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Destination Rome: Piazza and Palazzo Farnese

Palazzo Farnese dominates the famous Piazza Farnese, adorned with twin fountains by Girolamo Rainaldi and on which stands the Swedish national church of St. Bridget. Piazza Farnese is a small oasis in the busy center of Rome, a place to spend a few minutes to rest while enjoying the calm and harmony of the square.

Since 1871 Palazzo Farnese is the seat of the French Embassy. Work on the construction of the Palazzo Farnese began in 1517 at the behest of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (the future Pope Paul III in 1534) and carried out by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, which was followed by Michelangelo and Vignola, but only thanks to Giacomo Della Porta the works were completed. The rear façade is due to the Della Porta and Vignola while the facades on the side streets and the square to Sangallo the Younger. Michelangelo instead completed the cornice, composed of a wide range of lilies, the loggia on which is the Farnese coat of arms, part of the second courtyard and entirely the third.

You understand immediately why Palazzo Farnese has been renamed "The die." Just restored, the cleaning of the facade did resurface the polychrome bricks, placed lozenges, adorn the area. The facade has three floors and the thirteen windows belonging to each floor are all decorated differently; those of the main floor are decorated with pediments alternately curved and triangular.

The atrium of the Palazzo Farnese

Antonio da Sangallo designed the entrance hall inspired by the ancient buildings. The atrium consists of a large central nave and two narrower aisle divided by ancient original granite columns originating from the excavations of the Baths of Caracalla. The visitor just entering the building notice two different types of ornament: on the coffered ceiling are the lily and the unicorn representing the dynastic ambitions of the Farnese, while the alignment of the busts of Roman emperors placed in the niches refers to imperial power.

The Staircase

This staircase leads to the upper floor, the noble. A staircase formed by majestic ramps that allow a magnificent ascension. In the middle there is a set-up: two sarcophagi with mythological scenes topped with rostrum beaks of Roman military ships as a sign of victory over the enemy.

The Red Lounge

At the time, called "Salon of the philosophers", this room housed until 1787 the ancient busts of Greek philosophers and poets. This collection is currently located at the Archaeological Museum of Naples. The marble fireplace and coffered ceiling are from sixteenth century and Antonio Cipolla made the detail of the cafe-au-lait color wooden ceiling.

The White Hall

Also known as the "Chamber of the Queen Cristina" because the Queen of Sweden housed there from December 1655 until July 1656, the period subsequent to his abdication. On the coffered ceiling is depictd the coat of arms of the Cardinal Odoardo Farnese, who also ordered the building of the terrace, visible from the window, built in 1603. It seems that this salon is the place where the meeting took place between Laval and Mussolini during which it was decided the acquisition of the building by Italy.

The Yellow Salon and the Salon of Signatures

The coffered ceiling of this hall is decorated with the coat of arms of Cardinal Alessandro and with four symbols that refer to the Farnese family, or Pegasus, a ship, the Farnese lilies and a shield. In the signatures there are salon frescoes Domenichino realized in 1603 depicting the myths of Apollo and Hyacinth and death of Adonis and Narcissus, who then turned into flowers: hyacinth, narcissus and anemone. This is why it is connected to the Farnese family.

The Camerino Farnese

The first work of Carracci in Rome made on commission of Odoardo Farnese is the Cardinal's cabinet, also called Camerino Farnese. The vaulted ceiling decorated with frescoes between 1595 and 1597 represents the virtues of Cardinal showed as a philosopher prince. This work is currently preserved in the gallery of the Museum of Capodimonte in Naples.

The Farnese Gallery

The Gallery is the most famous place of Palazzo Farnese. It was painted by Annibale Carracci, Agostino Carracci and Domenichino between 1597 and 1604. The gallery is narrow (about six meters) and long just over twenty meters. The decorations of the vault have as its theme the loves of the gods and are drawn almost exclusively from Ovid's Metamorphoses. The central part depicts the wedding procession with the Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne on two wagons pulled by tigers and accompanied by dancing figures.

The Hercules Room

This room gets its name from the statue of Hercules, which for centuries has been here before being taken to the Archaeological Museum of Naples with the whole Farnese collection.


Opening hours: only on Mon (03 PM, 04 PM and 05 PM); Wed (03 PM, 04 PM and 05 PM); Fri (03 PM, 04 PM and 05 PM) on request

Admission: 11€

Web site

How to reach: Bus stop Palazzo Falconieri - Uroboro (23, 280, N10)

AddressPiazza Farnese, 67, 00100 Roma RM


Born in Riccione, a seaside town on the Italian coast of the Adriatic Sea. Of Italian father and a Russian mother, I always define myself a crossroads of cultures, in fact I never identified with a nationality, considering myself a real world citizen.
From the early years of life I've traveled, living periods of time abroad, experiences that have further increased my openness towards the new and the different, and the ability to think outside the box.
I'm graduated Expert for Tourism, and continued hmy studies with a Masters Degree in Economics and Management. During and after the studies, I had a multitude of different jobs, mostly oriented towards tourism (my true passion, together with art and opera). Since 2008 I lives in Milan, working in the finance department of an Italian multinational company.
My passion for culture, led me to found in 2013, Kitabu, a publishing house specializing in the publication of books in electronic format, with which in 2015 I launched various projects regarding web-based magazines about different cultural and leisure themes, on of wich is TravelTv.
Despite the many commitments, however, I've never stopped traveling extensively the world, trying in every place to identify myself with the local population.

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