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Δευτέρα, 22 Απριλίου, 2024
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionCultureVilla Borghese: Why you should visit!

Villa Borghese: Why you should visit!


By Maria-Nefeli Andredaki,

When the holiday season arrives, I bet that you too will catch yourself reminiscing about old trips and experiences while waiting and planning to pursue new ones. This is exactly what happened to me when Christmas rolled around, reminding me of the dreamiest time I had in Rome, Italy. I could go on forever talking about the food, the hospitality, the Christmas markets, and the decorated streets, but the focus of this article is the Villa Borghese, which is the main reason I want to go back.

The Villa Borghese was owned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who aspired to make his residence the richest, most admired, and awe-inspiring one in Rome, committing the family name of Borghese to everyone’s, and especially the nobles’, memory. To do that, Scipione Borghese took over the surrounding land and, with the help of respected architects and gardeners, achieved what are today the famous gardens of the Villa. The Cardinal also collected fine pieces of furniture and art, which amount to the section of the Villa that is currently known as Galleria Borghese.

The gallery houses many artists’ creations from the Baroque and Renaissance periods, such as Caravaggio’s and Titian’s paintings and, my personal favorite, Bernini’s sculptures. Witnessing the Ratto di Proserpina, David in position to strike Goliath, Daphne’s limbs turning to stone and the astounding Truth Unveiled sent shivers down my spine and I had to constantly remind (or convince) myself that these were works of art and not living, breathing creatures about to start moving around the place.

Image source: viator.com

Now, if you’ll allow me, I would like to expand on Truth Unveiled a bit more, as it is my favorite piece of art from the gallery (and yes, I did spend at least forty minutes trying to memorize as many details as I could, to the point where my cousin/travel buddy had to drag me away to a different part of the gallery). With that being said, Truth Unveiled (by Time) depicts a mostly naked female figure that seems to have been previously covered by a kind of cloth. That cloth is forcefully being stripped away by the figure of Time that was never finished. The Lady Truth stands taller (280cm) than her human admirers, likely resembling the magnitude and universality of truth in our lives. The supposed Time’s action of pulling back the covers symbolizes the common idea that with time, all comes to light.

So, what else can you do at the Villa Borghese? Well, apart from visiting the gallery, you can always just go for a stroll. The gardens and parks are so massive that you are likely to “lose” yourself in them. It is a great place for running, biking, and exercising in general. It is also a lovely place to walk your dog or have a picnic. The great thing about the Borghese land is that it sprawls so far, to the point where you can choose to be by yourself without anyone else bothering you or stay close to other people while also retaining your privacy and peace. Something I would also recommend but unfortunately skipped, is renting a boat to spend time in the pond that spreads in front of the Aesculapius temple. The view was lovely but we had to keep going. Thankfully, the cutest ducks that inhabit the pond cheered us up!

Rome is a truly wonderful place and has many treasures to offer if you just look for them. Villa Borghese is one of them and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit. Thank me later!


References
  • Rich History of Borghese Gallery | 17th Century to Today. (2023). Rich History of Borghese Gallery | 17th Century to Today. Available here

 

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Maria-Nefeli Andredaki
Maria-Nefeli Andredaki
Born and raised in Athens, she is currently studying at the department of English Language and Literature of the National and Kapodistrian University. Her interests include Victorian Literature, LGBTQ+ rights, teaching, and children's psychology. In her free time, she likes to read books in coffee shops and visit museums with friends.