The Borgheses were not the first family to build luxury villas. The U shaped plan had two projecting side wings, a central portico surmounted by a terrace and a facade decorated with antique sculptures in the Mannerist style. Lying between the two towers was an open loggia with a fresco by Lanfranco, looking out onto a garden.
Decorated room, with sculptures, furniture and ceiling murals
That should have been enough! Yet stunning paintings by Caravaggio, Domenichino, Dosso Dossi, Raphael, Titian and Reni had to find space on top of the decorated walls. Sculptures had to find space in each room, also jostling for the visitor's attention in a sea of cultural objects and visual stimulation. Later on, Berninis and Rubens were added to the collection.
If the rooms were over-decorated, the huge gardens were perfect. The park was originally divided into three areas enclosed by walls, but these were later knocked down and the open spaces were crossed back and forward by paths. Trees everywhere and well placed sculptural pieces made the gardens a place of green retreat in a very busy, noisy city. And the Pincian Hill of ancient Rome, in the south part of the park, offers a very special view over Rome.
Part of the English gardens