Visit Galleria Borghese – One of the best small museums in the world

Visit Galleria Borghese – One of the best small museums in the world

Located north-east of Rome’s city centre Galleria Borghese is a popular attraction amongst tourists and one of the top attractions during a short stay in the city. See famous works by the likes of Bernini, Carvaggio and Titian as you spend two hours touring the gallery. The Borghese Gallery is a great outing for all, even if you’re not an art lover.

One of Rome’s top museums the Galleria Borghese, or Borghese Gallery, is one not to miss during your leisure or business short stay. It is located in the Borghese Gardens on the Pincio Hill about two kilometres North West of the central Termini station and is thus easily accessible and close to many of our short stay apartments in Rome. Filled with grand art it offers hours of entertainment during which you can admire the diverse collection of sculptures and paintings.

The Borghese Gallery is housed in the villa that belonged to Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the early 17th century; the Cardinal was the nephew of Pope Paul V. The longest standing items in the gallery were gathered by the Cardinal. Being passionate about the arts he collected a marvellous line of paintings, sculptures and antiques that are now on display in their original settings. The collection is of ancient, Renaissance and contemporary art, which are the styles that the Cardinal was drawn to.

The gallery is set out across two floors with twenty rooms showcasing the works produced by masters such as Bernini, Caravaggio, Canova and Titian. The main floor is primarily devoted to classical antiques of the 1st to 3rd centuries AD and classical and non-classical sculptures.

During your visit you will be amazed by some of the best and most renowned works on display such as Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne sculpture which is best viewed side on, allowing you to see the reactions of Apollo and Daphne simultaneously so that you can instantly understand the narrative of the story.

Other notable statues within the Borghese Gallery include The Rape of Persephone, which is an example of Greek Mythology depicting the kidnap of Persephone by Hades who took her into the underworld. In the middle of the room stands the reclining statue of Pauline Bonaparte which was created by Canova between 1805 and 1808, has been at the gallery since 1838.

On the upper floor you can find the wonderful collection of paintings. Some of the highlights include Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, which was commissioned by Venetian Nicolo Aurelio to celebrate his marriage to a young widow. The bride in the painting is sitting in a white dress next to Cupid while being assisted by Venus. David with the Head of Goliath, a famous painting by Baroque artist Caravaggio, is also at Galleria Borghese and is said to be his painted plea for forgiveness from the papal court after he fled from Rome for being accused of murder; Goliath is said to be Carvaggio while David is his executioner. During your visit to the Borghese Gallery you will also see the Deposition painting by Rubens which is an interpretation of the Gospel’s accounts of Christ’s descent from the Cross after his crucifixion.

The collection at the Borghese Gallery is truly remarkable and seeped in the forever intriguing history surrounding Rome and art. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the tour and admiring the art and at the same time be educated about the history of each peace. After your visit to the gallery you can enjoy a walk through the Gardens which are laid out in an English style and filled with fountains, monuments and diverse flora. Find a quiet space and relax while you reflect on your visit to the gallery and plan the rest of your short stay in Rome.

Galleria Borghese has a limited space for visitors and for this reason the visits are arranged in two-hour slots, five times per day. Reservations are mandatory. You can book your tickets online by choosing the date and time slot of your visit. Tickets can be collected at the gallery or can be sent to you in advance at an extra cost to have before your short visit to Rome. Guided tours are given daily and in English while audio guides are also available. This is a popular attraction so turning up without a reservation is not advisable as the probability is that tickets are only available for the next day or even the following week during the busier seasons.

It is worth noting that public transport doesn’t take you directly to the gallery so plan your route ahead to avoid arriving late. There is however a small electric bus, numbered 116, that passes the Barberini Metro and winds through the Villa Borghese park before arriving at Borghese Gallery.

Online reservation price via the website:

  • Full price: €11. 00
  • EU citizens aged 18 – 25 and EU teachers: €6. 50
  • Children under 18 or EU senior citizens over 65: €2. 00
  • Discounted entry to holders of the Roma Pass.
  • Opening Times:
  • Tuesday to Sunday 9AM to 7PM. Closed on Mondays.
  • Address: Piazzale Museo Borghese, 5, 00197 Rome
  • Website: galleriaborghese.it; English version can be selected.
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