Rome is much more than just its history, art, and museums...it is also green spaces and gardens.
Rome is much more than just its history, art, and museums...it is also green spaces and gardens. May is the perfect month to enjoy the city's parks by taking a walk, a boat ride, or just stretching out on the grass.
Villa Borghese sits on a large area of the city center (80 hectares/ nearly 198 acres) and can be reached by several different entrances, all in popular tourist areas.
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The best-known entrances are Pincian stairs in Piazza del Popolo and at the top of Trinità dei Monti (going up the Spanish Steps). Inside Villa Borghese you'll find the Borghese Gallery — home to masterpieces by Caravaggio, Bernini, Rubens, and Canova among others — as well as the Etruscan Museum, an enchanting lake with a small temple, where you can take a romantic boat ride, and the gardens on top of the Pincian Hill, affording one of Rome's most famous sweeping views. You can rent bike rickshaws in the park and take your kids on a pony ride. The Borghese family owned the area starting in the late 16th century, and, over the centuries, embellished it in the style of Italian and English gardens with paths, fountains, obelisks, and statues. Things to see: the original late 19th-century water clock (restored ten years ago).
Villa Doria Pamphili
Villa Doria Pamphili is the largest park in Rome, and it's where to head if you need some peace and quiet. It is open to the public from 7:00 am until dusk.
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You can walk or jog through the park, or just have a picnic with a barbecue or get something at the bistrot. Things to see: the secret garden, the pond, the stream, and the Fountain of Cupid.
Villa Ada is the second largest park in Rome. It is the perfect place to walk, run, take a picnic or breathe some fresh air away from the tourist crowds. Villa Ada is popular with locals, including families with children because if its playground.
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There is a small coffee bar and a pond with fish and turtles. Concerts and yoga classes are organized here in the summer. Things to do: Rent a bike to ride around the park.
These three parks all have free entrance. Some areas might be sometimes poorly kept up or lacking in functioning toilets. We can't always count on a common sense of civility!