Galleria Borghese showcases some of Italy's most priceless paintings, sculptures and antiquities. The majority of the collection is attributed to Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V who reigned between 1605 to 1621. The gallery is actually the former Villa Borghese Pinciana located within the vast garden of Villa Borghese. The garden is free, but the gallery entry fee is €15 per person. There is no charge for reservations. However, it is required and one's waiting time is usually 3-5 days. After we secured our tickets, J.J. and I walked around the garden for about 45 minutes until it was our time to enter the gallery.
Cardinal Borghese was a patron of Bernini. Masterly works by Bernini were on display in several of the 20 rooms that were open. An hour is sufficient time to walk through the gallery. More time is needed to understand and appreciate individual works by Bernini and some of the paintings by Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens and Federico Barocco.
We took taxis to and from Galleria Borghese. On the way, our taxi driver played music from an English radio station. We paid €20. For the same distance, the driver who brought us back was an elderly Roman. He sang Italian songs, pointed to the American Ambassador's motorcade then the US Embassy. When he dropped us off, the meter was less than €10.
Xuejiao and her friend were having dinner at a small restaurant J.J. and I have been to a few times. They are from Beijing and were in Italy for 4 days. Xuejiao agreed to be photographed for our blog and told us that she has visited 5 cities in America: Boston, Miami, Washington D.C., S.F. and L.A. With her winning smile, she told us, "I love America!"
Aloha -- Cathi