Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese (44)

Villa Borghese would be the Roman equivalent to New York’s Central Park or London’s Hyde Park. So if you fancy a stroll through some quiet gardens, this is the perfect spot, since despite being inside the city, once inside you can sense an atmosphere of great calm.

This marvellous green space within the city was created in the 17th century by Cardinal Scipioni Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V. The park has 400 pine trees, fountains by Giovanni Fontana and sculptures by Pietro Bernini.

In 1901, Villa Borghese became state-owned. You can travel around it on bike, go horse-riding or play sports. The park also has an artificial lake, a zoo and an amphitheatre.

One of the park’s big attractions is the large number of trees, making it the ideal spot to shelter from the summer heat. The amphitheatre of the Piazza di Siena, for example, is surrounded by tall pine trees. Close to the square is the Casina di Rafaello, which it is said was owned by Raphael. 

If you look carefully, you will see that at all the intersections in the park there is a fountain or a statue. Some of these statues are dedicated to figures such as Byron, Goethe or Victor Hugo.

In the centre of the park is the Giardino del Lago, a garden with an artificial lake and an Ionic temple dedicated to the God of health. If you go the south end of the lake you will reach the Fontana dei Fauni or “Fountain of the Fawns”, a beautiful piece in art nouveau style.

Additionally, in the northeast sector of the villa is the Zoological Museum, as well as a small zoo known as the Bioparco. 

To finish, just remember that every May you can enjoy a horse show that is held in the park’s amphitheatre. 

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