On this day, I got up early in order to make it to Galleria Borghese in time for my 9 o’clock reservation. In this museum, they only allow groups of 300 people to enter at a time, and the time you are allowed to visit for is 2 hours. Tickets sell out weeks in advance, I was lucky enough to buy one the week before for Saturday morning. The Galleria was certainly one of my favorite attractions in Rome. Since they limit the number of visitors, you can really appreciate the treasure trove of famous paintings and sculpture on display, and there is a lot of it, all high quality. The museum houses a variety of sculptures by Bernini, including one that almost instantly became my favorite.
The piece is called Apollo & Daphne. Daphne does not want to be with Apollo so when he reaches out towards her, she wishes to become something ugly so he won’t want to be with her. In the story, she magically transforms into a tree to escape Apollo. In this sculpture, Bernini captures the moment when Apollo is reaching towards Daphne and she is in the process of transforming into a tree, the detail is very intricate and obviously required great skill. Bernini’s acclaimed David statue is just two rooms over on display. I would most definitely return to this gallery to adore the impressive collection again & would highly recommend that anyone who goes to Rome should pay a visit.
Once my two hours were up, I walked through the Borghese Gardens to get to the Villa Gulia Etruscan Museum, one of the world’s largest and most acclaimed museums strictly dedicated to Etruscan art. I was shocked to find a famous sarcophagus which I wrote a paper about in art history in the center of the museum. It was the burial tomb for a rich man and his wife, portrayed lounging on their sofa. This museum was a nice treat and I found it very interesting, however I would not recommend it for those who aren’t interested in Etruscan life and art, as it would likely seem very repetitive.
I walked back through the park to take a look at the Villa Medici on my way to the Picnico, a fantastic lookout point over the city. I only lingered for a few minutes before heading to lunch super fast so I could get over to the Coliseum. I already had my ticket so I went right in and started exploring. Definitely massive and impressive from the outside, it was just as stunning within. I read some about the history of the structure, then walked all around, taking photos and reveling in the actuality of being in the ancient Coliseum. I wrote a report about the arenas of Rome last semester, and there I was standing inside one of the very greatest arenas ever built!
After the Coliseum, I meandered through the forum and the Palestine hill area once again, there is just so much to see there! Following that, I stopped for a delicious Italian treat called a cannoli, pistachio flavor, it was amazing. Then I had 2 courses of pasta in order to carb load at a little restaurant off of Piazza Bernini. I got a scoop of pistachio gelato, and walked by to my hostel since I needed to get to sleep super early since I would be running the marathon the next morning! After three full days of exploring Rome, I was already a little sore & so I wanted to get a full nights rest in order to face my impending doom the next morning! 🙂