Visit Borghese Gardens: organize your day to avoid getting lost
The Villa Borghese Gardens is more than just a public park. It’s filled with attractions dotted over 80 hectares on Rome’s Pincian Hill. The most-visited attraction is the Borghese Gallery, but there are many more museums and even cinemas and a zoo within the park’s borders.
With many different paths and even streets crisscrossing the park, it’s easy to get lost when you visit Borghese Gardens. That’s why it’s important to be armed with either a physical or digital map.
Studying your Borghese Gardens map before setting out will also help a great deal to orientate yourself.
What to expect when you visit Borghese Gardens ?
Villa Borghese is the 3rd largest public park in Rome. There are 9 entrances and hundreds of paths leading to over 90 attractions, big and small. You’ll also find other must-visit places, like the Piazza del Popolo and Spanish Steps close to the border of the Borghese Gardens.
Most people head straight for the Borghese Gallery which is very well signposted. But getting to other Borghese attractions can be confusing. For example, how will you get from the gallery to the Bioparco zoological gardens or the National Gallery of Modern Art? And where are the beautiful garden features such as the Temple of Asclepius and the Piazza di Siena?
The importance of planning your Borghese Gardens visit
You don’t want to walk from one point of the Borghese Gardens to the other just to realise you missed something close to where you started. You’ll also want to know where you can stop for refreshments or a bathroom break. And what the Villa Borghese Gardens Hours are to make sure you have enough time to fit everything in.
The Villa Borghese Garden paths are well maintained and easy to walk on. There are also maps and signs at strategic points in the park to confirm you’re heading in the right direction. Sometimes they’ll also inspire you to deviate from your pre-planned route.
Tips to walk around Borghese Gardens without getting lost
Do your research before leaving home by studying a Borghese Gardens map online and deciding what you would like to see and do.
Print the map to take along. If you prefer a digital map, make sure you can access one on your mobile phone by either downloading or bookmarking one.
If you prefer a physical Borghese Gardens map and don’t have time to print one at home, there maps for sale outside most of the entrances.
Decide where you want to enter and exit the Villa Borghese Gardens on the day of your visit.
Check the Villa Borghese Gardens hours when planning your visit. Generally, the gates open at dawn and close at dusk.
Find a landmark which you can return to when you get lost.
Borghese Gardens map
A typical day when you visit Borghese Gardens
With the diverse points of interest in Villa Borghese Park, there are many possible itineraries for a day in the park. What’s great is that you can customize your visit to suit your needs.
Those who aren’t confident enough to do their own thing, can choose one of the Villa Borghese Tours that appeals most to them. There are bicycle tours, walking tours, Segway tours and even garden picnics. Or you could opt for a tour of the Borghese Gallery including the garden highlights.
Visit Borghese Gardens: a one-hour walking tour
However, if you do want to explore on your own, here is a short basic route to follow. Simply walking this route will take around one hour. Spending time at attractions or deviating from the route will of course add more time to it.
- Start at the Porta Pinciana entrance to the Villa Borghese Gardens. It’s easily reached from the Spanish Steps. This is a busy entrance where you can also rent bicycles.
- Walk straight until you reach the Cinema dei Piccoli (the smallest of its kind in the world) just a short distance from Porta Pinciana.
- Now turn back to Porta Pinciana and look for the sign showing the way to the Borghese Gallery. It’s almost impossible to get lost on the way there along a wide, well signposted path.
- From the Borghese Gallery (whether you visited or not), turn left and continue straight until you reach a public road at the Bioparco Zoological Gardens. The Borghese Gallery gardens will be on your right after turning. If you’re not in the mood to walk everywhere, this is also where you can catch the tourist train shuttle or small electric public bus.
- Walk left along the public road. You’ll soon pass the zoo’s main entrance on your right. Keep going until you find an unpaved path on your left which joins another dirt path taking you back into the Borghese Gardens.
- Look for the tram lines (no 3 and 19) and follow them along the adjacent main path in the direction of the National Gallery of Modern Art (book your ticket online here).
- Keep your eyes open for the lake with the Temple of Asclepius on the island in the middle. It will be on your left. Veer off the main path anywhere you like to reach the lake. Now is the time to rent a boat and row to the island for a nice break in your walk.
Last step to your Borghese Gardens visit
- Get onto Via del Lago which goes around the lake and follow it where it branches off toward the Viale Pietro Canonica. Turn right here.
- Although this path changes names a few times, you can just carry on straight with it until you come out above the Piazza del Popolo. The viewing platform on the piazza is the perfect place to end your walk, even more so when it coincides with sunset. You’ll have great views over Rome’s rooftops from here. Just be careful to keep the Villa Borghese Gardens hours in mind to avoid getting trapped inside for the night.
Visit Borghese Gardens Conclusion
No matter what your interests are, you’ll find something that appeals to you when you visit Borghese Gardens. Armed with a Borghese Gardens map after doing prior research, there is no reason to get lost in this vast park with its many attractions. Just remember to make sure about the Villa Borghese Gardens Hours for the time of year you’re visiting.