National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Going green in VILLA BORGHESE

The city’s gloriously green heart is almost a neighbourh­ood in itself, full of sweeping views, lavish villas and world-class art collection­s. Here’s what not to miss


The TERRAZZA DEL PINCIO viewpoint presides over Piazza del Popolo with views of the city’s domes and terracotta roofs. Look closely and you’ll also see the Pantheon rising above the skyline of Centro Storico. A short stroll north of this promenade is the Laghetto Di Borghese lake — rent a boat and row around the faux-classical Temple of Asclepius, hidden among trees on an island.

Elsewhere, the GALLERIA BORGHESE is housed in the 17th-century Villa Borghese. It’s one of Rome’s top galleries, with masterwork­s that pack a punch. The Bernini room pits the sculptor’s extraordin­arily lifelike sculptures against a gilded, stuccoed and marbled backdrop. You’ll also find works by Caravaggio here, including David with the Head of Goliath. Art aside, the truly lavish setting makes this well worth a visit. galleriabo­rghese.benicultur­

If you’ve ever looked out over Rome from the west side of the Tiber, you’ll likely have seen the cream-coloured, castle-like VILLA MEDICI dominating the skyline. As the name suggests, the 16th-century villa was built for the Medici family, but these days it’s open for visitors and hosts modern art exhibition­s in its beautiful Renaissanc­e gardens.

There are exceptiona­l city views from Colbert, an elegant cafe. villamedic­­a

Just outside the park, beside the Villa Medici, is CAFFE CIAMPINI, an icon of

Roman snacking. A restaurant, pizzeria and gelateria, Ciampini is known for its delicious tartufo: a cocoa-rolled chocolate ice cream dessert with a glacé cherry and chocolate chips at its heart. Taste it on the terrace overlookin­g the dome-filled skyline before taking a walk along the Terrazza del Pincio. ristorante­

If you’re after more art, you’re in luck. The likes of Michelange­lo and Giorgio Vasari worked on the VILLA GIULIA, which was built on the edge of the city for 16th-century Pope Julius III. It’s home to the National Etruscan Museum, and highlights include the Sarcophagu­s of the Spouses — depicting a married couple reclining together in the afterlife — and the gold Pyrgi Tablets, inscribed in an Etruscan-Phoenician script.

 ?? ?? Visitors explore the Villa Borghese’s
laghetto by rowing boat
Visitors explore the Villa Borghese’s laghetto by rowing boat

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