Galleria Borghese is an exquisite villa housing an abundance of beautiful Renaissance and Baroque art including works by such masters as Caravaggio, Bernini, Botticelli, Rubens, Raphael and Titian. The villa was built in 1612 and has undergone many changes including a redecoration in a neoclassical style in the late 18th century.
The original works of art contained in the Galleria Borghese are from Cardinal Scipione Borghese's collection which favours ancient and Renaissance paintings and sculptures. The zealous collector also commissioned new works that reflected this aesthetic using the villa as a showcase for his collection. The extravagantly decorated villa has two main floors: one housing sculptures, mosaics and frescoes, and the other displaying paintings.
One of the most famous works in the collection is a neoclassical sculpture by Canova of the Cardinal's sister, Pauline Borghese, as Venus Victrix where she reclines on a sofa in a state of draped undress. Other sculptures of note include Baroque pieces by Bernini of David, Apollo and Daphne, and Rape of Proserpina which are remarkable for the skill and beauty required to transform marble into a seemingly flesh-like medium. In the picture gallery, there's a preponderance of Caravaggio with an entire room devoted to his paintings such as Bacchus and La Madonna dei Palafenieri, as well as early masterpieces by Titian and Raphael also on this level. Make sure you don't miss the Roman floor mosaics in the entrance hall which date back to the 4th century, and the amazing ceiling frescoes.
A ticket reservation is required to visit Galleria Borghese with 360 people admitted every two hours. You'll need to call or head online to pre-book an allotted entry time. Admission is €11 which includes a mandatory service charge. To visit, the closest metro stop is Piazza di Spagna and then a 16-minute walk down Via di Porta Pinciana. Many buses also service Via Pinciana nearby.