on May 22, 2007
This is an extremely popular art museum and reservations are required. We reserved and bought our tickets through Tickitaly (www.tickitaly.com) before we left on vacation. Three tickets, reservation fee, and the fee from the company was €42 or €14 each. It was a good thing we reserved because when we arrived on Sunday for our reservation, they had a sign indicating no more tickets were available until Tuesday. Tickets for the Galleria Borghese have to be reserved for a specific two hour time slot. They are very rigid about entry and sweep you out at the end of the two hours. The Villa Borghese is located in a huge park near the Spanish Steps. If you go, plan to include some time to wander in the park, have a picnic or rent a bicycle to ride along the many pathways. It's a beautiful large area of green in a crowded city.Like the art gallery at Palazzo Barberini, the Galleria Borghese is also in a former home (palace) of a rich and powerful family with popes and art collectors in their history. They make you check all bags and coats in a locked box. This was the only place that made me turn over my purse, usually a woman's borsa was fine but backpacks were not. Again, no photos allowed.Highlights in the collection were Caravaggio's Young Sick Bacchus, Boy with a Basket of Fruit, Portrait of Pope Paul V, Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, Madonna and Child with St. Anne (M. de Palafrenieri), David with the Head of Goliath, John the Baptist; Bernini's amazing statues Aeneas and Anchises, Rape of Proserpine, Apollo and Daphne, David, Bust of Cardinal Scipione Borghese; Raphael's Deposition, Lady with Unicorn, Portrait of a Man, Julius II; and Titian's Sacred and Profane Love. If you aren't familiar with these works, especially the Berninis, find an art history book. Simon Schama's book, the Power of Art has some good illustrations of these works. The sculptures are unbelievable. Bernini has managed to make marble look like pliable flesh.There is also a cafeteria and cafe in the basement and a bookshop with souvenirs, posters, and art books.Outside, there are beautiful gardens surrounding the palazzo. So many flowers were already in bloom.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009