Borghese Gallery is one of the main art galleries in Rome. We recommend you to visit it if you have only enough time to visit one museum. In fact this gallery hosts some of the most beautiful pieces of art of the Renaissance and Baroque: works by Bernini, Caravaggio, Canova, Botticelli, and Raffaello.

It’s located in Villa Borghese and it represents its most precious feature. Borghese Gallery hosts Cardinal Scipione Borghese’s private collection. Born in 1579 and died in 1663, he was a patron and an avid art collector. The Italian state acquired the collection in 1902. The works were made available to the public only from 1997.

 Chances

Sculptures. Don’t miss out on the chance to see live four wonderful statues. Three sculptures by Bernini (Apollo and Daphne, the Rape of Proserpina and the David in the act of throwing the rock against Goliaha) and Paolina Borghese portrait sculpted by Antonio Canova.

Ceiling in Borghese Gallery

Paintings. The gallery host a few majestic paintings by Caravaggio:  il Boy with a basket of fruit, Young sick Bacchus, David and Goliath, John the Baptist and the Madonna and Child with St. Anne (Madonna dei Palafrenieri). Also you can admire the famous Lady with a Unicorn, The Deposition, and the Portrait of a Man  by Raffaello; Sacred and Profane Love, also called Venus and the Bride by Tiziano; Correggio’s Danae; Rubens’ Deposition.

Villa Borghese. Tour of Borghese Gallery can’t last more than two hours due to visitors turnover. So once you’re out you may take a walk inside Villa Borghese. Thanks to its 80 hectare extension, the Villa features many attractions. We recommend you to visit the lake where you can rent a small boat. Or Piazza di Siena where a horse race takes place in May. If you have children you can opt for a ride on a rickshaw, or for the puppet show or for a show at the Cinema dei Piccoli. If you’re a movie fan you can’t miss the Casa del Cinema.


 Watch out!

Closed on Monday. Borghese Gallery is closed on Mondays.

David by Bernini

Two hour tour. Tour of the museum lasts 2 hours. For every tour there’s a maximum of 360 people allowed with mandatory exit after two hours.

Mandatory reservation. Due to the mandatory turns, you must book your visit in order to access the Gallery. Reservation costs 2 Euros. You can book your tickets online or, if you’re a Romapass card holder, call 06/32810 from 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. So you must book your visit even if you’re entitled to a free ticket or if you wish to go on the first Sunday of the month (when access is free).

No refund policy. According to the Gallery’s company website, the ticket is not refundable nor you can cancel or change reservations already made.

Excess baggage. You’re not permitted to bring with you any kind of baggage inside the Museum that is: handbags, video cameras, umbrellas, strollers etc.etc. However there’s no space dedicated to lock your baggage outside the Museum so our recommendation is to leave everything at the hotel.


Trivia

Apollo e Dafne, Scultura del Bernini esposta ai Musei Vaticani, Roma

Apollo and Daphne by Bernini

Apollo and Daphne. Who is Finelli?  According to the art historian Jennifer Montagu, "while it was Bernini who came up with the idea and executed the most part of the piece, it was Giuliano Finelli (from Carrara) who created its delicate roots and branches and its twirling plaits.According to Montagu maybe because Bernini was jealous of Finelli’s talent and wary of his personality he never gave Finelli the promotion that Bernini had promised him.Apparently this was the first time in which a talented artist left Bernini’s workshop because he refused to be confined to a humble role in Bernini’s shop. It wouldn’t be the last time". (From, Jake Morrisey “Geni rivali. Bernini, Borromini e la creazione di Roma barocca”)

Exhibit

Temporary exhibits. At times inside the Borghese Gallery a few exhibits take place along with other events and meetings. When this happens, free and reduced tickets are suspended and the ticket price may rise without notice.

 Food

Packed lunch. You can eat a sandwhich while sitting on a bench or walking through Villa Borghese.

Cheap meal on the run. If you have enough time to go to Via della Croce (a cross street on Via del Corso) and stop at Pastificio Guerra. With 4 Euros you can taste a nice plate of pasta. But don’t expert to sit at a table. The pasta is served inside a plastic container with a plastic fork, You can eat it standing or walking around.

Veggie. In Via Margutta you will find Margutta vegetarian food & art, a vegeterian restaurant and brunch house (brunch is served between 12 pm and 3:30 pm) that serves vegan food as well as gluten-free food. Often the restaurant features both big time and up and coming artist’s exhibitions, plays, book presentations, meetings and debates.

Tiramisù. On Via della Croce you can stop by the famous Pompi for tiramisu (even if the making of the Tiramisu is becoming more and more industrial).

Ice cream, for people who suffer from celiac disease too. Or else you can go to Via Laurina and have one of the best ice creams in Rome at Fata Morgana, where they serve natural ice cream in many flavours even for people who suffer from celiac disease.


  In your backpack

Bring with you as little as possible because you will be forced to leave your baggages at the wardrobe. And there are no lockers for bulkier baggages.

 Opening times

Borghese Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sundays from 9 am to 7 pm. Access is every two hours starting at 9 am. The tour lasts two hours and allows 360 people for tour maximum. Ticket office closes at 6:30 pm.

Prices

The Rape of Proserpina by Bernini

Tickets and reductions. The ticket costs 13 Euros plus 2 Euros for booking rights. There’s a reduced ticket , 6,50 Euros plus 2 Euros for booking rights for youngsters between 18 and 25 and for EU teachers. The ticket costs 8 Euros plus 2 Euros for booking rights on wednesday from 5 pm to 7 pm, from January 10th to February 10th and in November.

Free. Entrance to Borghese Gallery is free (plus 2 Euros for booking rights) the first Sunday of each month and for the following categories: handicapped people and their helper, youth under 18 belonging to the EU, funiversity students and teachers of architecture, literature majoring in archeology or history of art, preservation of cultural heritage and science of development of the EU (they must prove that they’re enrolled in the current year), EU students and teachers enrolled in school of Fine Arts, Icom members, Mibact employees, EU school groups, journalists as well as tour guides and EU interpreter (they must bring a valid licence for proof)

Tickets:
Regular18/25 yearsLess than 18 years
Entrance13 €6,50 €Free
Wednesday8 €6,50 €Free
First Sunday of the monthFreeFreeFree
Pre-sale2 €2 €2 €
 

How to get there

Subway. Take the A line and get off at Spagna station. Then follow the directions to Villa Borghese – Via Veneto.

Bus. You can take the following lines: 5, 19, 52, 53, 63, 86, 88, 92, 95, 116, 204, 217, 231, 360,490, 491, 495, 630, 910 and 926.

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