Villa Borghese Gardens

By Aniket

Villa Borghese is Rome’s most famous park, known as the city’s “green lung.”

The Villa Borghese Gardens are on Pincian Hill, near the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. 

The Borghese Gallery is located within Villa Borghese. 

The Gardens are 80 hectares in size and were created in 1606 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who wanted to transform his former vineyard into the most extensive gardens ever built in Rome.

The gardens were completely redesigned in the nineteenth century in the naturalistic English style and became a public park in 1903.

Borghese Gardens Opening Hours

The Villa Borghese Gardens are only open during the day, from sunrise to dusk, all year. 

There is no entrance fee to enter the gardens. 

However, to enter the Borghese Gallery, you must buy a ticket. We suggest you buy Borghese Gallery tickets online to avoid large crowds and ensure a smooth entry.  

How to Reach Villa Borghese Gardens

If taking the metro, take the Linea A (red) line and exit at either Spagna or Flaminio metro station

Both stations are within 10 minutes’ walking distance of the Gardens. 

Numerous bus routes also connect to Villa Borghese. 

The following buses will take you to the general vicinity: 61, 117, 119, 120, 150, 160, 490, 495, 590, 628, and C3.

What to see in Borghese Gardens Rome

The gardens of Villa Borghese are a lovely place to visit all year. 

The meticulously designed landscape is relaxing, providing fresh air and much-needed open green space.

The best way to get the most out of the visit is to understand better the layout and the various parks and monuments within the grounds.

The Borghese Gallery

The Borghese Gallery
Image: Viator.com

Explore one of the world’s finest art collections at the Borghese Gallery, housed within the Villa Borghese.

The gallery houses the works of some of history’s most renowned artists. 

Raphael leads the Renaissance group of painters, while Bernini leads the Baroque sculptors.

The Borghese Gallery has some truly breathtaking works of art on display; the admission fee is well worth it.

The Villa is a lavish and magnificent example of 17th-century architecture. The opulent interior is worth exploring even without the famous gallery.

Gardens of Villa Borghese

Escape to Villa Borghese’s beautiful landscape gardens and discover a peaceful oasis in the heart of Rome. 

Several Classical-style sculptures and monuments are scattered throughout the lovely gardens, adding to the beauty of the predominantly 19th-century English landscape garden.

The Water Clock

The Water Clock
Image: Timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Visitors are drawn to the charming and innovative 19th-century water clock.

The water clock has a storybook quality due to its unusual design and unique location within the park.

The garden’s famous water clock is located near Pincio Terrace.

The clock, designed by Giovan Battista Embriaco, was built in 1867 and is located in the center of a small lake. 

It regulates water flow into and out of vessels to tell time. The gardens are a fascinating sight to see.

This method of telling time is particularly ancient. Some believe it was first used in China during 4000 BC and in ancient Greece and Rome.

Asclepius Temple

Asclepius Temple
Image: Reddit.com

The Villa Borghese pond is on an artificial island that houses the ancient Greek-style Temple of Aesculapius.

Despite its appearance, this temple is a relatively new addition to Villa Borghese.

It’s one of the most beautiful attractions in the park, with the temple sitting overlooking the center of the lake.

Jacob Moore, a landscape designer, built the Laghetto di Villa Borghese in 1766. 

However, the pond is for more than just looking at it. 

Many visitors come here by boat to enjoy the garden’s natural surroundings from the water. 

Rowing boats can be rented near the pond for a low fee.

Bioparco di Roma

Bioparco di Roma
Image: Tripadvisor.com

The zoo at Bioparco may be an unexpected addition to the grounds of Villa Borghese, but it offers a surprisingly diverse range of animals and exhibits.

As one might expect, there is a fee to enter Bioparco. 

It is a fun way to spend half a day in Rome and is especially suitable for families with children.

The zoo began as a small exhibition to entertain the masses but has grown significantly over the century. 

Bioparco has evolved into a conservation and educational attraction. 

It has come a long way since its dilapidated post-World War II state and now offers a wide range of species and attractions.

The Valley of the Bears, Sumatran tiger, and orangutan enclosures are among the many excellent attractions. 

The most recent addition is the California sea lion enclosure, which includes several underwater viewing platforms for the best possible view of the animals.

The Pincio Terrace

The Pincio Terrace
Image: Tripadvisor.com

Head up to Pincian Hill within the grounds of Villa Borghese for breathtaking views of Rome: the Pincio Terrace has stunning views of the entire city but is especially good for views of the Vatican and historic center.

The lovely gardens spread out across Pincio Hill and provide stunning city views. 

This garden section features beautiful tree-lined walkways and picturesque avenues dotted with busts of famous artists and writers.

Make a point of stopping here to take in the city’s sights. 

The balcony provides panoramic views of the Piazza del Popolo below and the St. Peter’s Basilica dome.

Casina Valadier is a beautiful liberty villa housing a lovely café and restaurant, which is ideal for a date. It is also close to Pincio Terrace.

Fountains

The inventive fountains at Villa Borghese were built between the 17th and early 20th centuries. 

Visitors can see carvings of goddesses and strange mythological beings with jets of water gushing from them, adorned with opulent stuccos and rich decorations. 

The mystical creations contribute to the gardens’ almost otherworldly feel.

The Peschiera aqueduct feeds the garden’s water features, creating a lush urban oasis. 

Some of the more famous fountains include the Fountain of Venus, located in the center of a rectangular garden and depicts a naked Venus carved in marble.

The Seahorse Fountain, also in marble, was designed by Cristoforo Unterberger and sculpted by Vincenzo Pacetti in 1791.

Statues

borghese gallery statues
Image: Tiqets.com

Walking through the Villa’s winding grounds, you will notice several statues dedicated to artists and writers. 

These busts were mainly added between 1851 and 1952 and feature prominent figures such as Dante Alighieri, Horace, and Virgil.

The statue of Lord Byron is one of the park’s most notable features.  

This version is a copy of the one by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, but it’s still appealing.

The writer is holding a pen in one hand and a page in the other as if waiting for inspiration to strike.

A monument honors the prominent Russian poet and playwright Aleksandr Pushkin. 

Although Pushkin never visited Italy. 

In his work, he wrote about his admiration for the country, and his influence on the literary world continues to this day.

Museum Carlo Bilotti

Museum Carlo Bilotti
Image: Artsupp.com

Carlo Bilotti Museum, located near the pond, is an exciting place to visit. 

The gallery, which hosts contemporary art exhibits, is located in the Borghese Family’s orangeries.

Additional Attractions at the Borghese Gardens

  • Puppet Theater: It is an excellent show for kids.
  • The Globe Theater: It is a recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe.
  • Casa del CinemaIt: It is a vintage movie theater.
  • Carlo Bilotti Museum: It is a free museum in the Orangery of Villa Borghese.
  • La Casina di Raffaello: A charming old building houses a children’s play area.
  • The Pietro Canonica Museum: It is a free sculpture gallery.

Book a Borghese Gallery and Gardens Tour and go on a journey where art and nature seamlessly combine for an immersive experience!

Borghese Gardens Entrance

Given its size, Villa Borghese can be accessed from various points. 

There are nine entrances, but the most popular are the Porta Pinciana and Piazza del Popolo entrances.

Visitors enter the premises primarily through two gates – the one near Porta Pinciana and the one near Piazza del Popolo.

The following are some of Villa Borghese’s entrances:

Parco dei Daini 

It is an excellent way to get to the Borghese Gallery and Zoo.

This entrance leads to a pleasant area with benches and, occasionally, outdoor exhibitions.

However, there is no playground or cafe. You can rent quad bikes near the zoo, a short walk from this entrance.

Piazzale Belle Arti 

Piazzale Belle Arti 
Image: Tripadvisor.com

The trams 3 and 19 serve this entrance. 

This is an excellent entrance to the Borghese Pond and temple, a small playground, and a few charming cafes.

This is also a good entrance to the dog park and can be used to get to the zoo.

Salita del Pincio is a street that climbs from Piazza del Popolo to the beautiful Pincio Terrace.

If you are okay with a bit of a climb and want to see the view from the Pincio Terrace, this is a grand entrance.

Tip: There is a lovely walk between Pincio and the Spanish Steps with beautiful and unrestricted views of Rome.

Porta Pinciana Entrance 

Porta Pinciana Entrance 
Image: Tripadvisor.com

One can use this entrance to get to Casa del Cinema or if you have children and want to enjoy the best playground in Villa Borghese. 

This is one of the most frequently used entrances by visitors. 

It is near Villa Borghese and at the top of Via Veneto between Porta del Popolo and Porta Salaria.

Visitors use this entrance to the Villa Borghese grounds and reach the gallery’s main door.

Within 500 meters of the Villa Borghese entrances, there are several bus stops. 

Take bus lines 61, 160, 117, 119, 120, 150, 490, 495, 590, 628, and C3 to the Pinciana stop and walk towards the gallery.

Though the gate will be open from morning to evening, entry to the gallery is only permitted during the following hours: 9 am to 11 am, 11 am to 1 pm, 1 pm to 3 pm, 3 pm to 5 pm, and 5 pm to 7 pm. 

Entrance to Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo is located inside Porta del Popolo, the northern gate of the Aurelian Walls and the main route connecting Rome and Northern Italy.

The Flaminio metro stop (Line A) is directly in front of the park’s main entrance, near Piazza del Popolo. 

You can leave at this stop and walk through the garden to the gallery.

Though the gate will be open from morning to evening, entry to the gallery is only permitted during the following hours: 9 am to 11 am, 11 am to 1 pm, 1 pm to 3 pm, 3 pm to 5 pm, and 5 pm to 7 pm.

Access for the Disabled

The Borghese Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Because the main entrance has steps, the gallery has a special entrance in the back for visitors with mobility issues. 

To use the service, send someone into the museum or call from a mobile device to have a staff member open the back door.