Galleria Borghese

In a city full of fine art, the exquisite paintings and sculptures at this prestigious 17th-century gallery still manage to stand out from the crowd.

The prestigious Galleria Borghese holds an impressive collection of art, including masterpieces by Titian and Raphael as well as sculptures by artists such as Canova and Caravaggio. View traditional Roman floor mosaics and breathtaking reliefs, and enjoy a stroll around the gallery gardens.

Make your way through the pretty garden towards the striking gallery. This bright white neoclassical villa once belonged to Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The cardinal was a keen collector who amassed an incredible amount of artwork during his lifetime, much of which can be seen in the gallery today.

Venture inside the gallery and explore the first level. Here, gold motifs line the walls, mosaics depicting gladiators in battle adorn the floors and a wall relief depicts Romulus being welcomed onto Olympus.

Continue into the first room where a figure of Napoleon’s sister reclines topless on a sofa. In other rooms you'll find 17th-century sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini that show pagan myths in vivid detail. Look for the shape of Daphne with her hands turning into leaves and Pluto grabbing hold of a struggling Persephone.

Ascend the staircase to the second level to discover an extensive array of Renaissance paintings. Among the most notable works hanging here are Raphael’s The Deposition and Lady with a Unicorn, both dating from 1507. Other highlights include the Madonna and Child by Perugino and Titian’s 16th-century masterpiece Sacred and Profane Love.

Galleria Borghese is open from Tuesday through to Sunday and there is a small entry fee. Visitors are admitted in 2-hour slots so book your ticket in advance to save yourself standing around. Catch the bus from the city center to Via Pinciana. The gallery is just a short walk from there.

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