An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome

The Wonders of Villa Borghese in Rome

We strolled around the fountains, took a walk over to the Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain, ate a little gelato. I had yet to realize we walked so far and had to catch a taxi back to the Villa Borghese in Rome, now a museum for our 4 pm entrance time. The Borghese Museum is definitely one of the highlights of any of my four visits to Rome. And although I wasn’t sure my kids would appreciate my effort to get the reservation, they did.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
121639274533611 An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome

We toured the ancient ruins onboard a double-decker bus, hopping off at the Vatican, the Forum and we would have gotten off at the Coliseum, but when I looked over, both boys were fast asleep. So we rode the bus to the end and got off where our scheduled tour was about to begin near the Piazza Navona.

Join 58 other subscribers

They enjoyed our 1-hour time slot just as much as I did. Walk-ins are discouraged due to the fact that the number of daily visitors is limited. The collection is full of masterpieces in both paint and stone. Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne and Pluto and Proserpina are two of my favorite sculptures even though they depict the dark side of both mythological God’s pursuit to have anything AND anyone they desired.

What Shakespeare is to drama, Bernini may be to sculpture. -Unknown

328211887209681 An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome

Bernini’s design of the Piazza San Pietro in front of the Basilica is one of his most innovative and successful architectural designs.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was a 16th-century genius. He was a writer, poet, city planner, painter, and one of the greatest baroque painters, right up there with Michelangelo. Bernini’s design of the Piazza San Pietro in front of the Basilica is one of his most innovative and successful architectural designs. Within the basilica he is also responsible for the Baldacchino, under the cupola, the Chair of St. Peter in the apse, the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in the right nave, as well as the floor, walls, and arches in the new nave.

Are you afraid to travel because you don’t know the language?

328215257209344 An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome

Bernini designed the Baldacchino locates in St. Peters Cathedral under the cupola. A Baldacchino is a ceremonial canopy of stone, metal, or fabric over an altar, throne, or doorway.

The Bernini sculptures in the Borghese Museum are so detailed, so life-like. It’s hard to believe they were both made with only a hammer and chisel let alone from a single block of veinless white marble. It’s not just my love of mythology that makes the blocks of stone seem more like living flesh.

Like it? Pin it!

villa-borghese-museum-Rome-683x1024 An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome

Apollo and Daphne

I watched my young grandson, Kamren, eyes’ turn from fascination to disgust as I described the mythological stories of the ill-fated Daphne and Proserpina to him. Each statue sits in the center of the room making it easy to walk around to see it from every angle.

The story goes that Apollo mocked Eros, the God of Love’s use of arrows, a weapon more suited to himself and not the “cupid-like” figure we all envision. Eros retaliated by shooting him with a golden arrow that made him fall in unrequited love for Daphne. He then shot her with a lead arrow that instilled her with overwhelming hatred for the mighty God.

Apollo was relentless in his pursuit of the woodland nymph who vowed to stay a virgin. Only after she was about to lose the battle did she cry out to her father for help. Daphne was turned into a laurel tree. You can walk around the magnificent statue and watch the transformation that turns Daphne from a lively young nymph to the stately tree right before your eyes— you can see Apollo’s flap in the wind as they run, the angst on her face and her outstretched hands– begging her father to rescue her. And even then, Apollo continues his affections by making the laurel tree an evergreen where the leaves never fade.

Rape-of-Prosepina An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome

Pluto and Proserpina

The same theme persists in the statue of Pluto and Proserpina. She tries to evade the lust-filled deity but is only partially successful. You can see the tension in her wrists as she tries to push Pluto away. Tears form on her cheeks as Pluto’s fingers dig deep into Proserpina’s fleshy thighs. All under the watchful eyes of Cerberus, the three-headed dog of the underworld.

Proserpina (or Persephone) was considered a lesser God. She was desired by the Great God Pluto also called Hades, who ruled the underworld. I explained that Proserpina has to stay underground during the fall and winter. The land is dormant and allowed to go home during the spring and summer when everything blooms. He shook his head and said it wasn’t fair.

Then his eyes brightened. “So if she had gotten away, we would have spring and summer all year long?” “Maybe”, I replied. I never thought about it. “Maybe her father should have turned Pluto into a tree instead.” I couldn’t have agreed more. I thought I was teaching them something, and I ended up being the one who learned something that day.

Does this day trip sound like a great day in Rome? Let me know in the comments below.

Like it? Pin it!

Park-at-villa-borghese-museum-Rome-683x1024 An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome
Screen-Shot-2016-11-02-at-7.20.28-PM An Art-filled Day Trip to The Villa Borghese in Rome

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from duffel bag spouse travels

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading