Villa housing 15th- to 18th-century artworks with pieces by Bernini & Caravaggio. Booking essential. One of the world’s great art collections, the haul that Cardinal Scipione Borghese assembled in the early 17th century in his Roman garden villa includes Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, a gaggle of Caravaggios and Bernini’s sublime sculpture Apollo and Daphne – perhaps my single favourite work of art in the whole of Rome. Later generations made some bad mistakes (allowing Napoleon, for example, to make off with 154 statues and countless other artefacts) but also some worthwhile additions, such as Canova’s risqué statue of Pauline Bonaparte. Flanking the villa are a magnificent 17th-century aviary (uccelliera) and a series of ‘giardini segreti’ – secret gardens. They’re usually closed but the Bell’Italia 88 (bellitalia88.it) association runs occasional tours. Note that visits to the gallery have to be booked, and run on designated timeslots – though if you turn up at a quiet time of year, there may be still be spaces that same day. You should be at the gallery to pick up your ticket 30 minutes before your entry time.
Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5, 00197
00 39 06 32810
The Galleria Borghese is an art gallery in Rome, Italy, housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. The Villa Borghese “outside Porta Pinciana”, was built at the beginning of the century XVII. Visit Italy. Italy Epic Route © Monika Newbound