We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. - T S Eliot
For me, Villa Borghese is a place I go to to completely empty my mind. It is a quiet escape from the fast paced streets that run around it. Once entered it is so easy to forget that you are in the middle of a city, the towering roman trees that line the intertwining paths create beautiful natural canopies that house the serene world beneath.
There are many aspects of Villa Borghese that I love, but one that sits quite near to the top of my list are the people that frequent there. I could spend all day sitting and observing the love and happiness that surrounds the families, friends and couples that allow the whole day to unknowingly slip by. Dotted throughout the gardens you'll see couples snoozing, families picnicking and children running around carefree hiding and seeking behind grand pillars and enormous tree trunks.
You don't need to walk far to hear the talented musicians fill the air with their melodies and songs. Players of all instruments sit and let their passions be enjoyed by everyone passing by. One sunny Sunday I was cycling through the gardens and I came across this extremely talented guitar player who had everyone enraptured by his sweet, soft voice. I sat and listened for over an hour and watched people flowing in and out to hear him play like a gentle rhythmic tide.
The vast gardens are filled with small piazza's, beautifully engineered buildings and charming cafes that have stunning panoramic views of the iconic monuments that sit below. If I have one piece of advice for you while visiting Villa Borghese it would be to completely lose the idea of having a map - allow yourself to get lost and meander down the winding paths that overlap each other like tiny streams flowing down through valleys. Go there with plenty of time. Let yourself stop, sit and take in all that the gardens have to offer. Breath in the clear air and enjoy the warm sun tickling your skin as you lay under it. Appreciate the natural beauty that is in front of you, completely untouched and raw. Do this, and you'll leave reaping the rewards that nature and Villa Borghese has to offer you.