Villa Borghese is the largest and richest park in Rome. Located in the city centre, a few steps from Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna, its 80 hectares of extension include incomparable works of art, buildings, and wonders belonging to international flora and fauna. For this reason, we have created an itinerary through this extraordinary park. Starting from Domus Daini, a prestigious residence in the centre of Rome, our walk in Villa Borghese will reach the main monuments and buildings of the park, crossing the most beautiful gardens in the area.
Strolling through Villa Borghese: where to start
Our route starts from Parco dei Daini, the ancient hunting area reserved for Cardinal Scipione Borghese. Until the nineteenth century, here it was possible to see fallow deer and gazelles. This fascinating wooded area houses the “serbatoio dell’acqua marcia” and is located a stone’s throw from the first buildings we will visit: the Meridiana (the sundial), the Uccelliera (birdhouse) and the Borghese Gallery.
- Meridiana: built in 1688 by Carlo Rainaldi, it completed the third Secret Garden, located just behind it. As the name suggests, this space houses a sundial and numerous valuable decorations.
- Uccelliera: created together with the Casino Nobile to adorn the second Secret Garden, the aviary pavilion housed rare and precious birds.
- Borghese Museum and Gallery: The Casino Nobile, now the Borghese Museum and Gallery, was built together with the park to house the collection of works of art owned by Cardinal Borghese. It was completed in the nineteenth century, and in 1902 it was opened to the public as an art gallery.
The heart of Villa Borghese: Piazza di Siena, the lake garden, and temples
Our walk in Villa Borghese continues through the gardens and the most spectacular works of the park. After visiting the museum, we head to the Casa del Cinema, once known as the Casina delle Rose. This area has had, in time, different purposes: it was a stable, then a dancing hall, to later become a theatre and now, a building for events and film projections.
Let’s now continue towards the Temple of Diana, a small circular building that contained a statue of Diana, now exhibited in the Louvre, thus reaching the Piazza di Siena. The space is inspired by Piazza del Campo in Siena and has hosted, for a long time, the most beautiful festivals of the city; today it houses the International Horse Competition.
Resuming our journey, we now head towards the Garden of the lake. Here, couples love to stroll along the lake and admire the delightful English garden full of exotic plants. An islet located in the centre of the lake can be visited with a short boat trip: it houses the Temple of Aesculapius, making this area even more scenic!
The fauna of Villa Borghese: welcome to the Bioparco
As anticipated, Villa Borghese, does not just host plants and shrubs from all over the world. It is also home to the “Bioparco“, which, in its 17 hectares of extension, is home to about 218 animal species. Of these, 72 are mammals, 92 are birds, and 54 are reptiles, including some risking extinction. The park’s priority is to privilege scientific and educational activities in full respect of the species housed. It represents one of the unmissable stops of every walk in Villa Borghese.
We have reached the end of our walk, which we will conclude by leaving from where we started the journey, the Parco dei Daini.
The lucky residents of Domus Daini will be able to head back home by strolling through the private park of the prestigious residence and indulge in a relaxing wellness program to recharge their batteries.
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