Villa Borghese, Rome

"Villa Borghese, Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 29th April 2011

Villa Borghese, Rome

This villa occupies the territory of 78 hectares and its circumference is 6km. It was created by cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of pope Paul V. The architects were F.Ponzio and G.Vasanzio. Notable enlargement and rearrangement of the villa took place in the late 18th-early 19th centuries. Prince Marcantonio IV Borghese employed Jacob Moore from Edinburgh to design the gardens. The property was enlarged by the addition of the Giustiniani Gardens in 1820.

In the 19th century it was open for public every day except Mondays; here the great manifestations, performances, expositions of flowers, lotteries and masquerades took place. In 1901 it was acquired by Italian state and was turned into a public park. In 1908 Villa was connected with Pincio by an overpass. The main entrance is from Piazzale Flaminio created in 1825 by L.Canina for the prince Camillo Borghese, a husband of Pauline Bonaparte.
Piazza di Siena, Villa Borghese

The places:

Giardino del Lago (1786) containing a little temple with an ancient statue of Aesculapius; Piazza di Siena (pictured above) (which name reminds about a native city of the Borghese family), made in form of an amphitheatre surrounded by stone steps and by pines and cypresses; Galoppatoio; Giardino Zoologico, arranged on the place where Scipione Borghese had a collection of exotic animals. The Zoo was opened in 1911, enlarged in 1935, and for decades was considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. Here are 1100 animals of 230 different kinds. On its territory is a seat of Museo Civico di Zoologia, which collection contains more than 4 millions of pieces exposed in 18 rooms.

"Outside Porta Pinciana he had a beautiful palace built in one of his Vineyards, or Gardens or Villas, however we wish to call it, in which every delight we might desire or have in this life was to be found. It was entirely adorned with beautiful antique and modern statues, fine paintings, and other precious things, including fountains, fishponds and embellishments...", this is how G. Baglione, a painter and art critic of the period, described Pope Paul V's (1605-1621) urban innovations.

The Villa Pinciana was built as a museum to house fine examples of ancient and modern art, as a music centre, but also as a place for the contemplation of nature (in the form of rare plants and animals), of fossil specimens and of modern technology of the time, i.e. automata, mirrors, bizarre lenses and special clocks.

The villa administered a large farm with vineyards, vegetable gardens, hunting grounds, stables, barns, dovecotes in the towers (whose entrance are still visible),a large aviary, an ice store, a wine cellar and even silkworms. Extremely rare plants imported from Holland and Indies and a zoological garden completed Cardinal Scipione's Theatre of the Universe.

Casino dell'Orologio

The constructions:

Casino dell'Orologio (pictured above), adapted in 1792 for the seat of a collection of statues found in Gabi; 17th century pavilions of the Aviary and a little Botanic garden; a church of Immacolata, named also Casina di Raffaello (1792); little fortress "Fortezzuola", from 1961 it is a seat of Museo Canonica, after a sculptor P.Canonica lived here for years and left his works specially for this museum; Propilei Egiziani with two false obelisks (1827); false ruins of Temple of Faustina (1791) and of Temple of Diana (1792); Fontana del Fiocco (1791); Fontana dei Pupazzi; Fontana dei Cavalli marini, Fontana Rotonda (pictured below).
Fontana Rotonda

The monuments:

to Goethe (pictured below) (1904), Victor Hugo (1905), Umberto I (1923), Byron (1959), Firdusi (1963), Francisco Santander (1961) and Jose Artiga (1966).

Villa Borghese
Viale Pietro Canonica, 2,
00197, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Quartiere Pinciano (Roma centro)
Villa Borghese is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "1"
Subway: Piazza di Spagna stop (follow the signs Villa Borghese - Via Veneto), Metro A
Bus n°: 5, 19, 52, 53, 63, 86, 88, 92, 95, 116, 204, 217, 231, 360,490, 491, 495, 630, 910, 926
Tram: 19, 19b, 30, 30b.

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