Villa Borghese

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            The Borghese name is one that rings of papal legitimacy in Rome.  Centuries ago, this was the most powerful and wealthy family, obviously having great holdings of land and art.  In the 17th century, a villa was designed and built, purposefully to contain the family’s art collection and to entertain away from the Vatican.  It was a palazzina, then outside of Rome’s city limits, on a significant amount of land. 
            In 1902, the government purchased this estate and it now provides Rome’s answer to Central Park, with gravel paths, leading through treed and sculpture filled natural areas and the villa as a central feature.  The villa has just been given something like an 18-year restoration and it is in perfect form to host the bursting crowds who have to preorder tickets and queue for a one-hour time slot in the gallery.
Trained orange hedge
The tulips are spent, but the structure is in place.
            But once the hour is up, there are still gardens where you can take as much time as you wish.  They have formal structures, like trained and sculptural hedges, but are filled with common herbs (rosemary, salvia…) and loved flowers (irises, tulips, violas).  
Oranges and lemons in pots

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