Monday, November 17, 2008

Get your parks on – Villa Borghese

While I love living in a city, I need to see some nature. When I lived in NYC I would pass pretty Gramercy Park everyday to and from work. At least once a month I made it up to Central Park or south to Battery City Park. In D.C. Rock Creek Park was a second home and in Austin Texas it was Barton Springs.

Griffith Park in Los Angeles is the largest city park in the States but L.A. has less park space per capita than NYC and other major U.S. cities. L.A. is not a pedestrian city and urban planning in the past was an afterthought so not surprised about the lack of parks. Plus in Los Angeles many people live in houses and have a backyard. NYC and other cities where the majority live in apartments you need public spaces.

I live walking distance between two excellent parks and not far from the Tiber, which is lined with huge oak and sycamore trees (I think that is what they are). I haven’t made it up to Villa Ada yet, which I hear is a fantastic park. That park is quite a distance from my home.

The shorter walk for me is to Villa Borghese. I haven’t explored this entire park yet. On nice weekends the families come out, along with the joggers and the bikers. Early weekdays mornings it’s so quiet. All you hear are birds.

During my first trip to Rome I stayed in a hotel near this area and the park was where I spent my first morning in Rome. It left a beautiful impression. The road that leads to top of the Spanish Steps offers one of the best views in Rome.

In 1605 Cardinal Borghese, a nephew of Pope Paul V, took this former vineyard and created the second largest park in Rome. It’s 148 acres.

Here is more info about the park.

A view overlooking Piazza del Popolo.

The Cavalli Marini fountain is one of my favorites. It so weird. Interesting interpretation of a “sea horse”.

The Borghese Villa. I will write a post about this must see museum.


Gil said...

Thanks for posting your beautiful pictures of sights that I seemed to have missed in Rome.

*Belgian said...

Great post! I love Villa Borghese and hope to spend a lot of time there next year. I always wanted to see the museum, but haven't yet. So I'm looking forward to reading your post about it.

Petulia said...

Love Villa Borghese. When I was a teenager it was my fav place to go stroll and do people watching.I guess it still is for a lot of kids today.You should go check out the Museo Bilotti in the park, it is a small but very interesting collection.
Saluti da Parigi!

joanne @ frutto della passione said...

I have to admit, that one of the few things I miss about Rome is Villa Borghese. I had one of my first dates with my husband there.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gil - you're welcome.

belgian - the museum is fantastic.

petulia - I haven't been to that museum. Thanks for the tip.

joanne - how romantic!

Kim B. said...

Are the photos from this weekend? If so, how glorious and sunny!! That kind of weather definitely puts one in mind of the need to go stroll in the park . . . and how lovely if one has a Roman one at hand!

Milanese Masala said...

Rome has so many more green areas than Milan. And it's such a pleasure to just walk around the city. Everywhere you look there's a work of art. Sigh! I wish I could visit!!

Tina said...

I'm like you, I'm a city girl but love having nature nearby.

Villa Borghese is beautiful!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

kim b - no they weren't from this weekend but we did finally have a few hours of sun. Unfortunately I was solo (as usual) no Roman for me. :)

milanese - I do enjoy just walking around. There are so many things to see. Love the little side streets. Sometimes you don't feel like you're in a big city at all.

tina - living surrounded by only concrete and steel would drive me nuts. I need to see some grass, trees and a few birds other than pigeons. ha

Could you imagine living in a villa like the Borghese?

sdg1844 said...

It looks lovely. I dig oublic spaces alot. We're too cut off from one another in the States. it seems as if some of us have lost any interpersonal skills we have. LOL

pinkchocolatesunshine said...

i want to go to Italy so bad! I am a New Yorker living in DC and I became interested in Italy when I took Italian in HS. I also took Italian in college and fell in love even more.

i hope to make it to italy sometimes soon...even if it's brief. if you have any recommendations for "first timers" please share.

erynchandler said...

you used to live in austin??? i grew up here and barton springs is one of my fav places!

and si, villa borghese is beautiful and has my fav Bernini Statue!

Faith said...

I'm saving all of this for when I come back to Europe. But I have to go to the Costa Brava first!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

sdg1844 - I know what you mean. I was on one website where all these young women were saying how they only communicate via text messaging and hated talking on the phone. One person said her date told her via text he couldn't make it. Sorry that is not cool.

pcs - Under the Sight Seeing and Rome off the Beaten Path labels you'll find some advice. Regarding coming to Rome for the first time I would say don't over schedule yourself. You can't see it all anyway. The website is very helpful. The guide book Time Out Rome is excellent for places to go/eat and DK eyewitness guide is excellent for info on historic sites. Good luck with your vacation plans.

eryn - Yes I lived there for a year for work. It's a great city. The Berninis in the Villa Borghese are just incredible.

faith - have a great trip.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Friends of my parents lived near there, and I've walked through that park several times. It's gorgeous.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

jen - it really is.

scatteredmoments said...

My husband and I were there two weeks ago and it was wonderful a quiet respite with amazing views of the city. The perfect place for a book and a blanket. What a wonderful feeling it is to be in the middle of the city but surrounded by nature.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

scatteredmoments - I agree, it is a perfect place for a book and a blanket. So peaceful.