Villa Borghese is one of Rome’s favorite gardens and the famous Galleria Borghese is situated in these picturesque gardens.
I have to admit that I am not an expert at Art at any level and neither do I claim to understand much of it. But I do appreciate all the Art in its myriad forms. Italy with its bounty of museums and cathedrals was certainly a place I eagerly looked forward to exploring.
The gallery Borghese holds the works of several famous masters such as Bernini, Raphael, Caravaggio and Rubens. It houses splendid sculptures depicting very interesting stories as well as paintings. Some notable sculptures I really liked were those of Apollo and Daphne and the statue of David both by Bernini. The paintings in this gallery were not as humongous as they were in the Vatican museums, but it was a pleasure to see a couple of realistic works of Caravaggio – Boy with a Basket of Fruit and Young Sick Bacchus.
Overall the gallery was very well laid out on three floors. Apart from the paintings and sculptures exhibited, the floors and the ceilings of each of the rooms were a sight to behold as well with splendid embellishments and frescos/paintings.
I had taken an audio guide which served two purposes – One, that it gave me plenty of information of course. Two was that this audio guide did not talk about each and every work in the museum, but instead focused on the important works. So, it was easier to navigate my time and my way through the museum using this audio guide.
About two hours is enough to see the gallery and once you are out, you can unwind in the beautiful Villa Borghese gardens that contain several fountains, green spaces and a lake. It also has a zoo for kids to enjoy at.
Getting to Galleria Borghese:
Most directions tell you to get off at the Spagna metro station and walk from there. But you may end up at the wrong end of the park with no directions in there. Follow the directions to Via Veneto and NOT Villa Borghese from San Paulo del Brassile bus stop and keep walking from there. There are several buses that come to this bus stop from various areas – 5, 19, 63, 86, 88, 92, 95, 116, 204, 217, 231, 360,490, 491, 495, 630, 926. The frequent ones used are 116 and 910 from the Termini station. We made the mistake of following the Villa Borghese directions and had to walk a great deal through the gardens to finally get to the museum.
Reservation is compulsory
One of the most popular tourist museums, the Galleria Borghese has had to restrict the number of visitors who can be inside the gallery at any point in time. With this rule, one has to book a spot way ahead of the scheduled visit. Reservation is required irrespective of how and when you plan to visit- with or without a Roma pass, on the first Sunday of the month or any time!
You will be given a time and date when you can enter the gallery. It is easiest to call and make a reservation about 3-6 weeks in advance. Getting a reservation is free. But you need to save the code you are provided with. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month although you still need to reserve a spot. Official number is: +39 06 32810. Alternately you can make an online booking on http://www.tosc.it.