Villa Borghese features a lake, temples, fountains, statues and several museums.
Villa Borghese is a large landscape garden in the naturalistic English manner in Rome, containing a number of buildings, museums (Galleria Borghese) and attractions.
It is the second largest public park in Rome (80 hectares or 148 acres) after that of the Villa Doria Pamphilj. The gardens were developed for the Villa Borghese Pinciana ("Borghese villa on the Pincian Hill"), built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches by Scipione Borghese, who used it as a villa suburbana, a party villa, at the edge of Rome, and to house his art collection. The Borghese Gardens as they are now were remade in the early nineteenth century.
The gardens of Villa Borghese are located north of the Spanish Steps. There is a lake, some temples, fountains, statues and several museums. It is a favourite place for both locals and tourists.
In 1605, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V and patron of Bernini, began turning this former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome since Antiquity. The vineyard's site is identified with the gardens of Lucullus, the most famous in the late Roman republic. In the 19th century much of the garden's former formality was remade as a landscape garden in the English taste (illustration, right). The Villa Borghese gardens were long informally open, but were bought by the commune of Rome and given to the public in 1903. The large landscape park in the English taste contains several villas. The Spanish Steps lead up to this park, and there is another entrance at the Porte del Popolo by Piazza del Popolo. The Pincio (the Pincian Hill of Ancient Rome), in the south part of the park , offers one of the greatest views over Rome.
In 1911 the World Exposition was held in this park . Several of the pavilions built by the different countries still exist (from Britain, Austria, Denmark, Egypt and Sweden). The museums that can be found in the park are Museo e Galleria Borghese (housed in the Villa Borghese) displaying collection of statues as well as paintings of some famous artists (such as Canova, Bernini, Titian, Rubens or Raphael), the Gallery of Modern Art with a collection of mostly Italian 19th and 20th century paintings and Museo Nazionale Etrusco with pre-Roman objects, mostly Etruscan, excavated around Rome . To some other attractions belong an amphitheater (the Piazza di Siena), an 18th century arch (the arco di Settimio Severo) and a botanical garden.
Monument to Alexander Pushkin was given to the Villa Borghese by City of Moscow. It was made by the Russian sculptor Yuri Orekhov and unveiled in 2000.