One morning my parents and I got up early and took a bus across town to the Borghese Gallery, an art museum housed in an old Italian villa. The building used to be the residence of a Roman Catholic Cardinal named Scipione Borghese who was a major art patron and collector in the early 1600s. Cardinal Borghese’s collection includes works from Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, among others. Unfortunately the gallery has a strict no-photos policy so I can only show you a photo of the outside of the building.

The Borghese Gallery requires visitors make reservations in advance of visiting so you’ll want to buy tickets at least a few days ahead of time. When you do so you’ll select a two-hour time slot for your visit and once inside you’ll only have those two hours to check out the gallery before you’ll be expected to leave. Two hours should be plenty of time for most people, seeing as how the Borghese Gallery isn’t huge. Even with the mandatory reservations, however, it can potentially get crowded inside the gallery due to the tour groups wandering around, so my suggestion for individual visitors is to show up at least fifteen minutes before your reservation time to get in right when your time slot begins. Once inside I’ve found it a good strategy to immediately advance forward three or four rooms, which will help keep you ahead of most of the crowds. Work your way from there around the first floor, then go up and explore the second floor, and by the time you’re done up there you can come back down to the first floor and enjoy those first few rooms that you skipped when you initially entered the gallery.

When you finish at the Borghese Gallery be sure to also check out the gardens in the back if you have time, as well as the rest of the park that the gallery is located in. From the gallery it’s not too far on foot to reach either Piazza del Popolo or the Spanish Steps, from which you can catch a bus or subway to most of the rest of the city.

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