Villa Borghese and the Borghese Gardens

Villa Borghese

After climbing the Spanish Steps and checking out the Trinita’ de Monti church, take a short walk to the north-west along the Piazza della Trinita dei Monti and enjoy the marvellous Borghese Gardens. These are the second largest gardens in Rome, covering about 80 hectares (148 acres), surpassed only by the Villa Doria Pamphili.

It was in 1605 that Cardinal Scipione Borghese began turning his vineyard into a the most extensive gardens in Rome at the time. The gardens were redesigned in the 19th century, and formally opened to the public in 1903 when they were purchased by the commune of Rome.

There are a number of buildings within the gardens, the second largest of which is the Villa Borghese Pinciana itself, which today houses the Galleria Borghese, an art gallery housing the majority of Cardinal Borghese’s extensive collection of paintings and sculptures. The largest building, the former Villa Medici is now all but separated from the gardens and is accessed from the Piazza della Trinita dei Monti.

The 19th century "Temple of Aesculapius" in the Borghese gardens

The 19th century “Temple of Aesculapius” in the Borghese gardens

The gardens are clearly a popular weekend outing for many families in Rome today. From its elevated position there are excellent views across most of Rome from the front entrance, and you can enjoy a coffee or refreshing drink at the outdoor cafe there (or an extremely expensive meal at the restaurant). You can hire golf carts, Segways, bicycles or roller blades to help you get around.


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