances that can be accessed to enter the attractions directly.

By Metro

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.

By Bus

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 –

• Bioparco
• Pinciana
• Puccini
• S. Paolo Del Brasile
• Villa Borghese
• Galleria Art Moderna
• Aldrovandi

The nearest entrances from the bus stations are a short walk of less than 500 metres.

By Tram

Tram Number 2 has a stop right outside Villa Borghese.

Practical Information

  • While there is no entrance fee for Villa Borghese, you will have to purchase tickets to enter the Borghese Gallery and a few other attractions inside.
  • If you require a map of Villa Borghese, you can download this map on your phones and keep it handy.

Villa Borghese Reviews

We had an extra day with no specific plans and we decided to check this park out. We just loved it! We rented a two-person quadracycle and had so much fun peddling around the park (which is honestly the best way to see it, since it is such a big space). Keep in mind if you do rent a bike, that there are some areas you can’t take it, so you may want to check those out first and then grab a bike (they have four-person ones too if there are more in your group). There are several little food stands to grab a bite (or a beer) and just hang out.This is a great place for a picnic lunch or just to relax and take in an afternoon.

Dmarie653, TripAdvisor, June 2018

Such a wonderful, relaxing park to explore on a chill day in Rome! My boyfriend and I took one day to just explore, not run around to site seeing attractions, or dealing with the hustle and bustle of the uber crowded areas. The gardens here are beautiful! Tons of shade, so it offers a nice break from the heat, and there's so much to see! We rented one of the motorized bike carriages, and that was perfect for seeing all the park had to offer and led us to one of the best views of the city! We visited Borghese Galleria also located in this park, and that was absolutely breathtaking. Must book tickets in advance online-- do so early, or you might find yourself disappointed that all of the times you're in Rome, it's booked! That's how popular it is.

Smb214, TripAdvisor, November 2017

Read what others have to say about Villa Borghese on TripAdvisor.

Supercharge your experience with these tips

  • 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.
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