Villa Borghese

Explore the most romantic gardens in Rome at Villa Borghese.

Intro

A world-class art gallery, a puppet theater, and breathtaking landscape gardens are just a few attractions within Villa Borghese, which is one of the largest parks in Rome – and sits on the cusp of the Spanish Steps.

Highlights

  • Enter into the world-class Borghese Gallery to see the works of some of history’s most illustrious artists.
  • Lose yourself in the beautiful gardens, and see the unusual water clock and Temple of Asclepius.
  • Enjoy sweeping views over Rome from the Pincio Terrace.

Tickets & Prices

Find out which of these Villa Borghese tickets – now the Borghese Gallery – is right for you.

Full Price 

This is the ticket option most people visiting the Borghese Gallery use. It applies to the majority of people, as only a few are eligible for the discounted rate.

You purchase a ticket for a specific date and a time slot that lasts for two hours – at the end of your time slot, you must leave the gallery. The ticket is only valid for your chosen date and time, though you can pay an extra fee for cancellation insurance if you would prefer.

Important ticket information:

  • You have to book a time slot, which lasts a strict two hours. 
  • A maximum of 180 people each can enter during each time slot; booking in advance is essential.
  • The gallery is closed on Mondays.
  • Temporary exhibitions may increase the entrance price.
  • There is an additional reservation fee of €2 when booking to visit the museum.

Discounted 

The same rules for the full-price ticket apply to the discounted rate ticket, but this lower price is available to people between the ages of 18-25. Must be EU citizens, but includes non-EU countries with terms of reciprocity.

Roma Pass

The Borghese Gallery is one of the attractions listed in the Roma Pass, which covers transport, entrance to one or two attractions, and reduced ticket prices for others. You can choose either a 48 hour or 72 hour pass – the first includes entrance to one of the major tourist attractions in Rome, while the latter includes two.

Additional ticket information:

  • You are given a physical card, which you will need to show at the ticket office for validation.
  • The Roma Pass is valid for either two or three days and expires at 11:59pm on either the second or third day (depending on your pass length).
  • The pass is activated as soon as you use it – this can be at either an attraction or on public transport. This doesn’t change the expiry time, so it is more cost-effective to activate your Roma Pass in the morning.
  • For your free included ticket, head to the entrance of the attraction, not the ticket office.

What to see and do 

The grounds of Villa Borghese are packed full of things to do and see. These are a few of the highlights:

Borghese Gallery

Explore one of the finest art collections in the world at the Borghese Gallery, which just so happens to be housed in the Villa Borghese itself. 

You will find the works of some of the most esteemed artists in history in the gallery. Italy has had more than its fair share of genius painters and sculptors, and a number of them are represented here. Raphael leads the Renaissance cohort of painters, while Bernini heads the sculptors of the Baroque era. There are some genuinely breathtaking works of art on show in the Borghese Gallery; it is more than worth the ticket price to get in.

The villa itself is an extravagant and magnificent example of 17th-century architecture – the opulent interior is lovely to explore even without the famous gallery.

Villa Borghese Gardens

Escape into the beautiful landscape gardens of Villa Borghese, and discover a peaceful oasis right in the center of Rome. There are a number of Classical-style sculptures and monuments dotted around the lovely gardens, which only enhance the beauty of the predominantly 19th-century English landscape garden. 

Water Clock

The charming and innovative 19th-century water clock is a popular attraction with visitors. Its unusual design and unique location within the park give the water clock an almost storybook quality.

Temple of Asclepius

Despite appearances, this temple is a relatively recent addition to Villa Borghese, built-in 1786. It’s one of the most stunning attractions in the park – the view of the temple sitting overlooking the center of the lake is undeniably lovely.

Bioparco

It might be a rather unexpected addition to the grounds of Villa Borghese, but the zoo at Bioparco offers a surprisingly extensive variety of animals and exhibits.

As you might expect, there is an extra charge to enter Bioparco. It is a fun way to spend half a day in Rome and is particularly ideal for those with children. The zoo started as a small exhibition to entertain the masses but has become far more in the century since. Bioparco has grown into an educational and conservation-focused attraction. It has improved leaps and bounds since its dilapidated post-WWII period, and now offers a great variety of species and attractions. 

The Valley of the Bears, Sumatran tiger, and orangutan enclosures are just a few of many excellent attractions. The most recent addition is the California sea lion enclosure, which has several underwater viewpoints installed to best observe the animals.

Pincio Terrace

For breathtaking panoramas over the city of Rome, head up to Pincian Hill within the grounds of Villa Borghese: the Pincio Terrace has gorgeous views of the whole city but is a particularly good vantage point for views of the Vatican and historic center.

Other Attractions

  • Puppet Theater – a fun show perfect for children.
  • Globe Theater – a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe.
  • Casa del Cinema – vintage cinema.
  • Carlo Bilotti Museum – free museum inside Villa Borghese’s Orangery.
  • Casina di Raffaello – a children’s play area housed in a charming old building.
  • Pietro Canonica Museum – a free art gallery focused on sculptures.

Directions

Villa Borghese could hardly be more central. It is only a few minutes from the Spanish Steps and a stone’s throw from the Vatican.

Given its size, Villa Borghese can be accessed from a number of different areas: you can enter the grounds of Villa Borghese from several different entrances. There are nine in total, but the most popular are the entrances at Porta Pinciana and Piazza del Popolo.

If using the metro, you will need to take the Linea A (red) line and get off at either Spagna or Flaminio. Tram number two stops just outside Villa Borghese.

There are plenty of bus routes that reach Villa Borghese. You can catch 10 different buses that will get you to the general vicinity: 61, 117, 119, 120, 150, 160, 490, 495, 590, 628, and C3. 

Did you know that: (4 Interesting Facts!) 

1. While today the Villa Borghese is considered to be located at the very heart of Rome, it was once an area covered with vineyards.

2. Villa Borghese covers a total land area of 80 hectares, making it one of the largest parks in all of Rome.

3. Bioparco was one of the first zoological gardens to be established with entertaining the general public in mind.

4. The grounds are home to several buildings that all have wildly different purposes: there are museums, a puppet theater, a cinema, and even a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.

History

Villa Borghese

  • 1580. The Borghese family acquire the lands that will later become Villa Borghese. The estate i
  • 1605. Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V, began to bring his ambition to create the largest gardens in Rome since antiquity to life.
  • 1613. The garden villa, now known for hosting the Borghese Gallery, is built to hold Cardinal Scipione Borghese’s vast art collection.
  • 1800s. The gardens are redesigned into an English landscaped garden, a popular style in the 19th century.
  • 1903. Villa Borghese is bought by the Italian State and formally opened to the public.
  • 1911. The zoological garden, now known as Bioparco, is opened.
  • 2003. A replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is constructed.
Villa Borghese map

Address: Villa Borghese, Piazzale Napoleone I , 00197 Roma, Italy · view larger map

tickets