[ROME, ITALY] — When you get sick of all the tour buses and streets clogged with tourist groups, head up to the top of the Via Venato to the Villa Borghese Gardens, one of the most tranquil parts of Rome.  Vast, sprawling acres of grass, trees and cool little features, like a picture perfect rowing lake….with its own temple of course.  And because it’s high up, great views of the city and Piazza del Popolo.

PRO TIP: Here’s a great little secret way to get there. Save walking a thousand steps as you climb the hill by taking a series of free escalators from the Piazza de Spagna Metro stop.  Go into the entrance, but instead of buying a ticket, look for the escalators opposite the entrance to the subway, they pop you right off the edge of the park, on the top of the Via Venato.  Follow the signs for Village Borghese or Via Venato.  It’s an awesome way to scoot around.

Villa Borghese pine trees
Few people visiting Rome really know about, or think of visiting, Villa Borghese. They totally overlook that big green blob in the upper left of their Roma map and head with the hoards to the old stuff. But when you’re hot and sweaty and tired of the bus crowds, pack some vino and panini and head up the hill to this tranquil, enormous shady park with its Dr Seussian trees, giggling ragazzi, couples strolling and respite from the screaming Vespas… and only the occasional used condom.
Villa Borghese Gardens path walking
Villa Borghese Gardens Temple
Who’da thunk* this cool dreamy little gem of a spot was in hot steamy Rome? My archaeology professor used to tsk-tsk this “new” building because it wasn’t “real”. “Oh that’s just some reproduction from the 18th Century…” “You kidding me??? I’ll take it…”
Villa Borghese Gardens boats under tree
See that beautiful lake and temple in my previous post? You can strap on some boatage and get right out in it. It’s a blast. And you’ll feel like you’re boating in Central Park…except… you’re in Rome.
Villa Borghese Gardens city view
From the edge of the park, by Piazza del Popolo you get great views overlooking the city.

More Information on the Villa Borghese Gardens in Rome

Here’s a link to the Villa Borghese website. Recommendation on TripAdvisor. And on the official Rome Tourism site.

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