Remember when you buy your ticket that you only get two hours to tour the museum before they rather unceremoniously clear you out and let the next crowd in. It can be a frustrating experience, especially in the first small rooms with everybody crammed in together, following the path indicated on the map you’re given when you enter. The trick is to do the exact opposite. When everybody else is milling around the Roman floor in the first room, make a beeline for the stairs in the back right-hand corner of the building. (The rooms on the ground floor are arranged in a circle so you can go left or right and you’ll find the stairs.) As you’re moving swiftly toward the staircase, you’ll catch glimpses of some stunning works, but you’ll have time for them later. Once you’re upstairs, you’ll have the galleries entirely to yourself and you can enjoy each picture without having to fend off other visitors. When people start to come upstairs, head back down. As if by magic, the first rooms are now empty. I always save extra time for Bernini’s Daphne and Apollo. It is a magical statue, full of light and movement. The stone is so finely chiseled that you can practically see through the cloth and the leaves. They say that if you were to tap a spoon on the foot of the statue, the leaves at the end of Daphne’s fingers would ring like crystal. Understandably, they don’t demonstrate this, but they look so delicate that you can easily believe it’s true.over 5 years ago
Galleria Borghese aka: Palazzo BorgheseOver Rome at Sunset and Caravaggio - Boy With A Basket Of Fruit. Galleria Borghese is featured on the lists The 10 Best of Everything : Ten Best Rome, Roma Art Museums, and Italy Art Museums.
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Absolutely my favorite museum in Rome. It has a smaller collection than the Vatican Museums, so it is much more managable. Still, the collection is one of the best in the world, having masterpieces by Bernini, Caravaggio, and others. Just remember to get reservations a few days before you plan to go!over 6 years ago
The best sculpture here is the “Daphne and Apollo” by Bernini. Apollo seizes Daphne just as she turns into a laurel tree. Her hands/branches are amazing – you can actually see through the marble. Definitely worth visiting, but you do need to make advance reservations.over 6 years ago
This is my favorite museum and I’ve been to quite a few. If you love Bernini you MUST visit this Galleria, the pieces are spectacular and presented beautifully. The collection itself is small relative to many more well known museums, but they have an abundance of remarkable pieces. The Galleria is housed within a former residence of the Borghese family in the middle of Villa Borghese which is a large and beautiful park on the north side of the central area of the city.
My favorite way to visit is to take the metro to the Spanish Steps stop, wander the area around the steps and then head north, walking through the park. It’s a little bit of a hike, but the park itself is really beautiful and and is worth the visit alone.
The Bernini pieces here are probably the most famous, but there is also Canova’s remarkable sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte and wonderful paintings by Titian, Caravaggio, and Rubens. The Galleria is frequently booked completely, so if you want to go during a higher tourist season try to call ahead and reserve a few days in advance to make sure you can get tickets.
Visitors frequently miss the upstairs portion of the gallery – you head out towards the rear of the building and up the stairs to reach it. If you are tired or don’t want to walk through the park there is a Metro station on the East side of the park which is fairly close.
I’ve been to the Galleria more times than I can count and never get sick of it. Do yourself a favor and check it out, particularly if you are fan of any of the artists mentioned above.over 6 years ago