Rome – Day 6 – Borghese Villa and Gardens – 12.6 kms

August 5, 2018

Our last day in Rome. We have seen so much in the last week in Rome, it was well worth spending the extra days not to rush through all the touristy things. Some people come for a couple of days and rush through everything. When we were at the Coliseum one lady was so intent on getting to see the next thing, she missed spending time wandering around and enjoying the surroundings.

Today was a relaxing day, enjoying the gardens and villa of the Borghese Family.

Map of Villa Borghese

The Gardens cover an area of 80 hectares (approximately 200 acres) and were developed in 1606 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The Villa Borghese was designed by the architect Flaminio Ponzio. It was referred to as a party house. Where the Borghese family (Cardinal Borghese) would entertain the nobility of Rome and also somewhere to keep his private art collection.

Unfortunately, we didn’t know that you had to book tickets in advance for the Villa – there were no “last minute” tickets available.

Villa Borghese

Oh well, we enjoyed the gardens and peered through one window which revealed a small portion of the extensive art collection.

Art Collection

The gardens became a public park in 1903. The gardens are well visited by the local population and tourists alike.

Main Entrance

There is a small lake which was originally designed as a Fish Pond, but is now a small boating lake. Boats are rented at E3.00 for 20 minutes. There are still lots of large fish in the lake and turtles.

The property consists of many different areas, including a sports field, I thought it might be used for polo, or a good game of cricket.

Cricket Pitch

One of the other forested areas was used for private hunting. Some of the gardens were a little overgrown and I wondered why they didn’t maintain them. However, as Ralf said if they were maintained they would have to charge to get into the park and it was so nice to be able to enjoy the park for free, along with hundreds of Italians having picnics etc.

There were a lot of fountains, some were well maintained and others towards the back of the property were less well maintained.

We spent about four hours wandering this extensive property.  We could have rented bikes, but they looked like a lot of hard work.

There were lots of statues throughout the garden, some were a little weird – like the statue holding the smiling head?

Headless Statue

Again it was a very hot day, even the police horse was hot and the policeman was walking him, allowing him to cool down.

Hot, Tired Horse

These two dogs knew how to keep cool, they lay down in the small culvert.

Dogs Cooling Down

A lovely way to spend our last day in Rome.

Although we had a great day, there were moments which made you wonder about the other side of Rome. Today we saw a lot of homeless people, sleeping rough in the park. This fella was passed out at the end of a street car line!

End of the Line

Once again we are amazed at the graffiti throughout Rome, even on Metro Trains. How do they have the time to do this, especially as there are so many CTV cameras around.

Graffiti on Subway Car

We finished our last day with pizza and gelato. I have enjoyed the pizza, but I do not want to eat another one for a while, you can have too much of a good thing. The gelato is a different story I will really miss tasting all the different flavours.

Tomorrow we fly home. There will be a couple more posts – “Thoughts on… Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria and Italy. I will try to get those done as soon as I get home and organized.

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