Three outsanding Villas in Rome are almost a must to see. These are Villa Borghese, Palazzo Farnese and Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.
The first is Villa Borghese situated in the beautiful Borghese Gardens just north of the city centre.
No photos were allowed inside but this 17th century villa houses some amazing works of art
Visits are restricted to two hours and it is advisable to book beforehand on http://www.galleriaborghese.it/. It is one of the most popular attractions in Rome
The Villa holds some great Renaissance and neoclassical art. As well, some of the best known sculptors including Bernini and Cordier were commissioned to do works now standing in Borghese. The sculptures are well worth seeing with our favourites being Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne and The rape of Prosepina. What an amazing talent Bernini was.
Another highlight is the Caravaggio room which houses six works from our favourite Italian master (1573-1610). St. Jerome is so typical of his wonderful interpretation of light and colour. Other artists on display include Raphael, Bernini, Bassano, Rubens and Bellini.
And after visiting the Villa Borghese take a leisurely walk through the Borghese Gardens. Magical.
Below is a view overlooking Rome and Piazza del Popolo from the Borghese Gardens
The second of the Villas is Palazzo Farnese. Now the home to the French Embassy it is situated in the enchanting Piazza Farnese. The Villa was built in the 15th century and came into the hands of Allessandro Farnese in 1495.
This is the magnificent courtyard of the Villa.
And part of the lush gardens.
The imposing facade from Piazza Farnese.
Looking through to the French Ambassador’s office in the Hall of the Splendours of the Farnese. This room has amazing frescoes by Salviati from mid 16th century. In great condition and covering every piece of wall.
This Villa has some of the best ceiling and wall work we have seen. It also has wonderful paintings including works by Titian, Raphael and El Greco
Looking toward the Villa with one of the two fountains on Piazza Farnese laid out in the 17th century using basins from the Baths of Caracalla.
The final Villa houses the Doria Pamphilj Gallery
The original courtyard of this privately owner Palazzo. It has been held by the Pamphilj family since the 17th century
This room houses a “throne” where the pope would hold audience
Another wonderfully decorated room in the Palazzo
This is the ballroom and is in fact the only room without paintings. The walls are all finely papered with the orchestra area in the left hand corner.
The Aldobrandini room houses large-scale canvasses, antique statues and some outstanding ancient Sarcophagus’.
This wing houses works by Carracci, Rembrandt, Lanfranco and Guercino
This is the second wing (Gallery of Mirrors)
Outstanding works of art in rooms off these wings can be found from the Flemish artists including Pieter Bruegel, van Lint, Jan van Kessel and Wittel. Two masterpieces by Caravaggio and one by Rubens are held in this area.
So all three Villas are highly recommended if you have the time when visiting Rome. If you do not have enough time to visit all three then I would recommend that…………..you toss a coin to decide!