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Borghese Gallery - Need Help


acruisergirl

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I recently read this in a guide book:

Best and worst sights, experiences and destinations in Rome:

 

Best: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill



Why: Amazing to be in the center of so much history.

Worst: Borghese Gallery

Why: Decent, but not nearly impressive as the Vatican Museum. Don't bother with the Borghese Gallery unless you're a hard-core art fan.

 

I realize that this is only one person's opinion. It is on my list of sights to visit but my husband and I are not avid art fans and get a little bored gazing at too many paintings. Is it still a "must see" sight in Rome, that many travelers say should not be missed?

 

Pat

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I recently read this in a guide book:

Best and worst sights, experiences and destinations in Rome:

 

Best: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill



Why: Amazing to be in the center of so much history.

Worst: Borghese Gallery

Why: Decent, but not nearly impressive as the Vatican Museum. Don't bother with the Borghese Gallery unless you're a hard-core art fan.

 

I realize that this is only one person's opinion. It is on my list of sights to visit but my husband and I are not avid art fans and get a little bored gazing at too many paintings. Is it still a "must see" sight in Rome, that many travelers say should not be missed?

 

Pat

We are not hard-core art fan but we loved Borghese Gallery, and will recommend it. If you just go there without tour guide, then yes i will agree with the above statement that it is only for hard core art fan.

 

If you are able to book guided tour at gallery: Guided tours booking: fax 0039 06 8555952; email tour@gebart.it then DON"T miss it! It's a short tour maybe an hour or so and they will point you to the most famous art pieces there and will talk about them. The lady we got was so passionate about their art collection there! we just loved her tour! and the gallery!

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Depending on the amount of time you have in Rome, I'd definitely fit in the Borghese Gallery. My husband and I have taken my daughter to the Borghese each time we've been in Rome. My daughter isn't an art lover particularly, but the Borghese was top of the list for her to show her husband when they went to Rome. I actually prefer it to the Vatican in a way. It's smaller and there are way fewer people because they limit the number of people for each 2 hour time slot. You only have the two hours that you're alotted, and you'll need them. I find the Borghese less overwhelming than the Vatican, and so I relax, slow down and just enjoy it.

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The Borghese has a lot of things going for it. First, it is located in a first-rate setting. Second, the Cardinal whose collection this mostly is had excellent taste and picked some of the best examples of Renaissance art to highlight. Third, as others have said, it is not overwhelming. It's sort of like dining in a very good, intimate restaurant as opposed to a 4 star Michelin restaurant (the Vatican).

 

That said, if you have less than 3 full days in Rome, it wouldn't be at the top of my list. UNLESS you are a very big fan of Renaissance art. And if that were the case, I don't think you'd be asking the question! (For the record, I'm not a huge fan of Renaissance art either and I've been there twice.....so far....;))

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DH & I loved the Borghese gallery. We feel that it has a great deal to offer and is more enhanced if you choose to have a guide from the gallery (this made our visit even more special). If you love sculpture, this is a must see.

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We were really impressed by the Borghese Gallery ... the Villa itself is worth the visit. Bernini's sculptures were the highlight for us, but we enjoyed viewing all of the works of art.

 

We used Rick Steves Rome guide book which has a tour of the gallery in it, and which made our tour of the Borghese more meaningful.

 

Agree that it's not something to squeeze in if you are only there for a day, but if you have a few days, then I would put it on the 'must see' list.

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Especially the Bernini sculptures are just breath taking. Even when I visited with a group of teenagers they were absolutely amazed and in awe.

Of course it is best if you now the story of each sculpture, may it be from prior preparation of with the help of a guidebook or the audioguide. Yet even if not, one just needs to take hinself the time to look at the details, the way the stone has been worked on etc.

 

Certainly, the Galleria Borghese is one of my favourite places.

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Ithink it depends on how long you plan to be in Rome and what your priorities are. It is in a great setting, and the Electico 116 bus ride can be very nice if you hop on in the historical center. We enjoyed it, we are not avid art lovers. But, if we only had one day, we would probably give it a miss. We reserved in advance-saved a wait.

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I really liked the Borghese Gallery - the Bernini sculptures were breathtaking and the building itself is lovely, as are the gardens but..... it was right around the corner from where we were staying so didn't take us out of our way.

 

If I only had a couple of days in Rome I probably wouldn't visit it unless the art of that period is a particular interest. I'm not a particular fan of the period but would have found a bit more information useful so if you do visit I would take the audio tour which I didn't do this time as I was with a teenage son who loved Rome but hated the Borghese Gallery ;)

 

Incidentally it had the snootiest staff of any gallery I've every visited :rolleyes:

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I'm glad acruisergal posted the question - and appreciate the responses. We are interested in Rennaisance art, but are not avid. It sounds as though it will be a good place to gain context, and either sate us or whet an appetite for more.

 

I've booked a private tour though Through Eternity, and have also added on the Etruscan Museum afterwards (which is on the grounds).

Thank you!

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I'm glad acruisergal posted the question - and appreciate the responses. We are interested in Rennaisance art, but are not avid. It sounds as though it will be a good place to gain context, and either sate us or whet an appetite for more.

 

I've booked a private tour though Through Eternity, and have also added on the Etruscan Museum afterwards (which is on the grounds).

Thank you!

We will be in Rome for a day (Oct) and being our 2nd visit thought we'd tour the Borghese Gallery. I have seen both "don't bother" and as well as "great place" reviews. Look appealing to us (and appealing setting) on a Rick Steves show so thought we'd go.

 

Like you we are not avid art fans but coming around. Was not too interested until after guided tours (and that makes a huge difference to me) of the Uffizi, the Vatican Museum and churches throughout Italy.

 

So will the Borghese Gallery be "too much" art. I agree with others to not miss the Vatican City sights but I think with a good Guide and a relaxing afternoon this gallery would be a great visit.

 

We have not yet booked a Guide for Rome. It seems for many of those on our cruise's Roll Call this will be their first visit to Rome so are arranging tours of the Colosseum and such. I may have trouble getting a group together for the Borghese Gallery

 

When are your going Kate-AHF? I'd be interested in hearing how your tour worked out.

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YoHoHo (great moniker!) we will be there the beginning of June. We return on the 17th. Though the private tour was not inexpensive, we saved quite a bit by piggybacking the Etruscan museum tour onto the Borghese Gallery tour. (5 hours for the two)

 

I'll certainly post back here with a review when we return. Plenty of time still for you to make plans.

 

I do envy you going in October. How perfect! I understand they check all bags...so you could pack an Italian picnic for on the Villa grounds afterwards - and not have to worry about lugging it around.

 

Kate

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We are interested in Rennaisance art, but are not avid. It sounds as though it will be a good place to gain context, and either sate us or whet an appetite for more.

 

Although there is some fine Renaissance art there (Raphael and Titian), the Borghese is best know for its Baroque works, particularly the Bernini sculptures and the Caravaggio paintings, and you only get a two-hour visit. When we had only 2-1/2 days in Rome two years ago, we spent one day at the Vatican museums (and St. Peter's) and one day visiting the Capitoline Museum, Forum, Palatine Hill, and Colisseum, with the 1/2 day in the Pantheon-Piazza Navona area.

 

This June, we will have five days in Rome, so the Borghese definitely is on our list (more than 25 years since our last visit there).

 

Enjoy whatever you decide.

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I liked th Borghese Gallery much more than the Vatican Museum. We were in Rome last April and the Vatican was so crowded, I felt like we couldn't enjoy what was there. Of course, there is the Sistine Chapel which is a 'don't miss' but there were so many people in there, we were shoulder to shoulder.

 

On the other hand, the Borghese Gallery lets a set number of people in for 2 hours. We never felt crowded and I am a huge Bernini fan so seeing the sculptures that I'd read about was magnificent.

 

The Borghese does not allow cameras.

 

This year when we visit Rome, we are going to try a different strategy. We are going to visit early afternoon. I don't know if it will help but as it was a zoo in the morning, we're hoping for the best.

 

No matter what you decide, the art is breathtaking at either place.

 

Jill

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We really enjoyed the Borghese Gallery but we had 3 days to tour. We are now returning to Rome for 1 day and taking friends who have never been to Rome. We are not doing the Gallery. It would be too time consuming on a one day visit to Rome, in our opinion.

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  • 2 months later...

YoHoHo - if you are still reading - the Borghese gallery and the Through Eternity tour was wonderful. We had a fantastic guide and learned so much in an informal, converational way. We were never lectured, and there was so much give and take. We enjoyed every minute, and it was worth every penny.

 

THe one question we learned to ask every guide was "which painting most affects you here, and why". The passionate responses were always memorable.

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The Borghese has become our favorite site in Rome. Until we visited it I wouldn't have been able to tell you if Bernini was an artist or something to eat. He is now our favorite.

 

Read what Rick Steves has to say about the Borghese and follow his instructions.

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I recently read this in a guide book:

Best and worst sights, experiences and destinations in Rome:

 

Best: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill



Why: Amazing to be in the center of so much history.

Worst: Borghese Gallery

Why: Decent, but not nearly impressive as the Vatican Museum. Don't bother with the Borghese Gallery unless you're a hard-core art fan.

 

I realize that this is only one person's opinion. It is on my list of sights to visit but my husband and I are not avid art fans and get a little bored gazing at too many paintings. Is it still a "must see" sight in Rome, that many travelers say should not be missed?

 

 

Pat

 

Obviously whoever wrote this is more into history than art. Vatican is too overwhelming, and Borghese is much more manageable. Since they limit how many people goes in at one time (you need tickets), it is much more enjoyable. I say, see it if time allows.

 

Kevin

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Although there is some fine Renaissance art there (Raphael and Titian), the Borghese is best know for its Baroque works, particularly the Bernini sculptures and the Caravaggio paintings, and you only get a two-hour visit. When we had only 2-1/2 days in Rome two years ago, we spent one day at the Vatican museums (and St. Peter's) and one day visiting the Capitoline Museum, Forum, Palatine Hill, and Colisseum, with the 1/2 day in the Pantheon-Piazza Navona area.

 

This June, we will have five days in Rome, so the Borghese definitely is on our list (more than 25 years since our last visit there).

 

Enjoy whatever you decide.

 

Well, because this thread has been revived since my April posting, I will post my impressions from my two-hour visit there last month (on June 18).

 

Fantastic! This museum has it all: great setting, lovely palazzo, incredibly decorated rooms, superb small art collection spanning many eras (great old mosaics, Renaissance masters, Caravaggios galore plus the amazing Bernini sculptures).

 

If you go, follow Rick Steves' fantastic advice to go to the upstairs picture galleries on the second floor first, then, after 30 or 40 minutes, go downstairs and start at the entrance. (The tour in his Rome guidebook is very good.) Probably 15 out of the 200 allowed to enter each two-hour period did so, and it was like having our own private mansion. A true highlight of our five days in Rome.

 

Enjoy!

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