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Historical Documentation
James, “Roman Rides”
James, “Roman Neighborhoods”
Lipsius, Two Bookes of Constancie

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Villa Borghese

Dates: 1606–1621
Patron: Scipione Borghese, 1576–1633
Designer: Flaminio Ponzio, c. 1560–1613;
Giovanni Vasanzio, 1550–1621
Location: Europe — Italy — Lazio — Rome

Located in Rome on the Pincian Hill and overlooking the Piazza del Popolo, the Villa Borghese and its gardens were laid out for the Cardinal Scipione Borghese beginning in 1605. One of the most significant features of this Baroque complex was that unlike its Renaissance predecessors, the buildings were subordinate to the overall layout of the grounds. The casino was designed by Flaminio Ponzio (1560–1613) to house the Cardinal’s collection of antique sculpture. The gardens range from the formal parterres immediately adjacent to the house to extensive plantings of trees intersected by allées , statues, fountains, grottoes, and lakes. In the early nineteenth century the park was enlarged and redesigned in the then popular English style. In 1902 the villa and gardens were acquired by the state and are now part of a large-scale urban park that stretches along the Pincian hill. The casino continues to function as an art gallery known as the Boghese Gallery, comprising not only antique sculpture but an extensive collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, many of which were part of the Cardinal’s own collection.

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