Join us as we enter the world of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the 17th century art loving cleric who amassed one of the world’s most spectacular private art collections which is still intact after nearly 400 years!
Cardinal Borghese was a keen collector and patron of the arts. He was so passionate about collecting art that he but a villa to house his bulging collection of ancient and Baroque art and sculpture.
The villa, gardens and most of the original pieces that he collected are still in their original places after nearly 400 years and this gallery is a rare opportunity to view art in it’s original setting. Cardinal Borghese was a patron of both Bernini and Caravaggio and commissioned specific pieces from both of them which came to hang on the walls of his personal gallery.
Unlike the Vatican, the Borghese Gallery only allow a small number of visitors to enter at selected times, so this place never becomes overly crowded and the whole gallery is spread over just 20 rooms and 2 floors, a much more intimate, relaxed and peaceful experience.
If you love Bernini and Caravaggio then this is THE gallery that you must visit in Rome. You can see some of Bernini’s most evocative and lifelike sculptures: the determination on the face of David, the drama of the Rape of Prosephone, and the transformation of Daphne. You can even see a piece that he completed as a young teenager and see why his father knew that he would be one of the greatest artists of his Age.
If your passion is Caravaggio, then there is no where else in the world where you can see such a great concentration of his art in one place. Caravaggio was the quintessential bad boy of the Baroque, who’s art has both captivated and repelled generations of critics. You can see his Madonna of the Palafrenieri, a piece that was destined for an altar in the St Peter’s but was rejected as scandalous. The collection also houses two paintings with a self-portrait of the doomed artist: his Sickly Bacchus and his David and Goliath, the piece that was to earn him a papal pardon after he committed murder.
These are not the only treasures that await you in the Borghese though, as the collection also houses masterpieces by the likes of Titian, Raphael, Canova and Peter Paul Rubens.
Every piece in this collection has a story to tell, whether it be love, murder, intrigue or faith and our expert guides know the art and artists intimately. Let them entertain you and take you back to the 17th century as you join Cardinal Borghese in his intoxicating world of exquisite art.
Cost is €225 for 2 people (includes tickets).Extra places on the tour can be purchased at €20 for children and €30 for adults