Monday, June 11, 2012

The Honeymoon: Rome - Wednesday

In addition to our Vatican tour, another one of the things I booked before we left for the honeymoon was a visit to the Borghese Gallery in Rome.  I first heard about it when reading my Rick Steves guidebook, and decided we should visit due to the sculpture collection and the number of Caravaggio paintings.  I was also intrigued by the museum's timed entry system - your ticket allows you to enter at 9 am, but you must leave by 11 am; then there is an 11 am entry, with departure at 1 pm, and so on.  Considering tickets were sold out on the day of our visit for the next two weeks, it was very good that we purchased in advance! (Also, I'm pretty sure security literally does a sweep of this museum at the time you're supposed to be out, and makes you leave!)

Anyway, the museum itself is in this lovely house:

And is two stories,with 22 or 23 rooms of art.  So only having two hours was actually perfect - we managed to finish up in just over an hour and a half.  (Note: actually, I hit my audioguide overload point after 90 minutes...I'm sure Gene could have enjoyed the full two hours!)  You have to check your bags and cameras, and no photos were allowed inside. 

Also, the timed entry system is AWESOME!! No big crowds at all - we were often the only people in a room, and it was just such a nice change from the Louvre and the Vatican Museums, where you'd be elbowing your way around mobs of people.  The Gallery is famous for its large collection of Bernini sculptures, and the previously mentioned Caravaggios.

Apollo and Daphne (Bernini); Pluto and Proserpina (Bernini); and a Caravaggio (David and Goliath were a very common subject to paint!)

As the museum itself was a rather well-known and well-to-do family's home, each room is just as lavish as the art (you can see a glimpse of the room behind the Pluto sculpture above - gold leaf was just the start of the decor!) After finishing up our tour, we decided to have a bit of downtime and enjoy the park around the museum - the Villa Borghese.  It was a nice day outside and rather lovely to have a break, and enjoy some shade!  After a while, we decided to make our way over to the Spanish Steps.

Not the Spanish Steps - a big wall right outside the Villa Borghese.

The Spanish Steps!

They're big and crowded.

A look down the steps

A view of the church at the top

We made it to the top! Yay!

Oh, and another Egyptian obelisk in front of the church!

After hanging out at the Steps for a while, we decided to head back to the hotel and relax for a bit.  It was a good decision, as the skies clouded over and we had a brief rainstorm! We then headed out for dinner and had our usual pasta and wine.

Spaghetti carbonara - yes please!

And no evening was complete without a visit to our favorite gelato place! This was only about a third of the flavors they offered.  It was a tough decision every night!

And relaxing and figuring out what to do for our last day in Rome!

Miss a honeymoon recap?
The Honeymoon: Paris - Our First Day
The Honeymoon: Paris - Day Two
The Honeymoon: Paris - The Louvre!
The Honeymoon: Au Revoir, Paris!
The Honeymoon: Buon Giorno, Rome!
The Honeymoon: Rome - Vatican City

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