The Museums of Rome: Galleria Borghese

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Galleria Borghese is one of my all-time favorite museums, not only in Rome but also in the whole world. I liked the museum so much I even wrote a research paper about it while studying in Rome. The otherworldly beauty of Bernini's sculptures is accentuated by the elegant setting of the former Villa Borghese Pinciana.

Galleria Borghese or Borghese Gallery is most well-known for the masterpieces of the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). One of his most acclaimed works exhibited in the museum is the life-size marble statue of Apollo and Daphne (as seen in the picture above). The lifelikeness and the dramatic depiction of the couple took my breath away. I could literally stare at the beautiful faces of Apollo and Daphne for hours. The sculpture is exemplary of Baroque art in the 17th century.

Apart from the Bernini's sculptures, the museum holds an important collection of paintings by the Old Masters including Titian, Caravaggio, and Raphael. Titian is my favorite artist so I was really happy to find his work in Galleria Borghese. It was indeed satisfying to see Titian's ambiguous painting Sacred and Profane Love (1514) in the flesh. Some other significant paintings are Deposition by Raphael, Danäe by Correggio, and Boy with a Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio.

A trip to Galleria Borghese would be a perfect day out whenever the weather is pleasant. The museum is located near the Borghese Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in Rome. After spending two hours looking at art, you might want to take a walk and enjoy the tranquil view of the Villa Borghese Lake. Even better, have fun with friends and row a boat on the lake! Who could resist such a relaxing day out?

Galleria Borghese & the garden
Galleria Borghese & the garden
Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma, Italie

My museum tip: make a reservation in advance because there are strict timing slots for visiting Galleria Borghese.

General museum tip: On the first Sunday of each month, state museums and archaeological sites offer free entries for everyone. Some of the most important ones are Colosseum and Roman Forum/Palatine, Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi, Terme di Diocleziano), The Borghese Gallery (booking required), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica-Palazzo Barberini, and Galleria Nazionale Arte Moderna. A full list of the participating museums can be found on this website.

Interested in the classical beauty of Galleria Borghese? Why don't you check out another important museum in Rome: The Capitoline Museums? (Unfortunately, the Capitoline Museums is not part of the Free Sunday Museum program)


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The author

Vy Tran

Vy Tran

Vy grew up in Hanoi but defines herself as a global citizen. She loves Dutch Golden Age paintings, dining at Michelin restaurants, watching warm sunsets and Italy, where she would be willing to spend her life.

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