Villa Borghese Gardens

A vast and lovely scenic public park, adjoining the Borghese gallery.

TravelCurious Tip

Feeling stressed from the hustle and bustle of the city? Come here to relax in this lovely green space.

Cardinal virtues

The Villa Borghese Gardens are exquisite grounds covering 80 hectares in the centre of Rome, and today make up one of Rome’s largest public parks. The gardens were built in 1605 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who was a nephew to Pope Paul V. He constructed these elaborate gardens on the land which had formerly been his personal vineyard, and which before that was the site of the Gardens of Lucullus, the most famous in the Roman Empire.

Indeed, the Villa Borghese Gardens were the most extensive gardens to be built in Rome since the extravagance of the Empire. The Gardens are built in an English style, but the connection with ancient Roman gardens was intentionally emphasised and the design of the Villa Borghese incorporates many classical Roman architectural elements and even Roman religious features. This is evident in the modern Temple to Aesculapius which was included as an ornamental feature on one of the lakes. 

Visual delights

The Gardens boast plenty of attractions including statues, fountains, and an Egyptian obelisk; numerous villas are scattered throughout, such as the Villa Medici and the Galleria Borghese. There is even a zoo, and a reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Should you wish to visit the park today there are a number of points of entry, including the Flaminio entrance just across from the famous Roman Porta Flaminia, the gate to modern day Piazza del Popolo; or you may enter by the renowned Spanish Steps, which lead right up to the park.

Today it is typical to find lots of people enjoying its green spaces, holding public events, or picnicking in the shady trees in summer time. The Villa Borghese Gardens offer a chance to escape the fast pace of the city, and make for a great day out combined with the nearby gallery.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Spanish Steps
Once you climb Europe’s longest outdoor stairs, enjoy a beautiful vista of Rome with St Peter's Basilica in the distance.
Galleria Borghese
The former home of the great Cardinal Borghese, displaying his magnificent collection of priceless artworks.
Piazza del Popolo
The Piazza del Popolo is one of Rome's most beautiful squares, with an important and long-standing history.
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo
One of Rome's most interesting churches, displaying work by its most famous artists.
The David by Bernini
A life-size marble sculpture by Bernini, depicting the biblical David, about to throw the stone that will bring down Goliath.
Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix by Canova
A semi-nude life-size marble sculpture by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova.

Related Tours

The Borghese Gallery: Bernini, Caravaggio and Titian (Group Tour)
  Enjoy the Borghese Gallery and its Gardens  during a relaxing and entertaining small semi-private group tour. 

  • See the stunning statues carved by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, creator of the Baroque style of sculpture.
  • Explore the 20 rooms containing artwork that date back to the 1st-3rd centuries AD, the Renaissance and Baroque era. 
  • Admire Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina – a highlight of the Galleria Borghese.

See some of the most breathtaking paintings and sculptures in the Galleria Borghese. Your guide will introduce you to the wonderful statues carved by the famous sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini – in addition to some of Caravaggio’s brilliant paintings. 

You will hear about the lives of these great artists and your guide will lead you through the 20 rooms. Although everyone tends to have his or her own favourite pieces, Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina is a real highlight. Your guide will take you through the story of this sculpture and have you take note of the amazing technical skill of this sculptor. 

We built this tour because 
to appreciate the Galleria Borghese, often a comprehensive level of Renaissance knowledge is needed, and your guide will be sure you have all the information you need to savour the experience. 


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