Galleria Borghese (Villa Borghese), Rome

Galleria Borghese (Villa Borghese), Rome

Italy has always been a center of culture and the arts, and Rome’s museums and galleries certainly display some of the finest works from both the masters of the past to the trailblazers of the future.

One of the best museums in the city is the Galleria Borghese. It is known not only for its fine collections, but for displaying them in a very beautiful and charming setting—a villa.

The world owes this concept to Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Born into a family of great wealth and power—his uncle was a pope—he chose to put some of his resources into collecting fine art. He acquired many rare artifacts from the antiquities, as well as paintings made by some of the most promising and most renowned artists from his time. He also commissioned pieces, including some by the great Bernini.

Some of the Borghese collection was sold to Napoleon; others are now part of the Louvre. However, a good portion of it is intact. He built the villa in order to showcase them. Some hang on the walls, while the ancient mosaics have even been incorporated into the floors. There are also a number of statues, including one of his wife that he commissioned from Canova. Many of the statues are by Bernini, though—these depict scenes from mythology such as Daphne turning into a tree, or Proserpine and Pluto.

Art loves will also be amazed at the museum’s collection of paintings, which includes several masterpieces by Cavaggio: David with the Head of Goliath, Boy with a Basket of Fruit and Sick Bacchus. There are some works by Titian, such as Sacred and Profane Love and Venus Blindfolding Cupid.

Guests will also be guided by notes that are prominently displayed in order to explain or provide context to the exhibits, frescoes, and other décor. They will also have no trouble finding the gallery: it is found in the park of the Villa Borghese, which is easily accessible through public transportation.

Because of the crowds, especially during the tourist season, it is advisable to reserve a slot in order to secure a guaranteed entrance into the gallery.

Galleria Borghese (Villa Borghese), Rome