Travel in Rome Italy: Villa Borghese, vacation rentals in Italy, villa rentals, Rome Italy hotels

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Travel Destinations in Italy - Great European Cities

Italy Travel Destinations - Villa Borghese - Rome, Italy

by Wade Rowland - Part 4

Rome is arguably more beautiful since 1999 than it has ever been in living memory. As in Venice and Florence and Siena and Pisa - all over Italy, in fact‹billions of lire was spent sprucing up Italy for the millennium and the Papal Jubilee. Thousands of trees were planted, hundreds of flowerbeds created. Churches, villas, fountains and statues everywhere are scrubbed and shining.

Best of all, Rome's museums and monuments that had been closed for years, even decades, are newly open. Among Rome's resuscitated treasures: Nero's Golden Palace; Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme (history of Rome from second century B.C. to fourth century A.D.); Villa Giuiia (the National Etruscan Museum); Palazzo Altemps (ancient and classical sculpture) and the old Montmarini Power Station which now displays a wealth of ancient sculpture which had languished, all but forgotten, in the storerooms of the famous Capitoline museums.

Villa Borghese in Rome Italy We visited the art gallery in the Villa Borghese which had recently opened after fifteen years of repair and restoration. It houses a magnificent collection of sculpture and painting in a renaissance palace that is a work of art in itself. Included in the collection are several of Bernini's finest sculptures, including what must rank as one of the wonders of Western art, Bernini's Apollo and Daphne.

She is running away from him; he has her hand at her waist, catching her just as she is being transformed into a tree. Leaves of creamy marble sprout from her floating hair and splayed fingers, delicate roots spring from her toes, bark begins to surround her. It is astounding, breathtaking, unearthly in its perfection.

Many other such treasures are newly on view around Rome this year, but we did not have time to inspect them. We did not even have time to visit the spic-and-span Trevi Fountain to toss our coins to ensure our return to the city.

Nevertheless, one crystal clear morning when the rush hour had not yet erupted and the heady scent of jasmine was in the air I had occasion to promise myself that I would be back.

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