#70 / The park in the heart of Rome
After weeks of parks and gardens, here we are on the last stop of our nature tour.
With stately homes and fully fledged royal palaces, botanical plantations and Italian gardens… it really was a spring in bloom!
But spring has just ended… So let’s end this nature tour on a high by returning to our capital and taking a stroll through Villa Borghese, the park in the heart of Rome.
Named after the 16th-century villa commissioned by the aristocratic Borghese family, today it is home to one of Italy’s most beautiful museums. In fact, to tell you the truth, when you hear “Villa Borghese”, you should know that it refers more to the park than the villa itself, which is now known by the name of the museum: the Galleria Borghese.
Villa Borghese (i.e. the park) is truly endless: 80 hectares of undulating greenery featuring pines, cypresses, cedars, firs, oaks, elms... A myriad of centuries-old trees just like a forest, but tamed by humans. ;)
Perhaps the most atmospheric place in the whole Villa Borghese park is the Lake Garden, an enclosed section that unwinds around a little lake. It’s a picture-postcard spot! ♥️
The dense vegetation is reflected in the water, giving it a greener hue rather than the blue you would expect in a body of water. A green lake... amazing!
You can also hire a boat to get up close and admire the Temple of Aesculapius, perched in the middle of the lake. The really strange thing is that we’re in the heart of Rome, but car horns and traffic jams are a million miles away, as if they don’t exist... Bravo to the Borghese family! It’s like being in a dream...
Instead, let's wake up and end this Roman outing on a high note: I suggest a nice slice of pizza bianca. It looks like a focaccia, but it’s less oily than the Ligurian version: somewhere between bread and focaccia. In fact, the Romans cut it in half to stuff it with cured meat – the classic version is with mortadella.
But it’s also very enjoyable au naturel: crispy crust, soft and well-risen centre... a real pizza bianca should almost have more holes than it does dough. Super!
Satiated and happy, I’ll bid you farewell. Ciao!