When living in an amazing country full of beautiful cities, picturesque countrysides, breathtaking cliff-side beaches, stunning islands and ancient monuments you sometimes get caught up and forget to explore the city you are actually living in. So this weekend we decided to rent boats in Villa Borghese and here’s how!
I live in Rome, which makes it even harder. This city is billowing with churches, archeological sites and lots to do. Every week I hear about another amazing restaurant, new exhibition, an amazing park or a hidden bar that I just HAVE to check out.
After wandering the side alleyways of Rome, trekking across the ancient roads of the Roman Forum and climbing the seemingly endless steps up to St Peter’s dome, you just kind of want to relax. If you are seeking a cool relaxing spot, hopefully you are lucky enough to stumble upon the the man-made lake in Villa Borghese.
Renting a Row-boat
The lake is circled by the walking path “Viale del Lago,” but you won’t be able to miss the centerpiece – “Temple of Asclepius.” Asclepius was the Greek god of medicine and healing – exactly what your legs will need after all this time exploring Rome!
When you arrive at the small lake, find your way over to the little boat house where they rent row-boats. It’s inexpensive and perfect for the kids or a little romance with that special someone.
The only hiccup is that the lake is run by a few Romans who don’t speak English. Don’t worry, It’s easy! Look for the “cassa” which means cashier and find some sort of mutual communication to tell her your party size. Counting on your fingers is international enough!
The boats cost 3 euro for 20 minutes per person and there are discounts for kids. They don’t charge per boat, but per person, so don’t feel the need to couple up to save money. The more boats the merrier!
They will hand you a ticket with a number on it and call your number. Just stay on the dock and have the boat master look at your ticket to be safe. Otherwise they may call your number in Italian and you’ll miss your turn (sad face).
Once you’re on the boat you’ll have 20 minutes, which is plenty of time. It will take a good 5 minutes to get the hang of rowing, at least for me it did, and after that it’s just about finding shade and dodging the turtles & ducks!
When your time is up the boat master will call your number… in Italian. This is the tricky part. Maybe it is best to start heading back after 18 or 19 minutes, but remember that you are in Italy and everyone is late, so don’t panic!
Villa Borghese is a very well known treasure of this city, but there are endless activities within this gem. Galleria Borghese is a very well known museum inside this park. It is considered one of the greatest collections of Baroque sculptures in Rome. Some of Bernini’s masterpieces rest inside this amazing gallery which is nestled in the north-east corner of Villa Borghese on “Viale dell’Uccelliera.”
Tickets are often booked out fast, so make sure you book in advance or alternatively take a Borghese Gallery Storyteller tour with The Roman Guy.
Another great thing to do, which is free unlike the other two options, is to see one of the best views in Rome from “Pincio.” It overlooks St. Peter’s Basilica & Piazza Del Popolo… not to mention the rest of the city as well. From Piazza del Popolo, just look towards Villa Borghese on your left if you are facing the twin churches.
You’ll see people taking the foot path in the direction of “Il Pincio.” Great for a quick #selfie of you and your family, partner, or on your own!
I Want More Italy!
- If you want us to arrange the entertainment in Rome (and beyond!), contact our Trip Planning Team to coordinate an unforgettable Italian experience.
- Check out our YouTube video and step-by-step guide about how to do Rome in a Day. If you’d rather let us guide you, check out our Rome tours.
- Not sure where to stay in Rome? Read this guide!
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