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Villa Borghese, occupying 6 square kilometres, is the largest public park in Rome. Commissioned by cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V, it was enlarged in 1800 by Giovanni Canina. A walk through the park will take you to such notable sights as: the 'Giardino del Lago' (garden of the lake) the 'Tempietto Greco' (small Greek temple) from 1700; and the Piazza di Siena, a picturesque race course surrounded by pines, which hosts horse races and folklore festivals.

Don't miss the 'Fortezzuola' a replica of a medieval castle, which houses the Museo Canonico. This massive park, surrounded by nature, is home to many hidden art treasures. On the extreme north end of the park houses the most important zoo in all of Italy, the 'Bioparco'.

The original 17th century Villa, was a converted, family vineyard, farmhouse, belonging to Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V. The interior was sparsely decorated, in order to enhance the beauty of his art collection, which included works by: Raphael, Perugino, Parmigianinno, Reni, Guercino and Domenichino. Amid such artistic grandeur, most extraordinary of all, are masterworks by Caravaggio and Bernini, which span their entire artistic careers. In 1700, Scipione's descendant, Marc Antonio Borghese renovated the Villa in Neoclassic design, installing fine, stucco and painted, decorative features in every room. Of special note are the frescoes on the entrance's vaulted ceiling, which celebrates the birth of Marc Antonio's firstborn son. His addition converted the Galleria Borghese itself into a work of art, which houses priceless works of art.

Piazzale di Villa Borghese
Tel.: 06 32810
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00 A.M.- 7:00 P.M.(entrance every two hours), closed Monday, Christmas and New Year's days
Entrance fee charged
Internet site: www.galleriaborghese.it
How to get there: buses 52, 53, 217, 920

The 18th century building that houses the museum, is known as the 'Fortezzuola', because of the lace-like features along its perimeter wall. The property was donated to the city of Rome in the early 20th century, and in turn granted to the painter, sculptor and musician, Pietro Canonica, as his personal residence and studio.

Canonica, in turn, donated all his works to the city, who created the museum in his honor; which was opened in 1960. A visit to the museum includes the area that was once his apartment and art studio.

Viale Canonica, 2
Tel.: 06 8842279
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9.00 A.M. -7:.00 P.M. Closed Monday
free guided tours offered on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings
School filed trips by appointment
Entrance fee charged
Interne site: www.comune.roma.it
How to get there: bus 116, 116D

This building was designed and built by the architect C. Bazzani, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The museum is accessible in two ways: the main entrance in Via Belle Arti, or through the Via Gramsci entrance, which takes you directly to the twentieth century painters exhibit. This section houses works by Boccioni, Balla, De Chirico, Guttuso, Carrą, Morandi, Sironi and sculptures by Martini, Marini and Andreotti.

The works are divided into four sections, with the outer perimeter of the gallery reserved for sculptures. Represented in the gallery, are works from famous national and international innovators in technique and style. Notable among them are: Pollock, Tapier, Fontana and Burri. The last room is dedicated to temporary exhibits, and in particular new acquisitions.

Viale delle Belle Arti, 131
Tel.: 06 3234000, 06 3241000
Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 8:30 A.M. - 7:3 P.M., closed Mondays and Christmas and New year's days
Entrance fee charged
Internet site: www.gnam.arti.beniculturali.it
How to get there: bus 231

MUSEO NAZIONALE ETRUSCO DI VILLA GIULIA This 16th century Villa, originally the residence of Pope Julius III, surrounds two separate courtyards, divided by a lily pond. It is a splendid setting for its contents, which come mainly from southern Etruria, rich in its historical context, as a crossroads of communication for the central Mediterranean. The most important works include: the 'Vulci' bronzes, the famous 'Apollo of Veio' from the 6th century B.C., and the husband and wife sarcophagi from Cerveteri. The museum offers various itineraries, which also include a subterranean trip under the villa, offering such works as: the 'Lilly pond' the Augustinian era 'Virgin aqueduct' and Pope Julius III's 'neviera' (underground freezer).

Piazzale di villa Giulia, 9
Tel.: 06 3200562, reservations: 06 824529
Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 8:30 A. M. - 7:30 P.M. closed Monday, Christmas and New Year's days.
Entrance fee charged
Internet site: www.beniculturali.it
How to get there: tram 19

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