Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) is an imposing palace in Florence, located in Piazza della Signoria, near the Uffizi Gallery. SHORT HISTORY At the end of the 13th century, the city decided to build a palace in order to ensure effective protection for its magistrates. The project was attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, architect of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and of the Basilica of Santa Croce. The palace, called Palazzo dei Priori, was built on the ruins of Palazzo dei Fanti and Palazzo dell’Esecutore di Giustizia, formerly owned by the Ghibelline family of the Uberti. Arnolfo di Cambio began the works in 1299, but the palace was completed after his death, in 1314. On March 26, 1302, the palace became the seat of the Signoria (the city council headed by the Priors). Between 1342 and 1343, the Duke of Athens, Gualtieri VI of Brienne, enlarged the palace towards Via della Ninna. Other important changes took place between 1440 and 1460 under Cosimo de’ Medici, when Sala dei Dugento was decorated in Renaissance style. Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred) was built in 1494 during the republic of Girolamo Savonarola. Between 1540 and 1550, Palazzo Vecchio Read more [...]
In Italy, a residence of a nobleman, usually larger than a regular house, is called palazzo, a term translated into English as palace. In the past, besides residences, the palazzi also functioned as warehouses and office spaces. Many cities in Italy have a Palazzo Ducale, the seat of the local lord. Probably, the city with the most palaces is Venice, mostly located on the banks of the Grand Canal.
Maybe the most important palaces in Italy are Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Palazzo Reale in Caserta, Doge’s Palace in Venice, Palazzo Reale in Milan, Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, Palazzo Reale in Naples, Palazzo della Ragione in Padua and Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia. With so many palaces, it is hard to decide which are the most beautiful and worth visiting, and that is why we suggest that you visit them all.
Palazzo Pubblico, also known as Palazzo Comunale, is a medieval palace in Siena, located in the beautiful Piazza del Campo. Currently, the palace houses the Civic Museum of Siena on the first floor, and the city’s Town Hall on the second floor. SHORT HISTORY After the Council of Nine (Governo dei Nove) came to power in 1287, some ancient buildings in Piazza del Campo were purchased and subsequently demolished, to make room for a new public palace. The construction of Palazzo Pubblico began in 1297, and by 1310 the building was already completed. The tower of the palace, known as Torre del Mangia, was built between 1325 and 1348. By 1350, the second and the third floors of the central body, and the Loggia on the second floor facing Piazza del Mercato were also completed. The marble Cappella di Piazza (Chapel of the Square) was built in 1352 to thank the Virgin Mary for the end of the black plague that struck the city in 1348. The last floor of the palace was added only in 1680 by the architect Carlo Fontana. ARCHITECTURE The central body of the palace has four floors, while the two side wings have Read more [...]
Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), also known as the Gonzaga Palace, is a large complex of historical buildings in Mantua, located in the beautiful Piazza Sordello. SHORT HISTORY Starting with 1308, Palazzo Ducale was the official residence of the lords of Mantua, belonging at first to the Bonacolsi family, until 1328, when it became the residence of the Gonzaga family, who ruled the city until 1707. Distinct buildings were built in different eras, starting with the 13th century, initially by the Bonacolsi family, and subsequently by the Gonzagas. It was Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga who commissioned the architect Giovan Battista Bertani to connect the various buildings into an organic form, to create starting from 1556 a single grandiose monumental and architectural complex, one of the largest in Europe, which stretched between the shore of Lake Inferiore and Piazza Sordello. Bertani died in 1576, and the work was continued by the architect Bernardino Facciotto, who completed the gardens, squares, arcades, galleries, exedras and courtyards, definitively fixing the appearance of the ducal palace. During the Gonzaga domination, the palace gradually expanded, both with the addition of new buildings and by modifying the existing ones. The complex includes Corte Vecchia (Old Court), composed of Read more [...]
Palazzo Te is a Renaissance palace located in the suburban area of Mantua. The complex is now the seat of the Civic Museum and since 1990 of the International Center of Art and Culture of Palazzo Te. SHORT HISTORY When Francesco II Gonzaga died in 1519, his son, Federico II, became Marquis of Mantua, and decided to transform a swampy area south of the city into a place for leisure and festive receptions. The architect Giulio Romano, a pupil of Raphael, was commissioned to design the palace. By alternating the architectural elements with the natural ones that the area offered, sublimely decorating rooms and facades, the architect put all his imagination and skill in the construction of Palazzo Te. The palace was completed in 1534, 10 years after the beginning of the works. In July 1630, during the War of the Mantuan Succession, the palace was sacked over three days by an Imperial army of 36,000 mercenaries. Palazzo Te was looted and remained empty for a long time. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Te has a square plan, with a large courtyard in the center, which once hosted a labyrinth. The courtyard has four entrances on all four sides, and the Read more [...]
Basilica Palladiana is a palace in Vicenza, overlooking Piazza dei Signori, inextricably linked to the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The architect redesigned the Gothic Palazzo della Ragione by adding the loggias with the famous white marble serliane. A serliana, also known as a Palladian window, is an architectural motif popularized by Andrea Palladio, which consists of a window with three openings, the central one arched and wider than the lateral rectangular ones. Once the seat of the public magistrates of Vicenza, the Palladian Basilica is today equipped with three independent spaces, used to host architecture and art exhibitions. The building was included in 1994 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo della Ragione was built around the middle of the 15th century according to a project by Domenico da Venezia, incorporating two pre-existing public buildings. The Gothic facade of the palace was made of diamond-shaped red and yellow Verona marble, still visible behind the loggias. The building was the seat of the public magistrates of Vicenza and, on the ground floor, it housed a shop gallery. Adjacent to the building is the Bissara Tower, 82 meters in Read more [...]
Palazzo della Loggia is a beautiful palace built in Renaissance style in Brescia, located in the square of the same name, today the seat of the city’s Municipal Council. SHORT HISTORY In 1484, the municipal authorities of Brescia decided to build a grandiose palace as an expression of good governance, replacing the original loggia and increasing the monumentality of Piazza della Loggia, which was rising at the time. The first project was presented by Tomaso Formentone, an architect from Vicenza. The project of Formentone involved the construction of a building entirely of wood, an option that was immediately abandoned. The first stone was laid in 1492 and the construction site was directed, between about 1495 and 1510, by Filippo Grassi. The works were interrupted in 1512 by the sack of Brescia, to resume only in 1549. The Loggia was completed in 1574 after numerous interventions by the most famous architects of the time, such as Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Palladio, as well as Lodovico Beretta from Brescia. The latter was responsible for the large windows on the second floor. ARCHITECTURE The white Botticino marble facade of the palace is vertically composed of two distinct architectural sections. In the Read more [...]
To get to know the supreme expression of Venetian culture, whether you are attracted to architecture, painting, sculpture or all together, a visit to the Doge’s Palace is imperative. Although we are often tempted to recommend the discovery of Venice on narrow streets and hidden canals, early in the morning or late in the evening, we can equally say that visiting Venice without seeing the Doge’s Palace, in the middle of the day, inside and outside, can be considered a missed visit. SHORT HISTORY Initially built of wood in the 9th century, the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) was rebuilt several times afterwards, acquiring the form we see today between 1340 and 1424, with the construction of the Great Council Chamber under the supervision of the architect Filippo Calendario. After that period, new constructions have been added to the palace, under the care of Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon (father and son), of which we can remember the Porta della Carta, the main entrance that directs visitors to the inner courtyard. After a major fire that occurred in 1483, the inner courtyard will be rebuilt in a Renaissance style by architect Antonio Rizzo. The exterior of the white and pink marble Read more [...]
Palazzo Lenzi is a palace in Florence, located in Piazza Ognissanti, in the western part of the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built around the year 1470 by the Lenzi family on a design by an unknown architect. The Lenzi family resided in the palace until the middle of the 17th century, when the palace was bought by the Buini family, who modernized the interior. In 1765, the palace passed to the Quaratesi family. In the 19th century, Palazzo Lenzi was used as a hotel, under the name of Locanda di Russia. Around the middle of the 19th century, the whole area changed its appearance, with the construction of Palazzo Giuntini and the Hotel Excelsior. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was purchased by the antiquarian Luigi Pisani, who began a series of important restorations. The works were supervised by the architect Luigi Del Moro and the painter Pietro Baldancoli. After the restorations were completed, Luigi Pisani placed his art and antiques gallery in the palace. In 1908, the palace became the seat of the French Institute of the University of Grenoble. Then, in 1912, it became the seat of the Read more [...]
Palazzo Corsini al Parione is one of the most sumptuous private palaces in Florence, located on the homonymous Lungarno Corsini, halfway between Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alla Carraia. SHORT HISTORY Until the 16th century, there were various buildings on this area, the most important of them being the Casino del Parione and the house of the lawyer Tommaso Compagni, decorated by a fresco with the Nine Muses by Bernardino Poccetti. The land was owned first by the Marquis of Marignano, then by Giovanni de’ Medici, son of Cosimo I and Eleonora degli Albizi. In 1621, the property passed to Cardinal Giovan Carlo de’ Medici, and in 1640 it was sold to Maddalena Machiavelli, mother of Bartolomeo Corsini. Bartolomeo Corsini began the construction of a new building in 1656, initially with the contribution of the architect Alfonso Parigi the Younger, who was succeeded later by Ferdinando Tacca, and by Pierfrancesco Silvani. After Silvani’s death in 1685, the work was continued by Antonio Maria Ferri, who gave the current appearance to the structure: the three bodies articulated around a central courtyard, the monumental staircase and the facade on Lungarno Corsini. Today, the palace is still partly inhabited by the descendants Read more [...]
Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte is a palace in Florence, located on Lungarno Corsini, about 60 meters away from Ponte Santa Trinita. SHORT HISTORY Until the end of the 18th century, Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte was the property of the noble Gianfigliazzi family, who also owned the adjacent Palazzo Gianfigliazzi. In 1825, the palace was bought by Louis Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the former King of Holland in exile. Later, the palace was used as a hotel called Delle Quattro Nazioni (Of the Four Nations). In 1827, as a plaque on the facade recalls, the Italian writer and poet Alessandro Manzoni lived there for a month. Around the middle of the 19th century, the palace was owned by the Lamporecchi family, who sold it to the Belgian Van der Linden d’Hooghvorst. At that time, the building was restored by the architect Bartolommeo Silvestri, who rearranged the windows on the facade and closed the panoramic loggia on the top floor. Changes were also made to the interior, where the halls were renovated to host sumptuous receptions. At the end of the 19th century, Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte was sold to the Cesaroni Venanzi family. Today, it belongs to the Campodonico Read more [...]
Palazzo Gianfigliazzi is a palace in Florence, located on Lungarno Corsini, about 50 meters away from Ponte Santa Trinita. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built by the Ruggerini family in the 13th century, then passed to the Fastelli-Petribuoni family. At the beginning of the 15th century, it became the property of the Gianfigliazzi family. In the 17th century, the palace was renovated by the architect Gherardo Silvani. Towards the middle of the following century, it was rented to Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern, wife of Charles Edward Stuart, pretender to the English throne. In 1853, the building passed to the Masetti family, who enlarged it by one floor and changed the arrangement of the windows on the facade. Today, Palazzo Gianfigliazzi belongs to a real estate company, and houses the 4-Star hotel Palazzo Alfieri Residenza d’Epoca. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Gianfigliazzi is located about 1 kilometer away from the Santa Maria Novella railway station. The closest bus stop is Frescobaldi, located in Piazza de’ Frescobaldi, about 180 meters away, on the bus Lines 11, C3 and C4.
Palazzo della Borsa is a large palace in Florence, located on Lungarno Diaz, about 100 meters away from the Uffizi Gallery. SHORT HISTORY The area in which the palace currently stands was occupied until the mid-19th century by Tiratoio delle Grazie, an edifice belonging to the guild of Arte della Lana (Wool Art). When the ancient guilds were dissolved by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, the site was chosen for a large building suitable for housing the Chamber of Commerce, the Stock Exchange and the Tuscan National Bank. Palazzo della Borsa was built between 1858 and 1860 on a project by the young architect Michelangelo Maiorfi, reworked with significant changes by Emilio De Fabris. Around 1915, the entrance from Piazza dei Giudici was opened, and some internal works were carried out based on a project by the architect Ugo Giusti. An intervention by the architect Ezio Cerpi, which led to the raising of the entire attic, thus obtaining the second floor and bringing the structure to its current volume, is dated to 1931. The smooth plaster on the facade and the construction of a large hall in the eastern side of the palace, intended for the Stock Exchange, date Read more [...]
Palazzo Malenchini Alberti is a palace in Florence, located in Via dei Benci, at the intersection with Lungarno Generale Diaz. SHORT HISTORY The noble family of Alberti di Catenaia settled in this area of Florence in the first half of the 13th century. The family purchased several properties and merged them to form a large structure in which they resided. Between 1760 and 1763, the fronts of the buildings were unified into a single facade, on the initiative of Giovan Vincenzo Alberti, Count of the Holy Roman Empire. Giovan Vincenzo’s son, Leon Battista, died without heirs in 1836, and the palace passed to a nephew belonging to the Mori Ubaldini family. Between 1838 and 1839, the new family renovated the palace, under the direction of the architect Vittorio Bellini. Other interventions took place between 1849 and 1851 by the architects Odoardo Razzi and Niccolò Salvi. The first created the Neo-Renaissance facade, inaugurated in 1850. The second took care of the loggia on the northern side of the palace’s garden. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was bought at auction by the Dukes of Chaulnes, distant descendants of the Alberti. In 1887, they left Florence, and the Read more [...]
Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali, also known as Palazzo Lavison, is an imposing palace in Florence, located in Piazza della Signoria, across the square from Palazzo Vecchio. SHORT HISTORY Around 1864, some buildings in the area, such as the ancient Tower of the Infangati (Torre degli Infangati), the Church of Santa Cecilia, the seat of Arte del Cambio and the Pisani Loggia (Loggia dei Pisani), were demolished. In 1871, the Baron Edoardo Lavison commissioned the architect Giovanni Carlo Landi to build a palace in their place. In 1872, on the corner with Via Vacchereccia, the Rivoire Café was opened by the chocolatier and pastry chef Enrico Rivoire, which became over time one of the most famous places in Florence. After it was owned by the Fenzi banking family, the palace was purchased at the beginning of the 20th century by the Assicurazioni Generali company. Between 2010 and 2011, the palace was the subject of a structural consolidation and rehabilitation intervention. It was inaugurated in January 2012, under the new name of Palazzo del Leone. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace develops on four floors. On the ground floor, there are 9 arches occupied by large windows, except for the Read more [...]
Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici is a 14th-century palace in Arezzo, located in the beautiful Piazza Grande. The palace houses the organization of Fraternita dei Laici, an institution founded in 1262, still active today and very involved in projects of social and cultural interest. SHORT HISTORY The palace, started in 1375, was completed only in the second half of the 16th century. Between 1550 and 1560, the facade was finished with the construction of the balcony and the lunar phases of the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic clock, built in 1552 by Felice di Salvatore Vannucci. The part of the palace towards the apse of the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve was completed in the second half of the 16th century, following a project by Giorgio Vasari. The renovation of Palazzo della Fraternita in 1781, supported by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, led to the opening of the Library to the public. Today, the palace houses the Fraternita dei Laici Museum, reopened in 2010. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The original painting of Christ from the external lunette of the central portal, work of Spinello Aretino, was replaced by a copy at the end of the 1970s, and is now in Read more [...]
Palazzo delle Logge, also known as Logge Vasari, is a large Renaissance-style palace in Arezzo, located in the beautiful Piazza Grande. SHORT HISTORY In 1384, Arezzo was annexed to the Tuscan state dominated by Florence, and during the following centuries the Florentine influence became visible in the architecture of the city. In 1560, Piazza Grande changed radically, at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici. As a demonstration of the strength of the Florentine lordship, he demolished Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo del Comune and other buildings located in the northern part of the square. The new layout of the square was designed by Giorgio Vasari, who started Palazzo delle Logge in 1573, one year before his death. The palace was completed in 1595 by the architect Alfonso Parigi. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo delle Logge has a bright, yellow facade, on which the profiles of the architectural elements – pillars, arches, cornices, and windows with low arched tympanum, stand out. The palace has a long portico under which the entrances of the ancient shops, with the characteristic parapets, open. In the center of the loggia, a short staircase connects Piazza Grande with Piazza del Praticino, located higher on the San Pietro Read more [...]
Palazzo del Quirinale is a historic palace in Rome, located on the homonymous hill, overlooking the homonymous square. The palace was the official residence of the King of Italy since 1870, and is the residence of the President of the Italian Republic since 1946. SHORT HISTORY Before the construction of the Quirinal Palace, on this site was a building known as Villa di Monte Cavallo, one of the Roman residences of Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este. In 1583, Pope Gregory XIII began an expansion of the villa, to make it a real summer residence. The project was entrusted to the architect Ottaviano Mascherino and the works were completed in 1585. The successor of Gregory XIII, Pope Sixtus V, decided in 1587 to buy the villa with the intention of making it the summer residence of the pontiff. With the help of the architect Domenico Fontana, he expanded the palace and remodeled the entire area. Pope Paul V was the pontiff who commissioned the completion of the works on the main building of the Quirinale. He entrusted the extension work to Flaminio Ponzio, who built the wing facing the garden, Sala del Concistoro and Cappella dell’Annunziata (Chapel of the Annunciation). After Read more [...]
Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali is a Neo-Renaissance palace in Rome, located on the eastern side of Piazza Venezia, opposite the much older Palazzo Venezia. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between 1906 and 1911 on the site of the ancient Palazzo Bolognetti-Torlonia and Palazzo Nepoti. The previous buildings were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, to allow the expansion of Piazza Venezia, designed by Giuseppe Sacconi, to adapt it to the presence of the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II (Vittoriano). Sacconi outlined the general appearance of the new building, designed in detail by the architect Guido Cirilli, assisted by Arturo Pazzi and Alberto Manassei. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali takes up the fundamental characteristics of Palazzo Venezia, including its square tower. The facade of the palace is characterized on the ground floor by a portico surmounted by a string course, and by a long series of Romanesque mullioned windows on the second floor, surmounted by small windows. Between these small windows, above the main portal, there is a 16th century bas-relief depicting the Lion of Saint Mark. The bas-relief was taken from the Portello Novo Tower, in Padua, and it was the symbol of the Read more [...]
Palazzo Latmiral is a palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, between Palazzo Torlonia and the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina. The palace currently houses the Embassy of Brazil to the Holy See. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Latmiral was built in 1887 for Giuseppe Latmiral, on a project by the architect Agide Spinedi. At the time of its construction, the palace incorporated into its eastern facade overlooking Vicolo del Campanile a 15th-century house with three floors known as Casa del Boia. The house has semicircular windows and a frescoed facade by the painter Giulio Romano. In the first decades of the 20th century, the palace was renovated by the architects Marcello Piacentini and Attilio Spaccarelli. HOW TO GET THERE The closest Metro station is Ottaviano, located about 1 kilometer away, on the Metro Line A. The closest bus stop is Traspontina/Conciliazione, located about 120 meters away, on the bus Lines 23, 40 and 982.
Palazzo Torlonia, also known as Palazzo Castellesi or Palazzo del Corneto, is a Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, near Palazzo dei Convertendi. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between 1499 and 1517 for Cardinal Adriano Castellesi, an important dignitary of the papal court. The project of the building was attributed to Donato Bramante. The building was built in Piazza Scossacavalli, in the context of the redevelopment of the entire urban sector, after the opening of the new Via Alessandrina. In 1504, the Cardinal Castellesi handed the palace to Henry VII, King of England. Later, Henry VII gave the building to Lorenzo Campeggio, the last Cardinal Protector of England, who lived in the palace between 1519 and 1524. Between 1609 and 1635, the palace was owned by the Borghese family. In 1760, it was named Palazzo Giraud, when it became the property of a French family of bankers. In 1820, the palace was purchased by the Torlonia family. Palazzo Torlonia is the only historic palace in the area which remained untouched during the works for the construction of Via della Conciliazione, in the first decades of the 20th century. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Torlonia has a facade Read more [...]
Palazzo dei Convertendi, also known as Palazzo della Congregazione per le Chiese Orientali (Palace of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches), is a Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, adjacent to Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni. SHORT HISTORY Around the middle of the 15th century, on the northwestern edge of Piazza Scossacavalli, there was a building known as della Stufa. In the 16th century, the building was sold to the noble Caprini family, who erected in its place a palace on a design by Donato Bramante. The palace was sold in 1517 to the painter Raphael, who died in the building in 1520. On his death, the building was sold to Cardinal Pietro Accolti. After the Cardinal’s death, the palace was inherited by his nephew Benedetto, Cardinal of Ravenna. Accused of corruption, Benedetto was incarcerated in Castel Sant’Angelo, and released after paying his debts. For this, the Cardinal borrowed the sum from the Florentine bankers Giulio and Lorenzo Strozzi, who later obtained the palace. Then, the Strozzi family sold the collapsing palace to Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Commendone. The Cardinal had the palace restored by Annibale Lippi, and sold the building in 1584 to Camilla Peretti, sister of Pope Sixtus Read more [...]
Palazzo Rusticucci-Accoramboni is a Late Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Via della Conciliazione, about 120 meters away from Piazza San Pietro. SHORT HISTORY Girolamo Rusticucci, secretary of Pope Pius V and later cardinal, bought a building on March 31, 1572. Rusticucci also bought some nearby buildings, with the aim of expanding the original structure. In 1584, Rusticucci commissioned Domenico Fontana to design a larger palace. After the death of Pope Sixtus V, Fontana was transfered to Naples, and the works were completed by his nephew, Carlo Maderno. Around 1630, the Nazarene College, one of the oldest schools in Rome, was housed in the palace for a short time. Around the middle of the 17th century, the cardinal’s heirs sold the palace to the Accoramboni family. In 1667, the construction of the colonnade in Piazza San Pietro by Gian Lorenzo Bernini made it necessary to demolish the last block of houses located in front of the square. Its demolition created a new square, bordered on the north side by Palazzo Rusticucci, which gave it its name. In the 20th century, the palace became the seat of the Belgian Historical Institute, and then it was occupied by the Congregation of Read more [...]
Palazzo del Laterano is a Renaissance palace in Rome, located in Piazza di Porta San Giovanni, adjacent to the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. The palace was the official residence of the Roman pontiffs for many centuries. Today, it houses the Papal State Historical Museum (Museo Storico dello Stato Pontificio), the offices of the Vicariate of Rome and the apartment of the Cardinal Vicar of His Holiness for Rome. SHORT HISTORY The area was named after the original owners, the Plauzi Laterani family, who owned a large palace on this site. After a member of this family, designated consul, was accused around the year 66 of conspiracy against Nero, the properties of the family, together with the adjoining palace, were confiscated. At the beginning of the 4th century, the monumental Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano was built, and consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I. Around the middle of the 8th century, Pope Zacharias built a triclinium (formal dining room) in the ancient Lateran Palace, and decorated it with marble, glass and precious metals, mosaics and frescoes. A few decades later, Pope Leo III built another triclinium, and installed, in the center of the room paved with Read more [...]
Palazzo Sansedoni is a medieval palace located on the northern side of Piazza del Campo, in Siena. Today, the palace houses the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation. SHORT HISTORY The palace takes its name from the noble Sansedoni family, one of the most powerful families of Siena during the Middle Ages. Palazzo Sansedoni was built at the beginning of the 13th century, by joining several ancient buildings. In 1339, the architect Agostino di Giovanni oversaw the reconstruction and expansion of the palace. The majestic brick facade of the palace facing the square dates back to an 18th-century renovation in Gothic style by the architect Ferdinando Ruggieri. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The concave facade of Palazzo Sansedoni, which follows the curvature of the square, is composed of four orders, three of them with trifore mullioned windows. The facade is topped by battlements above a frieze of round arches. The tower of the palace, positioned asymmetrically to the left of the building, was truncated in 1760, because Torre del Mangia, located nearby, had to be the tallest building in the square. Inside, various rooms have 18th-century decorations, work of Francesco Melani, Giuseppe Melani and Gian Domenico Ferretti. Anton Domenico Gabbiani Read more [...]
Palazzo di San Crispino, also known as the Oratory of the Shoemakers (Oratorio dei Calzolai), is a palace in Ferrara, located in Piazza Trento e Trieste, at the corner of Via Mazzini and Via Contrari. SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the palace was built in 808 at the behest of Charlemagne and dedicated to the art of cobblers as a reward to a shoemaker for the services he offered. Historically, between 1461 and 1567, the palace was the seat of the Faculty of Literature, part of the University of Ferrara. In 1567, after it was partially destroyed by a fire, by the decision of the Shoemakers’ Guild, the palace was reduced to an oratory, while the public school was moved to the new headquarters in Palazzo Paradiso. The oratory was dedicated to the Saints Crispin and Crispinian, the patron saints of cobblers, tanners and leather workers. Starting with 1841, the palace was renovated by the architect Giovanni Tosi, who transformed the ancient loggia, giving it a Neoclassical aspect. The facade was decorated with marble medallions by famous artists from Ferrara. The frescoed facade of 1675, work of Francesco Ferrari, which represented Charlemagne on the throne flanked by knights on Read more [...]
Palazzo della Borsa is a large palace in Ferrara, located in Largo Castello, in the historical center of the city, facing the Este Castle. SHORT HISTORY Starting with the 15th century, the site of the current palace was occupied by the Pavilion Gardens (Giardini del Padiglione) built by the Duke Ercole I d’Este, in place of previous vegetable gardens and small peasant houses. The palace was built between 1756 and 1761 at the behest of the cardinal legate Giovanni Francesco Banchieri, who entrusted its design to the architect Angelo Santini. In 1761, it became the seat of Monte di Pietà (Mount of Piety). In 1796, with the arrival of the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte, the institution was suppressed and all the precious goods preserved inside, such as jewels, precious stones, gold and silver, were requisitioned. In 1807, when the French troops left, its management was entrusted again to Monte di Pietà. In 1930, the institute was absorbed by Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara, already owner of the palace and partially operating on the ground floor of the building. Later, the structure became the seat of the Stock Exchange. During the Second World War, the palace was damaged and the Read more [...]
Palazzo Municipale (Municipal Palace) is a palace in Ferrara, located in Piazza del Municipio, adjacent to Piazza Trento e Trieste, in the historical center of the city. The palace was the residence of the Este family until the 16th century, when the court moved to the nearby Castello Estense. Today, Palazzo Municipale is the seat of the Municipality of Ferrara. SHORT HISTORY The original nucleus of the palace was begun in 1245 along Via Cortevecchia, and was completed between 1472 and 1481. On June 2, 1451, the equestrian statue of Marquis Niccolò III d’Este was placed on the right side of the entrance to the palace, on a support inspired by the Roman triumphal arches. The construction of the monument was entrusted to the Florentine sculptors Antonio di Cristoforo, Nicolò Baroncelli, and Meo di Checco. The statue of Borso d’Este, also finished in 1453 by Baroncelli, was placed on the left side of the entrance. The palace changed significantly over the centuries. Between 1924 and 1928, the facade overlooking Piazza Trento e Trieste was rebuilt by Carlo Savonuzzi in a Neo-Gothic style, while the remaining part along the current Corso Martiri della Libertà had already been remodeled in 1738. Read more [...]
Palazzo Nuovo is a beautiful palace in Bergamo, located in the upper part of the city, Città Alta, on the northern side of the Piazza Vecchia, across the square from the Palazzo della Ragione. The palace currently houses the Angelo Mai Civic Library, one of the most important historic preservation institutions in Italy, with over 677,000 volumes, 2,200 incunabula and 16,800 manuscripts. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Nuovo, as it was called in contrast to the Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo della Ragione), was built by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi to house the city’s town hall. The construction of the palace began in the early 17th century, and was definitively completed only in 1958 with the placing of six statues, works of the sculptor Tobia Vescovi, on the facade overlooking the Piazza Vecchia. The access loggia, which lightens the facade, was designed by the architect Andrea Ceresola, who was also responsible for the reconstruction of the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa. The white marble facade was built in 1928 by the architect Ernesto Pirovano, who took into account the initial project of Scamozzi. The Angelo Mai Civic Library, which was initially housed in the Palazzo della Ragione, was transferred in 1928 to the Palazzo Read more [...]
Palazzo Medolago Albani is a beautiful palace located in the ancient part of Bergamo, Città Alta, on Viale delle Mura, near Porta San Giacomo. SHORT HISTORY The palace, a beautiful example of Neoclassical architecture, was built by the architect Simone Cantoni in 1770. In 1841, the palace was bought by Count Giacomo Medolago Albani, an ancestor of the current owners. Over time, the palace underwent many transformations, becoming one of the most important buildings of the city and home to one of the most notable historical and cultural events of the time. The visits of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria with his wife Elizabeth of Bavaria and the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II are evidenced by the commemorative stone slabs placed at the entrance to the building. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The palace is an admirable example of an aristocratic building of the late 18th century. The facade, on two floors, with 8 semi-columns, is surmounted by a fake balcony with a decoration in the middle and four statues depicting the Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and Poetry, works of the sculptor Antonio Gelpi. Between the two floors, we can find five medallions of Carrara marble depicting scenes inspired Read more [...]
Palazzo Roncalli is a palace in Bergamo, located in Piazza Lorenzo Mascheroni, in the upper part of the city, known as Città Alta. SHORT HISTORY The Roncalli family settled in Bergamo in the 14th century, in a building near the Church of Sant’Andrea. The palace was built starting with 1520 adjacent to the Visconti walls erected by the Milanese in 1300 to surround the citadel. The project was entrusted to Andrea di Giacomo Ziliolo, while Pietro Isabello and Francesco Cleri took care of the construction. The palace underwent various modifications over time. In the 18th century, it was bought by the Sonzogno family, who modified it on a project by Ferdinando Caccia and Giovanni Francesco Lucchini. In the apartment located on the noble floor of Palazzo Roncalli, during the night of March 13, 1797, was signed the agreement for the withdrawal of Venice from Bergamo. The palace was renovated in the 20th century by Sandro Angelini. ARCHITECTURE The palace has an irregular polygonal plan, with three floors plus a mezzanine, with a multi-pitched roof, and an internal courtyard. The facade overlooking Via Mascheroni is symmetrical. On the ground floor, there are six openings, two round and four rectangular. Read more [...]
Palazzo della Libertà is a palace in Bergamo, located in the homonymous square, in the modern part of the city, Città Bassa. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo della Libertà was built between 1937 and 1940 on a project by Alziro Bergonzo, to become the local headquarters of the National Fascist Party. The palace was named Casa Littoria and dedicated to Antonio Locatelli, airplane pilot in the First World War. The palace was inaugurated on October 28, 1939, the anniversary of the March on Rome of 1922, when Benito Mussolini came to power. The basement of Casa Littoria was used as a prison during the Republic of Salò, that existed between September 1943 and May 1945. After April 25, 1945, the palace housed the headquarters of the National Liberation Committee. The property passed to the State, and various public offices were housed there. Today, it houses the Prefecture, the offices of the Court, the State Forestry Corps and various offices of the Municipality. ART AND ARCHITECTURE Palazzo della Libertà has a parallelepiped shape, entirely covered with Zandobbio marble. The main facade, overlooking the square, consists of an imposing portico of twelve giant pillars, holding an architrave bearing the dedication to Antonio Read more [...]
Palazzo Querini Benzon is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between the small Casa De Spirit and Casa Tornielli. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the early 18th century, and became famous thanks to Marina Querini, wife of Pietro Giovanni Benzon, who at the end of the Republic of Venice made her residence one of the most renowned literary Venetians salons, thanks to the frequentation of many important artists of the time. ARCHITECTURE The palace has no particular architectural merits. It has a water portal with a staircase, a noble floor with four-light windows with round arches, flanked by two pairs of single-light windows, all with balconies. The second floor was added in 1897, as a less valuable imitation of the noble floor. Above the cornice, in a central position, there is a balustrade terrace. The entire facade is plastered, with the exception of the ground floor, which is covered in stone, except for the mezzanine. HOW TO GET THERE On foot, Palazzo Querini Benzon is located about 2.3 kilometers away from the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. The closest vaporetto stop is Sant’Angelo, located about 240 Read more [...]
Palazzo D’Anna Viaro Martinengo Volpi di Misurata, also known as Palazzo Talenti D’Anna Volpi, is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Tron and Casa Marinoni. SHORT HISTORY Built in the early 16th century at the behest of the Talenti family, it soon passed to the wealthy Flemish merchant Martino D’Anna. The expansion of the building, which took place around the middle of the 17th century, is due to the subsequent owners, the Viaro, an ancient and noble Venetian family. During the 18th century, the building changed ownership again, initially by inheritance to the Venetian patricians Foscarini, and subsequently to the Martinengo counts, while in the 19th century it became the property of Count Giovanni Conti. In 1917, the entrepreneur Giuseppe Volpi became the owner. In 1925, he was awarded the title of Count of Misrata. ARCHITECTURE At first glance, the facade of the building appears to be divided into four sections with two alternating structural types, but looking more carefully, we see that the first section on the left was added later. The original palace, composed of the three sections on the right, is built in Renaissance Read more [...]
Palazzo Corner Spinelli is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal, across the canal from Palazzo Querini Dubois. SHORT HISTORY The palace was commissioned by the Lando family, most probably to the architect Mauro Codussi. It was built between 1480 and 1490. In 1542, the palace was sold, due to the disastrous economic situation of the Lando family. It passed to the Corner family, who entrusted Michele Sanmicheli and Giorgio Vasari with the task of modernizing the interior of the building. The facade was preserved, while the whole rear part was rebuilt. The interventions relating to the interiors are attributable to the Classic style: use of columns and round arches, as well as the insertion of fireplaces in all the main rooms. Between 1740 and 1810, the palace was rented to the Spinelli family. Later, it was bought by the Cornoldi family. In 1850, it became the property of the dancer Maria Taglioni, also owner of Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, Palazzo Barzizza and Ca’ d’Oro. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Corner Spinelli is a beautiful example of the transition from the Gothic forms, predominant in Venice up to the 15th century, to the new Read more [...]
Palazzo Garzoni is a palace in Venice, located in the San Marco district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal, between Rio di Ca’ Garzoni and Fondaco Marcello. SHORT HISTORY The Garzoni family, originally from Bologna, settled in Venice towards the end of the 13th century. In the 17th century, they acquired this palace built in the 15th century, which became known by their name ever since. Until 2019, the palace was owned by the Ca’ Foscari University, which established the language faculty there. In 2019, it was bought by an anonymous buyer through the famous British auction house Sotheby’s for an unspecified price. ARCHITECTURE The palace has three floors and an attic. On the ground floor, there is the water portal with a round arch, flanked by four small windows, two oval windows above and two rectangular below. Each of the two noble floors have a central ogival four-lancet window and two pairs of lateral single-light windows, all closed by balconies. Between the third floor and the attic, there is a bas-relief with two cupids holding an empty shield, where the family coat of arms once stood. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Garzoni is located about 2.3 kilometers Read more [...]
Ca’ Rezzonico is one of the most famous palaces in Venice, located in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Contarini Michiel and Palazzo Bernardo Nani. SHORT HISTORY The palace was designed in 1649 by Baldassarre Longhena for the Bon family. The construction began only in 1667, with the demolition of the existing buildings. Due to the economic difficulties of the family and the death of Longhena in 1682, the construction was abandoned. Only the facade towards the Grand Canal and a first floor were completed. The Della Torre-Rezzonico family settled in Venice in 1687. A member of this family, Giambattista, bought the building in 1751. He entrusted the project to Giorgio Massari, who built the second floor in 1752, and completed the palace in 1758. Between the autumn of 1847 and 1848, the palace was the residence of Carlos María Isidro of Spain, protected by the Austrian government. In 1888, it was bought by Robert Barrett Browning, son of the English writers Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who restored it thanks to the financial support of his wife, the American Fannie Coddington. In 1906, Robert Barrett Browning, ignoring an offer made to him by Read more [...]
Palazzo Salviati is a beautiful palace in Venice, located in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff and Palazzo Orio Semitecolo Benzon. SHORT HISTORY The Salviati glass factory was founded in 1859 by Antonio Salviati. The palace was built as an exhibition venue and a furnace for the factory between 1903 and 1906, based on a design by the architect Giacomo Dell’Olivo. In 1924, the building underwent a profound renovation, which involved the raising with a floor and the placement of a large mosaic on the facade. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, which has a rather simple appearance, would be devoid of any interest without the presence of the large central mosaic, on the sides of which there are two single-lancet windows. On the upper floor, there are four windows with small balconies. The ground floor is dominated by three large arches. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Salviati is located about 2.3 kilometers on foot from the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. The closest vaporetto stop is Accademia, about 300 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 1 and 2.
Palazzo Pesaro Papafava is a palace in Venice, located in the Cannaregio district (sestiere), overlooking Canale della Misericordia. The palace stands across the canal from Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Misericordia. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Pesaro Papafava was built at the beginning of the 15th century. It was owned by the Pesaro family until Pesarina Pesaro married Bonifacio Papafava, in 1615. ARCHITECTURE The palace has a facade developed on four floors, characterized by a prevalence of Gothic elements. The expressive power of the facade is concentrated in the central axis, formed by the superimposition of two four-light windows with a small balcony between. Each four-light window is flanked by two pairs of single windows. On the ground floor, there is the pointed water portal, flanked by four single-light windows. The left body, which has rounded openings, is more recent. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Pesaro Papafava is located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station. The closest waterbus stop is Fondamente Nove, on the vaporetto Lines 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 12, 13 and 22.
Loggia del Capitaniato, also known as Palazzo del Capitaniato or Loggia Bernarda, is a palace in Vicenza, located in the central Piazza dei Signori, in front of Basilica Palladiana. The palace, designed in 1565 by the architect Andrea Palladio, is currently the seat of the city council. In 1994, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY In 1565, the Municipality of Vicenza asked Andrea Palladio to build a palace for the Captain, the military head in charge of the city on behalf of the Republic of Venice. The palace was to replace a pre-existing medieval building, already used as the residence of the Captain. Because the construction of the Palladian Basilica was still in progress, Palladio found himself engaged on two fronts located in the same square. For Palazzo del Capitaniato, he was able to exploit the architectural and stylistic knowledge acquired in the last 20 years of work in Vicenza. Like many other buildings of the Venetian architect, the palace remained partially unfinished. The works were stopped in 1572, with only three bays built, instead of the five or seven originally planned. Just like Read more [...]
Palazzo Angaran, also known as Palazzo Magrè Angaran, is a Renaissance-style palace in Vicenza, located in Piazza XX Settembre, in front of Ponte degli Angeli. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built around 1480 at the behest of Battista Magrè, on a piece of land belonging to the family, probably by the Vicentine architect Tommaso Formenton. In 1552, the palace was bought by Giacomo Angaran, a friend of Andrea Palladio, who asked the architect to prepare a sumptuous invention to replace the existing building. Palladio designed the project, but it was never realized. The last owner, Ottavio Angaran Porto, ceded the property to the Municipality of Vicenza, which allowed the building to deteriorate. In 1899, a few years after the disastrous flood of 1882, to avoid further damages caused by the frequent flooding of the nearby Bacchiglione River, the street level around the building was raised, almost completely burying the portico. In the second decade of the 20th century, the building was so badly deteriorated, that the Municipality of Vicenza considered demolishing it. Starting from 1921, however, the restoration began. The palace was dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt to a higher level, replacing only the dilapidated moldings and the Read more [...]
Loggia Valmarana is a Palladian-style loggia in Vicenza, located on the northeastern corner of the Salvi Gardens (Giardini Salvi), opposite the main entrance from Viale Roma. Since 1994, together with the other Palladian buildings in Vicenza, Loggia Valmarana is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. SHORT HISTORY The land adjacent to the walls of Piazza Castello was acquired in the 16th century by the Valmarana family, and Giacomo Valmarana himself designed the arrangement of the garden, around the middle of the 16th century. The gardens were inaugurated in 1592 by Leonardo Valmarana, but soon were closed and reopened to the public only in 1909. Inside the gardens, there are two Palladian-style loggias: one from the 17th century, with three arches, known as Loggia Longhena, on the western side of the park, and the second, built at the end of the 16th century, known as Loggia Valmarana, structured as a hexastyle temple. Loggia Valmarana was probably built in 1591 by a pupil of Andrea Palladio, and not by Palladio itself, as it was once thought. ARCHITECTURE Loggia Valmarana rises above the waters of the Seriola Canal, at the Read more [...]
Palazzo Chigi Zondadari is an 18th-century palace in Siena, located on the northeast side of Piazza del Campo, adjacent to Palazzo Sansedoni. SHORT HISTORY The palace, which dates back to the 14th century, was rebuilt starting with 1724 on a project by Antonio Valeri, comissioned by Cardinal Antonio Felice Zondadari. Although the cardinal lived in Rome, he would often return to Siena to rest in his palace. Zondadari is typically a Sienese surname, and it comes from the ancient Zendadari, sellers of zendadi (silk fabrics). ART The interior rooms were frescoed by various artists, including Marco Benefial, Placido Costanzi and Giuseppe Colignon, while some paintings are the work of Giambattista Marchetti, Roman painter comissioned by Giuseppe Flavio Chigi Zondadari. Inside, there is also a bust of Alessandro VII Chigi, the work of the famous sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Chigi Zondadari is located about 1.9 kilometers away from the Siena railway station. The closest bus stop is Logge Del Papa Bibo, located about 60 meters away, on the bus Line 590.
Palazzo delle Poste is a palace located in the historical center of Siena, in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. The palace houses the local headquarters of the Italian Post (Italy’s national postal service provider). SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 20th century, the ancient Church of Sant’Egidio and the former Capuchin convent located in Piazza Umberto I, today Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, were demolished, and the entire area was restructured. On September 18, 1910, the first stone of the new Palazzo delle Poste was laid. The works, entrusted to the architect Vittorio Mariani and carried out by the Sienese construction company of Pietro Ciabattini, lasted exactly two years. The new Palazzo delle Poste e Telecomunicazioni was inaugurated on September 20, 1912. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo delle Poste is located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Siena railway station. The closest bus stop is located in Viale Federico Tozzi, about 140 meters away, on the bus Lines 0S1, 0S3, 0S6, 501, 506, 616, 640 and S18.
Palazzo Salimbeni, also known as Rocca Salimbeni, is a palace located in the historical center of Siena, in Piazza Salimbeni. The palace houses the headquarters of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Salimbeni was built in the 14th century, by expanding a pre-existing castle from the 12th century belonging to the Salimbeni family. The rear of the palace shows signs of its previous medieval construction. In 1419, the palace was confiscated by the Sienese Republic and partly used as the headquarters of the Salt Customs House. The institution Monte di Pietà (Mount of Piety) was also located here since 1472. In 1866, the building was bought by Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The palace was restored and remodeled in Neo-Gothic style starting with 1877, by the architect Giuseppe Partini. Another restoration was carried out at the beginning of the 20th century by Carlo Ariotti and Vittorio Mariani. At the same time, the other buildings located in the square were also remodeled. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Salimbeni has a facade in Sienese Gothic style. The restorations of the 19th and 20th centuries in Neo-Gothic style tried to reproduce the architecture of Siena from the 14th century, with Read more [...]
Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff is a palace in Venice, located in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), overlooking the Grand Canal between Palazzo Dario and Palazzo Salviati. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff was probably built before the 14th century, in Venetian-Byzantine style. In the 15th century, the palace was renovated in Gothic style. In 1894, the Italian actress Eleonora Duse, rated by many as the greatest of her time, lived for a while on the top floor of the palace as a guest of the Russian botanist and painter Alexander Wolkoff-Muromtsev, who recently bought the building. ARCHITECTURE The palace, built almost entirely of red bricks, has five floors: ground floor, mezzanine, main floor (piano nobile) and two upper floors. The facade is dominated by the hexafora (six-light window) of the noble floor, enclosed by a serrated frame. Other Gothic elements are the water portal, and the windows on the upper floors: a bifora and a quadrifora on the fourth floor, and a trifora and a monofora on the fifth floor. HOW TO GET THERE The closest vaporetto stop is Salute, located about 210 meters away, on the waterbus Line 1, although the best place to admire the palace is across Read more [...]
Palazzo Trautmannsdorf, also known as Palazzo Salvadori, is a Renaissance-style palace in Trento, overlooking Piazza Raffaello Sanzio, between Via del Suffragio and Piazza della Mostra, not far from Castello del Buonconsiglio. SHORT HISTORY The structure was built at the beginning of the 16th century, and it belonged to the noble Particella family. During the first phase of the Council of Trent, the palace hosted Cardinal Pedro Pacheco, head of the Spanish Delegation. In the 17th century, Palazzo Trautmannsdorf was aquired by the Tyrolean counts of Trautmannsdorf. The current appearance of the palace dates back to the same century, when its facades were embellished with imposing portals, and its internal spaces were reorganised around an inner courtyard with vaulted corridors. After the Trautmannsdorf counts, the palace passed to the Salvadori barons. Today, the building is the seat of the Trentino Wine Institute (Istituto Tutela Grappa del Trentino). ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Trautmannsdorf is a typical example of a Renaissance-style palace in Trento. Its facades feature distinctive decorations, including the grotesque large masks embellishing its windows, and the octagonal oeil-de-boeuf windows on the top floor. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Trautmannsdorf is located about 550 meters away from the Trento railway Read more [...]
Palazzo Pretorio, also known as Palazzo Vescovile (Episcopal Palace), is a palace in Romanesque style in Trento, located in Piazza del Duomo, adjacent to the Cathedral of San Vigilio. Palazzo Pretorio is the current seat of the Tridentine Diocesan Museum (Museo Diocesano Tridentino). SHORT HISTORY Between the 9th and 13th centuries, Palazzo Pretorio was the residence of the Tridentine bishops. In 1071, it was mentioned for the first time as the Episcopal Palace. The palace took the name of Palazzo Pretorio during the 11th century, when the Court of Justice and the Praetor established their headquarters in the building. The bishop’s residence was transferred in 1255 to the Buonconsiglio Castle by the bishop Egnone of Appiano, causing the progressive abandonment of the ancient palace. In 1533, the charitable institution Monte di Pietà was located here, at the behest of Cristoforo Madruzzo, prince-bishop of Trento. At the same time, the palace hosted the consuls of the city and the College of Doctors. The palace was restored in 1676 on the initiative of Sigismondo Alfonso Thun. The works radically changed the original Romanesque facade of the building. In the 1950s, the facade of the palace was restored again in Romanesque style. Read more [...]
Casa Cazuffi is a 16th-century palace in Trento, located in Piazza del Duomo, adjacent to Casa Rella. Casa Cazuffi and Casa Rella are two of the most important examples of frescoed palazzi in Trento. SHORT HISTORY The facade of the building facing the square is adorned with frescoes attributed to Marcello Fogolino, who painted them between 1531 and 1536. ARCHITECTURE The palace has four floors. The ground floor is preceded by a corner portico with three arches. Each of the upper floors have four arched windows. The first and the last window on the third floor are embellished by a small balcony, one in stone with small columns and the other in wrought iron. ART The frescoes of Casa Cazuffi are arranged on three bands, corresponding to the three upper floors of the building. Fogolino painted on the fresh plaster, making sure that the color was incorporated during the drying process. He made the white-gray figures with the chiaroscuro technique (the use of strong contrasts between light and dark), and for the background he used azurite, a cheap mineral which tends to disappear over time, and therefore is not suitable for frescoes. In fact, the blue background Read more [...]
Palazzo delle Albere (Palace of the Trees) is a Renaissance fortified palace, located in Via Roberto da Sanseverino, in Trento. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the 16th century, by the Madruzzo family, the prince-bishops of Trento. The year of the construction is uncertain – the palace was built either in 1530, commissioned by Giovanni Gaudenzio Madruzzo, or in 1550, at the behest of his son, Cristoforo Madruzzo. On June 7, 1551, the palace hosted Philip II of Spain, son of Charles V, accompanied by Emanuele Filiberto I of Savoy and other nobles, who arrived in Trento on the occasion of the Council of Trent. In 1658, after the death of Carlo Emanuele Madruzzo, the palace became the property of the bishopric of Trento. Soon, Palazzo delle Albere decayed. The walls were partially demolished, and part of the frescoes were destroyed. In September 1796, shortly after the occupation of Trento by Napoleon Bonaparte, the palace was sacked by the French soldiers. In November of the same year, the city was taken over by the Austrians, who used the villa as a prison and hospital. On Christmas night of the same year, the building caught fire and was seriously Read more [...]
Palazzo Mocenigo is a palace in Venice, located on the Giudecca island, in the Dorsoduro district (sestiere), not far from the Church of Santa Maria della Presentazione. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Mocenigo was built in the 16th century for the Mocenigo family, as a summer residence, in a time when the island of Giudecca was an area of gardens and places to relax. The palace was the favorite summer residence of the doge Alvise Mocenigo. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, the palace was remodeled, losing many characteristic elements. Today, the interior is heavily modified, and the palace houses numerous mini-apartments. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo Mocenigo is a two-storey building, with a long rusticated facade in Istrian stone. The ground floor has a series of small quadrangular windows, and a small portal in the center. The noble floor (piano nobile) is characterized by eight arched single-light windows, each equipped with a wrought iron railing and a keystone mask on top. The attic has eight oculi added in the 19th century, corresponding to the windows below. In a central position, on the roof, there is a 19th-century dormer window with three openings. The southern facade is well preserved and overlooks the private Read more [...]