What is Villa Borghese?

Villa Borghese is the third largest public park in Rome, with several structures, museums and attractions. In the heart of Rome, only a quick walk from the Spanish Steps. It offers a natural oasis away from the hustle and bustle without having to leave the city at all.

The History of the Villa Borghese

The gardens of Villa Borghese were commissioned in 1605 for the Villa Borghese Pinciana, a gallery within the gardens which formally housed Villa Borghese Pinciana. The aim of the construction was to build the largest garden ever built in Rome since the ancient times. Although it did become the first type of garden of this magnitude in Rome, it did not remain the biggest.

Galleria Borghese

See where it all started and visit Galleria Borghese, the Villa Borghese Pinciana’s former home, now bursting with one of the best art collections in the world. Incredible artworks including works by both Caravaggio and Bernini. As it is a smaller gallery compared to others within Rome, they only allow up to 360 people into the museum at once. This gives you a spacious viewing for the artwork, as there are no crowds you need to shoulder your way through to see the works up close.

The Lake

The lake inside Villa Borghese is one of the most visited attractions within the park. It tranquil lake with large flowing trees such as weeping willows sprinkled along the sides of the water. A small island lies in the middle of the lake, with a 19th centre style temple with the words Temple of Aesculapius. This represents the Greek god of Asclepius, who was associated with health and curing disease. You may like to either bike or walk around the lake, to soak in the beautiful scenery from afar. Otherwise, you can rent a boat, and cruise closer to the temple, escaping the clatter of the city in this peaceful space.

Puppet Shows

If travelling with kids, the Teatro Stabile dei Burattini’s San Carlino Puppet Theatre is a must. Delight both you and your children with the clowns, actors, musicians and of course puppets that take part in the show.

Victorian Water Clock

Built-in 1867 by the inventor Giovan Battista Embriaco and is located on a small island in a pond within the gardens. It is a fascinating piece of mechanical architecture, using the force of the water to move the clock hands. The magical forest area the clock is placed within creates a dreamlike atmosphere, almost like stepping into wonderland.


For the animal lovers, the Bioparco di Roma Zoo is within the heart of the gardens. With over 200 different types of animals, this charming zoo is fun for the whole family.

Visit our Rome tours to learn more, and discover the incredible sights this area has to offer.

To visit Villa Borghese, check out our Borghese Gallery and Gardens Tour today!

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