Borghese Gallery Virtual Tour: A Cardinal's Dream

Explore one of the world's greatest art galleries from home on our virtual tour of the Villa Borghese

Borghese Gallery Virtual Tour: A Cardinal's Dream

duration 1.5 hours

Tour Overview

Discover the splendours of the Roman Baroque with our immersive online tour of the Borghese Gallery. Equal parts aristocratic pleasure palace and historic art gallery, the intimate Villa Borghese is a treasure trove of Renaissance and Baroque art. In the virtual company of expert art historian Federica, discover how the magnificent Villa was the brainchild of the unscrupulous and art-obsessed Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the pope’s all-powerful nephew. Learn all about Borghese's scandalous life, and how his largesse launched the career of one of the greatest sculptors to have ever picked up a chisel – Gianlorenzo Bernini. Join Federica on this virtual exploration of the incredible Borghese collection, and discover how Bernini's revolutionary conception of three-dimensional space ushered in a completely new language of art.

If the day of the week or start time of this group tour doesn't work for you, please email us at to arrange a suitable alternative date.

Tour includes:

  • Immersive Borghese Gallery experience
  • Live broadcast from Rome with art historian Federica
  • Videos, photos and interactive content will make the gallery come alive
  • Have your questions answered live by Federica


  • Explore Scipione Borghese's lavish villa
  • Discover Bernini's sculptural masterpieces in-depth
  • Learn about masterpieces like Raphael's Deposition, Canova's Paoline Bonaparte and more

Tour Description

 Meet your guide: Federica

Hi I'm Federica! I have a degree in Art History from La Sapienza University in Rome, where my studies focused on the Italian Renaissance and its protagonists. A few months later I became a licensed tour guide, and I started working in the most important museums and archaeological areas in Rome. While working with people coming from all over the world, I realised that teaching art is a form of art itself, and that there are many cultural, anthropological, psychological and linguistic obstacles that prevent people from fully understanding what they see. I obtained a Masters degree in Art and Disabilities, which gave me the chance to learn more about the importance of ‘removing the obstacles’ and making culture accessible to everyone. As well as my work for Through Eternity I study sign language, and also teach Contemporary Art in a private academy for young students.

What Exactly is a Through Eternity Virtual Tour?  

The world of travel might be on hold right now, but just because we're all staying at home to help the world overcome a common enemy doesn't mean we have to put our wanderlust on the back burner. Frustrated with not being able to get our travel fix, we decided to transform our award-winning tours into immersive virtual experiences, meaning you can still explore Italy’s spectacular archaeological sites and jaw-dropping museums from the comfort of your own home.

* Please note that the booking times are in US Eastern Standard Time and Rome, Italy CET is 6 hours ahead *

Fun and informative, our virtual tours take the form of online real-time presentations led by our expert guides. Combining videos, high-definition photos and more, our guides will be sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience with you on these interactive walkthroughs of Italy’s most fascinating sites. The live format of our virtual tours means you’ll be able to ask your guide anything you wish, just like on a normal tour. We really believe it's the next best thing to being here!

As a sign of our gratitude to those who are on the front line fighting the Coronavirus, we would be more than happy to invite all first responders, health workers and NHS workers to join our Virtual Tours for free. Please message our office staff directly!

Please note that the proceeds from our online tours go directly to our guides, providing them with a valuable lifeline in these tough times for the world of travel. Thank you for your support! 

Rediscover the opulent lifestyle of a wealthy baroque prince

The fabulous palace and the peerless collection of painting and sculpture that make up Rome's Borghese Gallery was the brainchild of cardinal Scipione Borghese, one of 17th century Rome's most irrepressible characters. Learn how this man of the cloth was more interested in luxury than piety, and how his ruthlessly predatory nature combined with an unerring eye for artistic virtuosity allowed him to amass a private collection of art that has possibly never been matched before or since.

Join Federica to learn more about the colourful cardinal, whose lavish lifestlye scandalised contemporary Rome. Discover how Scipione's rapacious desire for artistic masterpieces was so great that he was known to have artists imprisoned to allow him to confiscate their works, and how he had Raphael's famous Deposition forcibly removed from its altar in Perugia and carted to his villa in Rome - where it still hangs in pride of place today.

Marvel at the virtuosity of Baroque master Gianlorenzo Bernini 

At the heart of Federica’s tour is the towering presence of Barique master Gianlorenzo Bernini. Bernini would become the most famous sculptor of his generation and cast the urban langauge of Baroque Rome in his own image, but it was at Scipione's palatial suburban villa that the young artist first found fame.

Bernini's unique interpretation of ancient mythology and his revolutionary conception of three-dimensional space ushered in a completely new language of art, where the boundary between fiction and reality became fundamentally blurred. Bernini's theatrical sculptural fictions at the Villa Borghese launched the golden age of the Baroque, and you’ll learn all about them on our virtual tour.

Amongst the masterpieces that we'll be getting to grips with is Bernini's Apollo and Daphne - Daphne, pursued by the ancient god of music, is caught in a moment of perpetually arrested transformation - no longer the beautiful woman she was but not yet the inert tree she would become, Bernini has managed to capture this fleeting moment of metamorphosis for all eternity in stone that seems to be pulsing with life.

The disturbing story of Pluto, dread god of the underworld, and the doomed young goddess Proserpina, meanwhile, is a dark tale of violence, lust and abduction - just the sort of thing to get Scipione's pulse racing. For Bernini the dramatic subject constituted a perfect excuse for him to show off his virtuosity - fingers miraculously seem to sink into flesh, and stony faces are as life-like and expressive as any photograph. Discover the full story on our immersive virtual tour!


Tour Reviews

5.0 (15 reviews)

Frederica presentation was terrific! Of all the pieces she could have covered she had selected my favorite: Bernini! She provided great context regarding the Borghese itself, the times, and the people but she concentrated the Bernini pieces and it was awesome!

Joyce - Mar 16, 2021

Federica is a fantastic guide. You can tell she truly loves what she does. This tour has a real focus on the Borghese Gallery construction, history, and development into an area to showcase masterpieces of art. There is a focus solely on Bernini's sculptures which are most certainly a reason to visit the gallery. I very much enjoyed my experience.

Stephanie - Sep 29, 2020

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