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:: SILVER HOTELS COLLECTION · MUSEUMS · VILLA BORGHESE MUSEUM ::
A refreshing getaway from the chaos of a big city like Rome can be found right within the city itself at Villa Borghese, the largest public park in Rome.
Originating as a vineyard in the 16th century, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a nephew of pope Paul V, turned the vineyard into a park.
The landscaping was done by Domenico Savino da Montepulciano, and the Villa found on it, was built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio following a design done by the cardinal himself. An artificial lake was created in the middle of the park at the end of the 18th century giving it a more natural setting. A small Ionic temple, dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of healing, can be found on the island in the lake.
The park was opened to the public in 1903 when the city of Rome obtained the Villa Borghese from the Borghese family.
Dubbed the 'park of museums', the Villa Borghese park is also home to several museums including the museum of the same name Borghese Gallery and Museum.
The Borghese Museum hosts one of the richest art collections in the world which include important pieces like the 'abduction of Proserpina by Pluto' by Bernini and other pieces by Canova. The Borghese Gallery comprises a collection of paintings from several masters including Raphael, Titian, Rubens and Caravaggio.
In the first years of the nineteenth century, Camillo Borghese, brother in law of Napoleon, sought to compensate the loss of part of the collection, which he sold to Napoleon to add to the Louvre museum collection.
In 1805, Camillo commissioned Antonio Canova to do a sculpture of his wife, Pauline Bonaparte. This statue became the symbol of Galleria Borghese and it is visible at the first floor of the Museum.