Borghese Gallery Question


Sep 20th, 2017, 04:30 PM
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Borghese Gallery Question

I am late in booking my reservations, but we arrive in Rome October 1 and I thought we would go that afternoon, since it is near our hotel. Come to find out that it is free the first Sunday of the month. How much of a zoo will it be, especially late afternoon? Is it worth booking a tour anyway, or should we take our chances? We will be tired from our flight, so standing in line like vegetables may not be too much of a problem.
kgk52 is offline  
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Sep 20th, 2017, 05:12 PM
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I can't speak to the probability of getting in on that specific day, but I would encourage you to consider how much of a priority the Borghese is for you: Are you willing to forego a visit if you can't get in? Because it might not just be a question of standing in line -- it might mean standing in line and then not getting in, right? Up to you!
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Sep 20th, 2017, 05:28 PM
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>>>How much of a zoo will it be, especially late afternoon? <<<

I doubt it's any different than any other day. I'm sure they still limit the number of people allowed in at a time and you still have a 2 hour time slot. Free doesn't mean just show up and go in. When you use a Roma Pass for free admittance, you still are required to have a reservation.
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Sep 20th, 2017, 05:33 PM
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I think you'll get a clear answer from the "experts" on the TA Rome forum. They're very good over there:
MmePerdu is online now  
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Sep 20th, 2017, 06:12 PM
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I usually suggest rather than say absolutes, but I feel strongly about this.

No, no, no. Don't "take your chances." If seeing the Borghese is truly important to you, then book it. If you don't care enough to make sure you see it by booking ahead, then don't bother at all. It would be a big waste to take time and energy to get there, wait for everyone else to be admitted, very, very likely not get in, then trek back to your hotel or wherever.

Do Not go on your arrival day! The Borghese is a spectacular gallery! It is intense! Go when you are rested and can fully appreciate it. If it is worth while to you, time wise, then it is worth the minimal cost to visit it properly.

Arrive at least 30 minutes early! Allow plenty of time to get there. Do not be late. You will need to check all bags, including purse, camera, etc. and pick up tickets. Go to the bathroom. That all takes time. This is a good place to have one of those little flat passport bags to wear under a shirt or sweater, just for any cash, credit cards, etc. They used to give you a plastic bag for your wallet, etc. but do not know if they still do, and it is a pain to hold onto anyway. They just don't want anyone accidently hitting things.

A tour or audio is personal choice. I prefer to look at art by myself, at my own pace, but did rent the audio there. I have heard good things about the tours though. You just have to check the times for the tour in English (if that is what you want) and book tickets accordingly.

A tip I have read, but not tried, and wished I had known to do it before I went. Rather than follow the crowd through rooms from the beginning, proceed to the second floor for the paintings and work backwards so when you get back to the major galleries, they will be less crowded. Just monitor your time.
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Sep 20th, 2017, 06:42 PM
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Everything sassafras said!!

I had considered a free day. I'm glad I booked a spot. This is a crazy busy museum. They cap, and sell out even a week or more in advance, but whatever number they cap at is not enough. You have a low chance- or a long wait- to get in on free day.

They don't give you plastic bags or at least they did not when I was there. Coat and bag check is a long line as they let nothing in. Do a moneybelt and pockets.

I didn't take a tour. I spent most of the time dodging the tour group. I don't think I would do a tour simply because the art is meant to be savoured. It speaks for itself. The tour moves pretty fast.
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Sep 20th, 2017, 07:59 PM
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I would never EVER plan the Borghese Gallery on my arrival day. Reservations or no reservations?
janisj is online now  
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Sep 20th, 2017, 10:33 PM
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Agree with above... do it the next day. Just stroll the city and relax on arrival day. Not only is the Borghese Gallery a favorite and worth a lot of time and energy-- the park surrounding it is worth some time as well. Go when you can relax, take your time, and enjoy!
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Sep 21st, 2017, 02:28 AM
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There are other museums in Rome that I value more than the Borghese Gallery, but I do go there often because they have some excellent temporary exhibits.

As KYBourbon says, there is a limit of 200 people who can be inside at any one time, and they usually reach this limit well ahead of time, especially in high season, or when there's a popular exhibit. Because of this, one day will usually be just as crowded as another.

Sunday is the big day for Italian art appreciation groups to go on tour, so Sundays will have some big tour groups clogging up the space. There can be tour groups on other days as well, of course, but Sunday is the only day schools are closed in Italy, and teachers make up a large contingent in Italian art appreciation groups.

Entrances are at two-hour intervals. If, let's say, you've reserved for 10 AM, you arrive there 30 minutes early and queue up to collect your ticket. Everyone enters at once, and when the two hours are up, everyone leaves, and the next groups enters.

Every time I've been there, there's been a long queue to collect tickets reserved in advance. (However, I mostly go when there's a popular exhibit going on.) Those who are hoping for a last-minute entrance have to wait until all the tickets have been collected, and if there was a no-show, they're given a ticket.

There's also a long line at the coat/bag check. If there are two or more in your group, one should wait in the ticket queue and other in the bag check queue. As others have said, you can't carry anything in. When I was there, I asked about where I could keep my wallet and was given a little plastic bag. Maybe you don't get it unless you ask. Big pockets might be a better solution.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 05:03 AM
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>>>As KYBourbon says, there is a limit of 200 people who can be inside at any one time, <<<

I didn't say 200 people, I said 2 hours timed visits. The number allowed in at each time slot is 360 people. That is why the line can be so long to retrieve tickets and check bags.
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Sep 21st, 2017, 06:00 AM
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Thanks everyone. I wasn't sure if it was possible to book a time on a free admission day, but I have taken your advice to heart and will not go the day we arrive. I appreciate all the helpful tips.
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