Results 1-10of 15 Reviews
March 3, 2010
From journal Eternally in Love with Rome's Art, Food and Wine
July 3, 2006
From journal Roman Holiday
March 29, 2005
While it may not possess the household-name status afforded the Colosseum, the Forum, or the Pantheon, the Galleria e Museo Borghese is an absolute must-see for any visitor to Rome. Reopened in 1997 after undergoing a meticulous 14-year restoration project that began in 1984, the Borghese’s incredibly ornate rooms house an impressive private collection of Italian art, with each gallery seemingly more stunning than the previous one despite the fact that much of the collection was sold to France in 1809 and moved to the Louvre. Advanced reservations are essential.
If you don’t know who Gian Lorenzo Bernini was, you’ll be enlightened by the time you leave the Museo Borghese. Several of Bernini’s most important sculptures are here, including David (the moment before he slays Goliath); The Abduction of Proserpina by Pluto; and my personal favorite, Apollo and Daphne, which is displayed beautifully in gallery with a painting of the same subject and depicts Daphne’s transformation into a tree as she flees the sun god Apollo.
Other notable sculptures in the collection include Antonio Canova’s Pauline Bonaparte, in which Napoleon’s sister poses as Venus.
Paintings include Titian’s masterpiece, Sacred and Profane Love and Caravaggio’s David With the Head of Goliath, in which Caravaggio painted his own self-portrait to represent the slain Goliath. Interestingly, Caravaggio fled Rome after having been accused of murder in 1606, and this painting (1609-1610) was presented to the papal court as a sort of a painted request for pardon.
The museum has some stringent rules: a maximum of 300 visitors at a time are allowed on the first floor, and no more than 90 are allowed on the second floor. In addition, no cameras, bags, or purses of any kind are allowed inside the museum. Ladies, this means don’t even attempt entering with your purse in tow. It’s not going to work. You’ll be directed back to the coat room, and you’ll find yourself relegated to the end of the line.
This is one of the most amazing museums I have ever seen. Even non-art lovers will come away impressed with its dazzling collection, and the spacious park that surrounds it offers big, shady trees and pleasant walking paths.
Additional Information:Metro: Spagna (Line A)Bookings and reservations: Tel.: 39.06.32810, or click here for online reservations.
From journal The Italian Job: Rome, Part II
February 22, 2002
Everyone has to check just about everything at the coat check. No coats, jackets, cameras, backpacks, etc. My wife was allowed to keep her purse with her.
The beginning of the tour starts at the top of the building and works down. We were able to view the gardens and gain some perspective on the facility itself as we walked up the wide circular staircase to the top floor. The rooms were sectioned off, with works of art grouped together by theme. Each room had a "guide" that described the work of art, artist and additional information. I recall that the guide was in more than one language, but I don't remember which languages were available besides English.
Walking a bit faster than my wife, as I wanted sufficient time to see the Caravaggio paintings, the Bernini sculptures, and the Venus sculpture, I moved quickly through the rooms. Suddenly, I was taken aback. Here was a beautiful painting and the artist had the same last name as me! Now, "Heimbach" is not exactly the most Italian name and I was not aware of any famous artist with my name, so I was extremely surprised. I dashed back several rooms and pulled my wife into the room with the Heimbach painting. She was just as surprised as me!
The Caravaggio paintings were beautiful. We saw "David with the head of Golith", "Madonna and Child and little St. John", "Madonna dei Palafrenieri" and "Bacchino Malato". Some of the Carabaggio paintings were on loan to other museums, so we were not able to view all that are owned by the gallery.
The famous sculptures are located in the last rooms towards the end of the tour. It's hard to describe the Bernini sculptures. David and Apollo and Daphne were fascinating. I also loved the Venus Vincitrix statue. The story behind this work of art tell it all. (Two of our group had guide books and we were reading them in addition to the material supplied at the museum.) You’ll just have to go to see them yourself.
The gift shop was at the end of the tour, on the way to the pick up your checked in belongings. We bought our Caravaggio postcards for our hunt and moved on to the next activity.
From journal Pope John Paul II
July 23, 2007
From journal When in Rome...
May 22, 2007
From journal A Week in Rome to Wine, Dine, and Tour
St. Louis, Missouri
August 6, 2005
Here you can find Canova's nude sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte (yep, that's Napoleon's sister), as well as several excellent Caravaggio paintings (there‘s a particularly striking piece of David holding the head of Goliath). The real highlights, however, are the Bernini sculptures. In addition to a sculpture of David, one rumored to be an early forgery done by Bernini, and one of Scipione himself, three mythological sculptures - Apollo and Daphne, Aeneas Fleeing Troy, and The Rape of Proserpina - are pieces that Bernini finished in his early 20s. The sculptures are displayed so that admirers can get close to them and walk all the way around them, allowing vantage points to take in Bernini's attention to detail. The Rape of Proserpina ("rape" being used in the classical sense, meaning "abduction") is my particular favorite. Pluto's hand squeezes down on her thigh, making her skin puff up in between his fingers, a few tears stream down her face, her hand pulls back the skin around his eyes as she struggles to get away - all perfectly realistic, and all done in marble.
I've heard that you are supposed to call ahead to reserve tickets for the museum, but I went three times and never booked my tickets ahead of time, so I'm not sure how necessary reservations actually are. If you're going over the summer and have a limited schedule, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea. Your ticket will admit you for just two hours, with a half hour visit to the painting gallery included in that chunk of time. The gallery has some interesting pieces by Titian, Raphael, and Antonello di Messina, which can be worth a viewing. But if you're a big fan of Bernini or Caravaggio (his works are displayed in the main gallery), you might want to consider spending your two hours on them - it's just barely long enough.
From journal A Study Abroad Semester in Rome
October 5, 2004
You need to either make reservations in advance, for a two-hour window, or wait in a very long line to get tickets that are not claimed. Since we all had reservations had no problem getting in quickly. We waited in a moderately long line for less than 10 minutes to get our tickets, prior to the entrance time checked our big bags (mostly my backpack and Mark's camera bag) and entered.
We started upstairs, seeing rooms full of art, from the ceiling frescoes to the statuary, to the paintings on the walls. It was awesome. Since we could not take pictures, we bought a book and some postcards to make up the gap. Highlights of the visit were the Bernini sculptures, including Apollo and Daphne, which captures the moment when Daphne, to escape rape by Apollo, turns into a tree. It is really very beautiful, very emotional, very baroque.
From journal Roman Pilgrimage
Santa Monica, California
August 22, 2000
Although our guidebooks said it was difficult to get in without a reservation, we did not have problems getting tickets. Admission is timed and you are allowed in for 90 minutes-- probably not quite enough time to do it justice. Depending on where you are from, you might be able to get a student discount. Americans don't qualify though.
After visiting the museum, be sure to stroll around the villa. It makes for a great picnic spot and is a nice retreat from the crowds.
From journal Rome by Foot
June 15, 2008
From journal An Awesome Week in Rome