Essential Guide to Villa Borghese: 8 Things To See
Villa Borghese is the most beautiful garden in Rome, with a number of impressive water fountains, a lake and beautifully kept green space.
But there’s more to see than just gardens in Villa Borghese. Within the gardens there are several museums, buildings and even a zoo to keep the whole family entertained.
In this essential guide to Villa Borghese you’ll find information about what to see and do within the Villa, and how to best plan your visit.
Essential guide to Villa Borghese: 8 Must-see attractions
If you want to see more than just the gardens, there’s plenty to see and do in Villa Borghese. There are so many different points of interest within the park that it’s a good idea to plan what to see in Villa Borghese before you visit.
Here are the must-see attractions in Villa Borghese.
1. Borghese Gallery
The Borghese Gallery houses an impressive collection of Baroque, Renaissance, and Roman art. The gallery houses paintings, sculptures and mosaics by world-famous artists such as Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael.
It’s not just a top attraction in Villa Borghese, it’s also a must-see gallery for anyone visiting Rome. It’s one of the most impressive art galleries in the world, with several world-famous masterpieces on display.
If you want to visit the Borghese Gallery, you’ll need to book your tickets in advance as tickets are for a set entrance time. You can book tickets online for 20,50 euro (full ticket), or 14,50 euro for 18-25 year olds from the European Union (half ticket). Children under 18 just pay a 6 euro reservation fee.
The Gallery is open from 9am to 7pm everyday apart from Mondays. Unfortunately it is closed all day on Mondays.
2. Zoo Bioparco
Villa Borghese is such a large park that there’s even space for a zoo within the gardens! The Bioparco Zoological Gardens house all sorts of animals, from scary predators like lions, tigers and bears, to birds of prey and reptiles. You can see the full list of animals on their website.
The zoo is dedicated to helping people learn more about wildlife and the environment. So it’s a fun and educational day out for the whole family.
The zoo is open everyday, from 9.30am to 6pm during peak season (March to October), and from 9.30am to 5pm during the winter months. Tickets cost 16 euro for adults, and 13 euro for children. Ticket prices also include any public events held at the zoo during the weekends.
3. Globe theatre: watch the opera
The Globe Theatre in Villa Borghese is a replica of Shakespeare’s open air globe theatre. The best way to visit this theatre is to watch a Shakespeare play or an opera. Whilst most performances are in Italian, you can still follow the storyline and soak up the atmosphere. And occasionally they perform in English, so keep an eye on their Facebook page!
Whether you choose to sit on the floor with a picnic blanket, or sit up in one of the higher levels, you’ll feel as though you’ve been sent back in time.
There are shows every night, and ticket prices range from 10 to 30 euro depending on what type of seat you choose. Those sitting on the floor can also rent cushions for 1,50 euro.
4. Watch an outdoor movie at Casa del Cinema
Watching an outdoor movie at Casa del Cinema is the perfect cinema experience. You’ll get to experience the fresh air of the gardens whilst watching a documentary, a short film, or a classic movie. They often show movies in English as well as in Italian, and sometimes host film festivals.
5. Casina di Raffaello
If you’re traveling with little ones, the Casina di Raffaello is definitely worth visiting. From the outside, this is a historic building, but inside it’s actually a kids play centre.
Children between 3 and 10 years old can take part in workshops and activities. There’s also a library and bookshop inside the Casina di Raffaello.
From Tuesdays to Fridays it’s open from 10am until 3.30pm, and at the weekends it’s open from 10am to 6pm. However it’s closed all day on Mondays. Tickets to the play center cost 7 euro.
6. Temple of Asclepius
The Temple of Asclepius that you can find in Villa Borghese today isn’t actually the original, but 1786 replica of the ancient temple.
It stands on an artificial island in the lake of Villa Borghese, so it makes for some great photos. You can also rent a boat on the lake and row past it.
7. Piazza di Siena
The Piazza di Siena is a big square that was designed in 1792 and used to host concerts and special events. Now you can stroll through the square and take a break from the hustle and bustle of Rome’s city centre.
You could also visit the annual equestrian competition, the Concorso Ippico Internazionale, which takes place in May.
8. Watch the sunset at Pincio Terrace
The Pincio Terrace is located at the top of the Pincian hill, and it offers some of the best views of Rome. You can look down on the historic centre and the Piazza del Popolo.
The views from the Pincio Terrace are best seen at sunset. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun set over Rome’s cityscape, and you’ll be able to get some great photos of the city.
Essential guide to Villa Borghese: Enjoy a walking tour
The best way to see everything Villa Borghese has to offer is on a walking tour. You can walk by yourself through the garden, or join an organised tour. If you’re on an organised tour, your tour guide will be able to tell you all about the history of the Villa and recommend what to see in Villa Borghese.
Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy the sculptures around the park and take in the natural scenery and fresh air. There are fountains to see, and different buildings to visit and explore.
The Villa is also one of the most atmospheric places in Rome, with buskers playing music in and around the park. You can enjoy the music by strolling through the park, or sit on a bank under the trees and let your mind wander.
Conclusion to the Essential guide to Villa Borghese
Hopefully this essential guide to Villa Borghese has helped you plan what to see in Villa Borghese. It’s full of things to see and do. There are fountains and sculptures to see, and buildings that offer attractions for visitors of all ages.