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The Palaces




The Palaces  of power in Rome

Like all the capitals of the world, also Rome  can boast some palaces, that have turned into seats of important national or local institutions.

The most significant Roman representative place  is no doubt the Quirinal Palace (Palazzo del Quirinale), already summer residence of the Popes since the end of 16th century and later, after, 1871, seat of the  kings of Italy and finally seat of the President of the Italian Republic. The palace, that stands at the top  of one of the seven hills of the city, overlooks  with its impressive bulk, a marvellous view.

Another hill which is very known by Roman People is the Capitoline Hill. On the homonymous and wonderful place (designed by Michelangelo) the Senatorial Palace, current headquarters of the Municipality of Rome, built on the ruins of ancient  classical buildings, the Palazzo dei Conservatori and the Palazzo Nuovo overlook, which today house the Capitoline Museums. In the middle of the square we find  the copy of the very famous equestrian monument of Marco Antonio (the original is preserved in the Palazzo dei Conservatori).

The seat  of the province of Rome is instead the Palazzo Valentini, not far from the famous piazza Venezia. The palace, was erected in the end of XVI century, it has been the seat of the Provincial Government since 1873. Some Governments have recently  restored the building through important restoration and renovation works. In 2005 an archeological excavation  has brought to light a great area of houses.

Among the most famous palaces which are seats of institutions in Rome we certainly find the 17th century  Palazzo di Montecitorio, current seat of the Chamber of Deputies, and Palazzo Madama, belonging for a long time to the Medici family, later belonged to the Papal States  and ,after  1870, to the Italian State and current  seat of the  Senate of the Republic.

The seat of the Cabinet  is instead Palazzo Chigi, historical Roman palace since 1916 belonging to the Italian State and in 1961 it has turned into the seat of the High Institution. The Palazzo delle Finanze, was instead, the first great building built  after the conquest of Rome of  1870 commissioned by the former  minister Quintino Sella (whose writing desk is still preserved at the seat at via XX settembre) and it is the current seat of the Ministry of Economy.




Briaschi Palace

In 1791, on wish of pope Pius VI, the demolition of Palazzo Orsini started to replace a new building, as a gift to his nephew, Luigi Braschi Onesti. The project was realized by the architect Cosimo Morelli (1732-1812). But  because of the economical problems of the duke, the decorations weren’t completed and at his death they were unfinished.

The works, ended with the new heirs ,the Briaschi family, who sold it in 1871 to Italy. It used it as seat of the Ministry of the Interior and later, as a seat of various  Fascist institutions.

In 1949, 300 families of homeless people stayed there and the habitual use of fires caused great damage to the frescos and floors. The palace was also demolished.

From 1952 it is the seat of the Museum of Rome, reopened to the public in 2002, after complex restoration works.

The entry of the hall from via San Pantaleo, is an oval plan, for its realization the Valadier collaborated. Sculptures by Francesco Mochi were placed recently.

The cornice under the roof is decorated by stars and  lilies, symbols of Braschi family, while on the windows of the ground floor there are heads di lions with a pinecone in their mouth, heraldic elements of Onesti family. The courtyard, with rectangular shape and  rounded angles, has an architecture similiar to the outer and shows 4 great portals set as a cross corresponding to the outer.

Particularly interesting are the paintings of the oval hall on the corner of piazza Pasquino with the views of Nemi, feud of Braschi family, and the Roman country.



The Mattei Palace

It was an initiative by the marquise Asdrubale Mattei, who in 1598 appointed the architect Carlo Maderno to realize an amazing and magnificent residence, not only with splendid rooms decorated by painters like Antonio Pomarancio and Pietro da Cortona, but also with a vast courtyard that could host his collection of ancient marbles, a real outdoor museum, with busts, bas-reliefs and statues, all arranged with very elaborate stucco cornices. Located in the “court of honor” of the Mattei palace of Jupiter at the corner between Via Michelangelo Caetani 32 and Via dei Funari.



Palazzo Spada

It was built by the architect Bartolomeo Baronino da Casale Monferrato in 1540, and commissioned by Girolamo Recanati Capodiferro, while the outer and inner stucco was commissioned to Giulio Mazzoni. Going on the visit you will find the rooms of Galleria Spada where you can admire the private collection of cardinal Bernardino Spada with the artworks, ancient sculptures and furniture.





Galleria Alberto Sordi (former Galleria Colonna)

It is situated near Piazza Colonna and the Parliament, and precisely into the Palazzo dell’Istituto Romano di Beni Stabili, is a structure build with reinforced concrete and covered with travertine and bricks. The gallery  with Liberty style, is Y-shaped and it is covered with glass, inspired by the galleries of Milan and Naples of the XVII century. It is about 17 m high, with an inner exhibition place 1500 ms long. It is used for musical and cultural events, but also as a shopping center as the great number of shops commercial activities into it.



Palazzo Sacchetti

It is the biggest building of via Giulia, it has a face of bricks with a great portal of marble, and a balcony sustained by brackets, where the inscription “Domus Antonii Sangalli Architecti - MDXLIII” stands out. The architect Antonio da Sangallo the Young  built it between 1541 and 1545, for dwelling there. After his death the palace was sold to Ricci di Montepulciano family (they spent great sums for its decoration and amplification) and then to Sacchetti marquis in 1648. Through the inner court, through a great stair you mounted upstairs. The palace is rich in artworks of different periods. The interior is very beautiful and undisputed symbol of “Mannerism” (artistic current of the XVI century) with works by Francesco Salviati, Pietro da Cortona and Jacopino del Conte. Of particular interest is the Salone dell’Udienza (with David’s histories, by Francesco Salviati), thr Gallery with the Sacred Family and Adam and Eve by Pietro da Cortona and the “Salone dei Mappamondi” with its big and ancient maps (of the heavens and of the world) of the end of the XVI century, a work by the cosmographer Vincenzo Coronelli. This was shown in the movie“ the great beauty” by Paolo Sorrentino too. At last the small garden with hedges, benches, fountains, statues, and the beautiful nymphaeum.



Palazzo Farnese

It is the most refined palace of Rome, with its garden, the loggia, the friezes, and its cornice, all is harmonious and well-proportioned . It was built during the Renaissance. It was commissioned by Farnesi family in 1514 to the architect Antonio Sangallo, followed by Michelangelo and finished in 1546 by Giacomo della Porta. Today is the seat of the French embassy and you can visit it only by booking.



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