Feeling home in a “palazzo”

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 in Arts and History

revised February 2024] Do you know a large number of Roman masterpieces remain tantalizingly behind the gates of private palaces? Of all European cities, Rome has most of historical palaces and villas still in private hands, due to the presence of many noble families aspiring to papacy in the bygone days: every time a new Pope was elected, another family came to power and was able to commission wonderful buildings and collect major works of art.

Some of these palazzi were acquired by the Government, some others are still owned by the illustrious families, but in any case most of them can be visited now. Some examples?

Palazzo Barberini, which houses the exceptional “Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica”, but it would be a treasure even completely empty with its wonderful ceiling by Pietro da Cortona, the gardens, the staircases by Bernini e Borromini, the magical atmosphere of bygone days. And now we can also include a special section of the palace that was private since not too long ago, where you see a real apartment of a wealthy family of the XIX century. Connected to this palazzo, is the Palazzo Corsini in Trastevere, same ticket.

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, preserving major works by Velasquez, Caravaggio and Raphael, but not only (it is one of the major private collections in Europe!)

Not to forget  Palazzo Colonna dating back to the XV century when the pope of the family, Martino V, started it.

A world of splendour and opulence will be revealed in front of your eyes while you enjoy incredible masterpieces far from the tourist crowd. If you wish to feel like home in a palace, do not forget to include a visit to one of this sites during your next trip to Rome!