The square is located on top of the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome, so called because once there stood the temple of Quirino.
The square is bordered to the north-east by the imposing Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic, built between the years 1573 and 1585 by Martino Longhi and Ottaviano Mascherino as the summer residence of the Roman pontiffs.
The east side of the square is bordered by the Palazzo della Consulta. The building, which was completed in 1737 under the direction of the architect Ferdinando Fuga, was commissioned by Pope Clement XII to house the Papal State court. Between 1798 and 1814, the palace was the seat of the Prefecture of Rome, and from 1871 to 1874 was the residence of Prince Umberto I. In 1955, the palace became the seat of the Constitutional Court of Italy.
Another building flanking the square, near the Palazzo della Consulta, is the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi, commissioned in 1603 by the Borghese family.
On the opposite side of the presidential residence, we can find the Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale (Quirinal Stables), built between 1722 and 1732 by Alessandro Specchi and Ferdinando Fuga. Fully restored between 1997 and 1999, the palace is now used as a venue for art exhibitions.
In the center of the square, we can find the large sculptural group of the Fontana dei Dioscuri, also called the Fountain of Monte Cavallo, with two large sculptures depicting the twins Castor and Pollux and their horses. In the middle of the sculptural group, there is an obelisk that once was in the Mausoleum of Augustus.
The west side of the square is bordered by a balustrade, with a beautiful view of the Eternal City.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest Metro station is Cavour, located about 1 kilometer away, on the Metro Line B. The closest bus station is Nazionale/Quirinale, about 300 meters away, on the bus Lines 40, 60, 64, 70 and 170.