Villa Borghese, the magnificent gardens of Rome

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

The Pincian Hill may not be one of the famous seven hills of ancient Rome, but today is the most pleasant one, as it hosts the finest park in the city. To imagine a person as rich and powerful as to have something like that as a week-end domain is enough to give us head-spins. This person was a man of the Church, the cardinal Scipione Borghese, and we should add that his art collection is just as impressive as his private domain. In fact, these speak of the high level of corruption in the Papal state, at the time when the Pope dealt not only with divine matters, but was in fact ruler of a part of what is today Italy. Scipione Borghese was the nephew of the Pope and promoted for this very reason, but proved very skilled in managing the finances of the Vatican as well as his own. He got to the point where he owned entire towns and vast lands around Rome, which brought him consistent rentals.

Originally, the park had a traditional, geometric shape, but was turned into an English garden, imitating the natural landscape. An artificial lake with an island was also created along with broad alleys, now shadowed by secular trees. The vegetation is very diverse, including pines and magnolias. From one side of the Pincian Hill it has an above look over Piazza del Popolo. Other entrance, near Villa Medici has a broader view over Rome, including the Vatican, and the stairway access to Piazza Spagna.
The actual Villa Borghese, to which the domain used to belong to, is now a museum, hosting collections gathered by cardinal Borghese, including works by Caravaggio and Bernini, who’s patron he the cardinal was, Titian, Raphael and Rubens.
Among the numerous museums that can be visited from Villa Borghese there is also the Museum of Zoology and the Zoo Gardens of Rome.

Mai multe despre: Italia, Nature
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