All Palaces

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.

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    Palazzo della Loggia

    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 the 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 in 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 Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Pitti

    Palazzo Pitti was the residence of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, that was inhabited, over time, by the Medici, by the Habsburg-Lorraine and, after the Unification of Italy, by the Savoy. Palazzo Pitti hosts the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Apartment of the Duchess of Aosta, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, the Costume Gallery, the Porcelain Museum and the Carriage Museum. The museal complex of Palazzo Pitti also includes the Boboli Gardens.   SHORT HISTORY Luca Pitti, a rival of the Medici family, wanted a more luxurious residence than the one built by Michelozzo for Cosimo the Elder. Around 1440, Pitti entrusted the project to Filippo Brunelleschi, but the architect died 12 years before the construction began, and the architect that will build Palazzo Pitti will be Luca Fancelli, a pupil and collaborator of Brunelleschi. The construction was started around 1458 but, due to design problems and financial difficulties, the works were temporarily interrupted in 1465. Luca Pitti died in 1472. Around 1550, Buonaccorso Pitti sold the palace to Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici and daughter of the Viceroy of Naples. The palace thus became the main Read more [...]

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    Doge’s Palace

    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 [...]

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    Palazzo della Ragione

    Palazzo della Ragione is a palace in Bergamo, located in the upper part of the city, Città Alta. The palace stands across the Piazza Vecchia from the Palazzo Nuovo, bordering also the Piazza del Duomo to the north.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built at the end of the 12th century, more precisely between 1183 and 1198, making it the oldest town hall in Italy. The building maintained its role as a political center even after the end of the communal era, when, with the arrival of the Republic of Venice in the first half of the 15th century, it was used as the palace of justice, hence the name della Ragione (of reason). The palace, which was already in a bad shape at the beginning of the 16th century, suffered serious damage in 1513, after a fire. Its reconstruction began in 1538 under the direction of the architect Pietro Isabello, and was completed in 1554. The works on the exterior were started in March 1539, and the Lion of St. Mark was placed on the facade in April of the same year. Subsequently, the southern wall was restored. The rebuilding of the loggia on the ground floor began Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Medolago Albani

    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 [...]

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    Palazzo Nuovo

    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 [...]

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    Palazzo della Consulta

    Palazzo della Consulta is a palace in Rome, located in Piazza del Quirinale, which houses the Constitutional Court of the Italian Republic since 1955.   SHORT HISTORY The palace rises on the remains of the Baths of Constantine, on the southern slope of the Quirinal Hill, replacing a previous building erected under Pope Sixtus V by Cardinal Ferrero da Vercelli to house the Sacred Congregation of the Consulta (Papal State Council) and then expanded by Pope Paul V in the early 17th century. The current palace, which was completed in 1737 under the direction of the architect Ferdinando Fuga, was commissioned by Pope Clement XII to house both the headquarters of the secretariat of the Sacred Congregation of the Consulta and the Signatura dei Brevi, both the corps of Cavalrymen and that of the Corazze (Noble Guard). Between 1798 and 1814, the palace was the seat of the Prefecture of Rome, and starting with 1849, during the Roman Republic, it was the seat of the Government of the triumvirate of Giuseppe Mazzini, Carlo Armellini and Aurelio Saffi. After the annexation of Rome, from 1871 to 1874, the hereditary Prince Umberto I resided in the palace with his wife, Margherita di Read more [...]

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    Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale

    Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale (Palace of the Quirinal Stables) is a palace in Rome, located in the southern area of the Piazza del Quirinale, on the opposite side of the Palazzo del Quirinale.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo delle Scuderie del Quirinale was built between 1722 and 1732 on a piece of land owned by the Colonna family, close to another building owned by the same family, the beautiful Palazzo Colonna. The project of the current palace belongs to the architect Alessandro Specchi, who was commissioned by Pope Innocent XIII to design a building intended to replace the previous one built in the early 18th century by Carlo Fontana. When Innocent XIII died, in 1730, the new Pope Clement XII entrusted Ferdinando Fuga with the task of completing the work. The building maintained its original function as a stable until 1938, the year in which it was transformed into a garage. In the 1980s, the palace was transformed into a museum of carriages. Between 1997 and 1999, it was completely restored to a design by the Friulian architect Gae Aulenti, in time for the Jubilee of the year 2000. Designed as an important exhibition space of about 1,500 square meters, Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici

    Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici (Palace of the Seminary of the Clerics) is a Baroque palace in Catania, located across the Piazza Duomo from the Palazzo degli Elefanti, near the Cathedral of Sant’Agata.   SHORT HISTORY During the Aragonese period, on the site of the present palace, there was the ancient structure of the Bishop’s Palace. In 1572, the archbishop Antonio Faraone founded the seminary of the clerics, and some rooms of the palace were reserved for this institution. Beginning with 1614, Bonaventura Secusio, Bishop of Catania between 1609 and 1618, established the seminary headquarters in the building. On May 29, 1647, during the anti-Spanish revolt of Catania, the palace was severely damaged. In 1693, the building was completely destroyed by the earthquake of the Val di Noto. In the first decades of the 18th century, the palace was rebuilt by the architect Alonzo di Benedetto, and subsequently enlarged in 1757 by Francesco Battaglia. In 1866, the architect Mario Di Stefano further expanded the structure, by building the second floor. Beginning with 1943, due to the Second World War, the seminarians left the building, which was later damaged by bombing. In 1944, the palace was acquired by the Municipality of Read more [...]

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    Palazzo degli Elefanti

    Palazzo degli Elefanti (Palace of the Elephants), formerly known as Palazzo del Senato, is a Baroque palace in Catania, located in the Piazza Duomo, close to the Cathedral of Sant’Agata. The name of the palace derives from the numerous elephants carved on its facade.   SHORT HISTORY During the Aragonese period, the palace, called Palazzo Senatorio, served as a municipal archive. The city representatives gathered in the palace and, sometimes, also the parliament assembled within its walls. Lope Ximénez de Urrea y de Bardaixi, Viceroy of Sicily between 1443 and 1475, ordered that all the official documents of the Kingdom and the various writings related to the Aragonese sovereigns to be collected and kept in the archives of the palace. After the earthquake of 1693, which destroyed almost completely the city of Catania, numerous architects participated in the reconstruction of the palace. The original project was carried out by Giovan Battista Longobardo, with the collaboration of Giovanni Battista Vaccarini, who built the east, south and west facades, and of Carmelo Battaglia, who designed the north facade. The grand staircase that can be found in the inner courtyard of the palace was built in the 19th century by Stefano Ittar. On Read more [...]

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    Palazzo San Giuliano

    Palazzo San Giuliano is a beautiful palace in Catania, located across the University Square from the Palace of the University. The palace houses the administrative offices of the University of Catania.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1738 by the architect Giovan Battista Vaccarini for the Paternò family, Marquise of San Giuliano. The seismic events that took place over time have not affected the 18th-century structure, but the transformations made during the 19th and 20th centuries changed more or less its internal and external appearance. The building was remodeled several times, but the facade remained almost intact from the moment of its construction. Only the balustrade that crowns the roof was added in 1930s, when the palace was the seat of Credito Italiano, one of the first Italian banks. In the early 20th century, the palace hosted the Machiavelli Theater, founded by Angelo Grasso. Around the same time, a part of the building was occupied by the Hotel Bristol.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace has a large portal that overlooks the University Square, flanked by two marble columns recovered, probably, from a Roman building. Above the portal, there is a double coat of arms – to Read more [...]

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    Palazzo dell’Università

    Palazzo dell’Università (Palace of the University) is a beautiful palace in Catania, located in the square with the same name, along the Via Etnea. The palace is the seat of the Rectorate of the University of Catania, the oldest university in Sicily.   SHORT HISTORY The University of Catania was founded on October 19, 1434, by Alfonso the Magnanimous, King of Naples and Sicily. On April 18, 1444, the constitution of the University was authorized by a papal bull of Pope Eugene IV. The courses began on October 19, 1445, with six professors, and were initially held in a building from Piazza Duomo, near the Cathedral of Sant’Agata. In 1684, the University was transferred to the San Marco Hospital until 1693, when the terrible earthquake of the Val di Noto destroyed most of the buildings in Catania, including the building in question. In 1696, work began on the construction of a new building, which will become the definitive location of the University. After the earthquake of 1785, the architect Francesco Battaglia rebuilt the facade of the palace. Subsequently, following the earthquake of 1818, a further restoration was necessary, which was entrusted to the architect Antonino Battaglia, the son of Francesco. Read more [...]

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    Palace of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse

    The Palace of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse (Palazzo della Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Siracusa) is a palace in Syracuse, located in Piazza del Duomo, on the island of Ortigia, across the square from the Archbishop’s Palace and the Cathedral of Syracuse. The palace is also known as the Numismatic Cabinet, due to the fact that it houses a permanent exhibition of ancient coins.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the second half of the 19th century, on the site of a deconsecrated convent, known as the Convent of San Giovanni di Dio, which housed the seat of the Archaeological Museum of Syracuse, now transferred in Viale Teocrito, in the modern part of Syracuse.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, with two orders, was built in Neoclassical style. On the ground floor, there is the large portal and four rectangular windows. On the upper order, we can find five arched windows, separated by pilasters with Ionic capitals. Inside, there is the numismatic collection of Greek, Roman and medieval coins, many of which were found in Syracuse.   HOW TO GET THERE The Palace of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse is located about Read more [...]

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    Archbishop’s Palace

    The Archbishop’s Palace (Palazzo Arcivescovile) is a palace in Syracuse, located on the island of Ortygia, in Piazza Duomo, adjacent to the Cathedral of Syracuse. The palace is the seat of the Archdiocese Of Syracuse, and houses the Archiepiscopal Seminary and, also, the ancient Alagonian Library.   SHORT HISTORY The original building was a palace of the Swabian era, built during the times of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, around the year 1200. Today, the only trace of this palace is an ancient chapel, well preserved, located inside the courtyard of the present 19th century building. This Swabian construction presents some cross vaults very reminiscent of the Maniace Castle. The palace underwent important changes in the Aragonese era. After the demolition of the first building, the current structure was commissioned by the Spanish bishop Juan de Torres Osorio of Syracuse, and the work began in 1618, under the supervision of the architect Andrea Vermexio. The structure of the Archbishop’s Palace, as we know it today, is the result of systematic restorations made during the 18th and the 19th centuries, which transformed the building into a late Baroque style palace tending towards Neoclassicism. The building was inaugurated in 1854, by the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Ducezio

    Palazzo Ducezio, the seat of the Town Hall of Noto, is a beautiful palace located across the Piazza del Municipio from the Cathedral of San Nicolò. The palace was named in honor of Ducezio, King of the Sicels and founder of Noto.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was designed by the architect Vincenzo Sinatra in 1746, inspired by some French palaces of the 17th century, but was completed only in 1830. She second floor of the palace was built in the first half of the 20th century by the architect Francesco La Grassa.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The convex facade of the palace is characterized by twenty arches supported by columns with Ionic capitals in the lower section, and by thirteen rectangular windows in the upper section. Inside, we can find the Sala degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors), an oval-shaped hall decorated with stuccos and sumptuous mirrors at the end of the 19th century. Over time, the Hall of Mirrors was used to receive many heads of state. At the beginning of the 1930s, on the occasion of the official visit of Umberto and Maria Josè of Savoy, the hall was restored by the painter Gregorietti. The furniture was made Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Regione Liguria

    Palazzo della Regione Liguria is a palace in Genoa, located in Piazza De Ferrari, between the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo della Borsa. Today, the palace is the headquarters of the Regional Council of Liguria.   SHORT HISTORY In 1908, the engineer Cesare Gamba bought the area near the Church of Sant’Ambrogio. In 1912, he presented to the Municipality the project of a building adjacent to the church, which sparked some controversy. Two years later, in 1914, he presented a new project, but the negotiations, suspended during the First World War, resumed only in 1920, when Gamba decided to sell the area to the Company of Italian General Navigation. After a series of variations approved by the Municipality between 1921 and 1923, the final project designed by Gamba in collaboration with the engineer Giuseppe Tallero was completed in 1924 – a monumental palace in Neo-Mannerist style, with a tripartite facade on a portico with round arches. Currently, the building is the seat of the Regional Council of Liguria.   HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo della Regione Liguria is located in Piazza De Ferrari. The closest Metro and bus station is De Ferrari, about 80 meters away. By bus, you can Read more [...]

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    Casa Manzoni

    Casa Manzoni is a palace located in Via Gerolamo Morone, in Milan, famous for beeing the home of the writer Alessandro Manzoni from 1814 to his death. Alessandro Manzoni was an Italian writer, poet and playwright, who is considered one of the greatest Italian novelists of all time for his famous novel The Betrothed, the cornerstone of the Italian literature.   SHORT HISTORY In 1813, three years after Alessandro Manzoni returned to Milan, together with his wife Enrichetta Blondel and his mother Giulia Beccaria, after a five-year experience in Paris, he bought a new house in Via Morone. Manzoni moved to his new home a few months later, starting a series of modernization works, including the reconstruction of the facade oriented towards the Piazza Belgioioso. The current appearance of the facade is owed to the architect Andrea Boni, who, in 1864, at the request of Manzoni, rebuilt the palace in Neo-Renaissance style. The facade, inspired by the Lombard Renaissance architecture, is composed of elaborate terracotta decorations. Above all, the portal and the balcony stand out. Until a few years ago, the Lombard Historical Society and the National Center of Manzoni Studies were housed in the building, on the ground floor. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Surian Bellotto

    Palazzo Surian Bellotto is a palace with an impressive facade, located in Venice, in the sestiere of Cannaregio, overlooking the Canale di Cannaregio.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built by the Surian family in the 17th century, on a project attributed to the architect Giuseppe Sardi, who was also the author of the nearby Palazzo Savorgnan. At the end of the same century, the palace was ceded to the Bellottos. In the 18th century, it became the Venetian seat of the French embassy. During this period, the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau lived there. After the fall of the Republic of Venice, in the 19th century, the palace entered a long period of degradation, during which the sumptuous interiors and the beautiful decorations were irretrievably lost. Now, the palace is a private residence.   ARCHITECTURE The best preserved and most important feature of Palazzo Surian is the large Baroque facade, which, with its four stories high, stands out above the neighboring buildings. The facade is asymmetrical, having the central axis shifted to the left. On the ground floor, there are two portals with curved masonry, inserted in an ashlar band. To the portals correspond, on the main floors, two pairs of Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Civran

    Palazzo Civran is a palace in Venice, located in the Cannaregio district, overlooking the Grand Canal, near the Fontego dei Tedeschi and the Rialto Bridge.   SHORT HISTORY The Civran family owned the palazzo since the 14th century, when it was built in Gothic style. Currently, the building is state-owned and is home to the Guardia di Finanza.   ARCHITECTURE The current appearance of the palace is the result of the last major restoration that took place in the first half of the 17th century, when the building was renovated in Late Renaissance style. The ground floor is built from ashlar blocks, having in the center a water portal with a round arch and a keystone with an anthropomorphic head. The mezzanine consists of four windows with small balconies with a metal railing. The main floor has a central single-lancet window similar to the water portal below, and two pairs of lateral single-lancet windows, all joined by a single continuous balcony. The second floor is formed by five equal single-lancet windows. All the windows of the first and second floors, except the central one of the piano nobile, are surmounted by triangular tympanums.   HOW TO GET THERE The closest Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Soranzo Piovene

    Palazzo Soranzo Piovene is a beautiful palace in Venice, located in the Cannaregio district, overlooking the Grand Canal, between Palazzo Molin Erizzo and Palazzo Emo alla Maddalena.   SHORT HISTORY The palace dates back to the early decades of the 16th century. The building was acquired by the Soranzo family and, in 1760, it passed to the Piovene family through the marriage between Cecilia Soranzo and Girolamo Piovene. Today, the palace is the seat of the Guardia di Finanza, which occupies the main floor and the mezzanine. The other part of the palazzo, built around a central courtyard, consists of private residences.   ARCHITECTURE The project is traditionally attributed to the architect Sante Lombardo. The facade is characterized by two three-light windows, flanked on the right by two single windows and on the left by one. The windows are separated by four rectangular and two round decorations. Inside, the atrium and the staircase are remarkable. The palace is enriched by an internal courtyard with a well, on the back of which there is a second wing. The palace has also a garden.   HOW TO GET THERE The palace is located about 450 meters away from the vaporetto stop of Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Molin Querini

    Palazzo Molin Querini, also known as Palazzo Molin alla Maddalena, is a palace located in the Cannaregio district, in Venice, overlooking the Grand Canal at the point where it merges with the Rio della Maddalena. The palace is next to Palazzo Emo alla Maddalena.   SHORT HISTORY Before passing to the Querini family, the palace belonged to the ancient Molin family, from which the Doge Francesco Molin was part. In the 18th century, in the palace lived another important member of the Molin family, the Bishop of Brescia Giovanni Molin. The last reconstruction of the palace dates back to the 18th century.   ARCHITECTURE The palace presents a facade divided in two. On the left, there is the water portal, surmounted by a Palladian window (a Palladian window, or serliana, is an architectural element composed of a round arched central window, symmetrically flanked by two rectangular windows), and three separate windows. On the right, we can find two rectangular windows, facing the Rio della Maddalena. In addition to the ground floor and the main floor (piano nobile), there is also a mezzanine, an upper floor and an attic. The palace has a very small interior courtyard.   HOW TO GET Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Emo alla Maddalena

    Palazzo Emo alla Maddalena is a palace built in Baroque style in Venice, overlooking the Grand Canal, between Palazzo Molin Querini and Palazzo Soranzo Piovene.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built at the beginning of the 17th century, and aquired around 1616 by the Emo family, for the marriage of Alvise Emo with Eleonora Rodriguez of the Diego family. The palace was bought with a part of her dowry. Around the middle of the 18th century, the owners were Francesco and Gerolamo Emo, who completed around the same time the adjacent Molin Querini Palace.   ARCHITECTURE The facade is divided into two parts, having a double orientation, both towards the Grand Canal and to the Rio della Maddalena. The facade is spread over four floors, presenting a ground floor, a mezzanine, a piano nobile and an attic. The expressive power of the facade is concentrated in the group consisting of the water portal and the overlying serliana (a serliana, or Palladian window, is an architectural element composed of a round arched central section, symmetrically flanked by two rectangular windows, surmounted by a lintel). On the main floor, there are also single windows, two on the right and three on Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Martinelli-Meo Evoli

    Palazzo Martinelli-Meo Evoli is a palace built along the ancient walls of Monopoli, close to the Old Port of the city and the Castle of Charles V.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was owned, at first, by the Bandino family, then by the Carbonelli and Lentini families and finally by the Martinelli family, who bought it at the end of the 18th century. The Martinellis were a wealthy family from Mola, relocated here in the second half of the 18th entury, attracted by the commercial opportunities offered by Monopoli.   ARCHITECTURE The building, on three levels, overlooks the Porto Vecchio. The long facade has 18th-century windows, while the monumental entrance portal and the balconies on the first floor were built in the Neo-Gothic style around the mid-19th century. The loggia, built on a portico with three arches, produces a remarkable scenographic effect, overlooking the port with eight ogival arches in Neo-Gothic style, and a balcony with balustrade. Inside, beyond the wide entrance hall, there is a courtyard with a beautiful open staircase and an 18th-century loggia on three levels.   HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo Martinelli is located about 1.3 kilometers away from the Monopoli railway station. To find it Read more [...]

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    Palazzo dell’Orologio

    Palazzo dell’Orologio (Clock Palace) is a small palace located in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, in the historical center of Polignano a Mare.   SHORT HISTORY The palace has medieval origins and was once the seat of the city’s Town Hall. The two ground floor rooms were used as a warehouse for a while and, later, the room in the back was converted into a prison, as attested by the grating which is still visible in Via Tanese Innocente. In the second half of the 18th century, a clock was added to the facade, replacing an old sundial. A small part of the sundial is still visible today, under the clock.   ARCHITECTURE The palace is built on three floors, with a facade embelished by decorations in Rococo style, particularly visible around windows, which hide the medieval origins of the building. Between the two windows of the first floor, under the clock, we can find the town’s coat of arms. Above the clock, in a niche, there is the statue of San Vito, the patron saint of Polignano a Mare. The statue is surmounted by a beautiful bell gable.   HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo dell’Orologio is located about 750 meters Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Contarini Fasan

    Palazzo Contarini Fasan, also called Casa di Desdemona (House of Desdemona), is one of the smallest palaces overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in Venice.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Contarini was built around 1475 and belonged to the Contarini family. The name Fasan is probably derived from the passion of its owners for hunting pheasants. Thanks to legend, the palace is traditionally considered the home of Desdemona, a character in William Shakespeare’s play Othello.   ARCHITECTURE The palace has a Gothic facade developed in height, on three floors, with no access to water. On the ground floor, there are 3 small rectangular windows. On the first floor, there are three lancet windows separated by white stone columns, and a balcony. On the second floor, we can find two lancet windows, and between them, under a small square opening, there is the large coat of arms of the Contarini family, in bas-relief. The top of the facade is crossed by a jagged cornice, under which can be observed the traces of the 15th-century frescoes that once embellished the entire facade.   HOW TO GET THERE The closest waterbus station is Giglio, on the Line 1, but Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Smith Mangilli Valmarana

    Palazzo Smith Mangilli Valmarana is a palace overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. The palace is known above all as the residence of Joseph Smith, the British consul in Venice between 1744 and 1760. John Smith was also a patron of arts and a collector, the agent of Canaletto for several years and the facilitator for the purchases of his works by the British aristocrats.   SHORT HISTORY Originally, the palace was a Byzantine Gothic building, owned by the Trevisan nobles from 1518 to 1666, and later by the Ceffis family. In 1740, the palace became the seat of the English Embassy and the residence of Smith, and it was transformed according to the taste of the era. In 1743, the painter Antonio Visentini designed the new facade of the palace and started the works, which were completed in 1751. Smith died in 1770, and the palace was sold by his widow to the Count Giuseppe Mangilli in 1784. The count added the two top floors and entrusted the redecoration of the interior to the architect Giannantonio Selva, who also built the La Fenice Theater. Later, the palace was sold to the Valmarana family. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti

    Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti is a palace in Venice, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in the immediate vicinity of the Accademia Bridge. Since 1999, it belongs to the Venetian Institute of Science, Letters and Arts, which hosts frequent cultural events.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in Gothic style in the second half of the 15th century by the Marcello family. It was inhabited later by the Gussoni and the Cavalli families. In 1847, the palace was ceded to the young Archduke Friedrich Ferdinand of Austria, who initiated a series of works for the modernization of the building. Later, the palazzo passed to Enrico, Count of Chambord, who commissioned the architect Giovanni Battista Meduna to renovate the structure. Meduna redesigned the palace, which became one of the emblems of the Venetian 19th century. In 1878, the building was bought by the Baron Raimondo Franchetti. Franchetti started a radical restoration under the direction of the architect Camillo Boito. In September 1922, the widow of Raimondo, Sarah Luisa de Rothschild, sold the building to the Istituto Federale di Credito per il Risorgimento delle Venezie, which proceeded to a new phase of works and functional adaptations.   ARCHITECTURE The palace is a Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Dolfin Manin

    Palazzo Dolfin Manin is a palace overlooking the Grand Canal, not far from the Rialto Bridge, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in Venice. Today, the palace houses the Venice branch of the Banca d’Italia.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1536 by Jacopo Sansovino for the Dolfin family, by merging two pre-existing buildings from the Middle Ages. In 1801, the palace became the residence of the noble Manin family. Ludovico Manin, the last Doge of Venice, commissioned the architect Giannantonio Selva to make important modifications and reconstructions to the palace. The architect eliminated the inner courtyard and replaced the entry staircase with a more sumptuous one in the Neoclassical style. In 1797, Ludovico Manin accepted the surrender to the French army of Napoleon. After that moment, he lived for another five years segregated in the palace. The palace remained the property of the Manin family until 1867, when it passed to the Banca Nazionale del Regno. Some restorations were carried out between 1968 and 1971, and a further restoration was completed in 2002.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace was built between 1538 and 1547 by the great architect Jacopo Tatti, known as Sansovino. It is Read more [...]

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    Casa dei Tre Oci

    Casa dei Tre Oci (House of Three Eyes), also known as Casa di Maria, is a palace overlooking the Giudecca Canal, located near Le Zitelle, in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, on the Giudecca island, in Venice. The name of the palace comes from the three large windows on its facade, which resemble three eyes (òci meaning eyes in the Venetian dialect).   SHORT HISTORY Casa dei Tre Oci is a 20th century palazzo linked to many illustrious names. It was built between 1912 and 1913 by the painter Mario de Maria, who made it his new Venetian residence. The painter, wanting to commemorate his beloved daughter Silvia, who disappeared a few years earlier, built the house with three large windows on the facade, representing the three surviving members of his family: himself, his wife Emilia Voight and his son Astolfo. The mullioned window placed above them symbolizes the deceased daughter. In this palace, after the death of de Maria, people linked to the art world stayed and lived, like the architect Renzo Piano. In 1970, Enrico Maria Salerno set some scenes of the film The Anonymous Venetian in the palace. Today, the palace is owned by Polymnia Venezia, a company Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Miani Coletti Giusti

    Palazzo Miani Coletti Giusti is a beautiful palace overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. The palace is adjacent to the wonderful Ca d’Oro.   SHORT HISTORY The palace, as engraved on the facade, was built in 1766. The palace was own in turn by the Miani family, by the Coletti and the Giusti. Today, together with Ca d’Oro, it houses the art museum Galleria Giorgio Franchetti.   ARCHITECTURE The palace has a light green facade, work of the painter and architect Antonio Visentini, and is built on four floors. Overall, in the architecture of the facade we can find various allusions to the style promoted by the architect Andrea Palladio. The building has some peculiarities, such as the presence of the four water portals surrounded by Doric semicolumns and separated by three niches containing statues depicting personalities of the time, of the many single-lancet windows that replace the typical mullioned windows, of a cornice with an unusual arch in the middle and of an imposing dormer between two terraces with balustrades. The top floor is characterized by the presence of two circular niches closed by triangular tympanums.   HOW TO GET THERE The closest Read more [...]

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    Palazzetto Foscari del Prà

    Palazzetto Foscari del Prà is a small palace in the Venetian Gothic style overlooking the Grand Canal, in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice. The palace is located near the Church of Santa Sofia, at equal distance between Palazzo Michiel dalle Colonne and Ca d’Oro.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the second half of the 15th century. In 1488, the Foscari family bought the building from the Longin family. In 1520, the ambassador of the Duke of Mantua and Duke Federico Gonzaga lived here for a certain period of time. In the early 1700s, the prominent German merchant Sigismund Streit lived there. After being owned by the Del Prà family, the Giannetti Hotels Group bought the palace in 2003 and transformed it in a 4-star hotel.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, without particular architectural merit, is noticeable thanks to the Gothic and asymmetric polifora (window divided by multiple columns). On the top floor, the facade was badly remodeled, with the balconies of the windows invading the marble framing of the window below. On the top floor, we can also find the coat of arms of the Foscari family.   HOW TO GET THERE The closest waterbus Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Cavalli

    Palazzo Cavalli, also known as Palazzo Corner Martinengo, is a palace overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in Venice.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the 16th century and underwent several renovations in the following centuries. At the beginning of the 16th century, Bartolomeo d’Alviano lived there, great military leader of the Venetian Republic, who distinguished himself in the defence of the city against the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. In 1521, following the marriage of a daughter of Alvise Corner with Agostino Contarini, the palace passed to the Contarini family. Around 1830, the palace was inherited by the Mocenigo family, who, in turn, sold the building in 1858 to Maria Dorotea Ulbricht. From her, Palazzo Cavalli passed to the Cavalieri family and later to the Ravenna family. In the 19th century, it was the place where the American writer James Fenimore Cooper lived for a while. Initially transformed into a hotel, the palace is now home to the Tide Forecast and Warning Center of the Municipality of Venice.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, an example of Venetian Gothic style from the 16th century, is three stories high. The ground floor has Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Lanfranchi

    Palazzo Lanfranchi is a palace built in the second half of the 17th century in Piazza Giovanni Pascoli, in Matera, which today houses the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between 1668 and 1672 by the Capuchin friar Francesco da Copertino, as a diocesan seminary, at the behest of the Archbishop of Matera, Vincenzo Lanfranchi. Built on a pre-existing convent of the Carmelites, whose order was suppressed in 1652, the palace was the seat of the city’s seminary until 1864. After the Unification of Italy, the building passed to the Piedmontese Government and became the seat of the Classical Lyceum and the National Boarding School. The palace housed the Lyceum until 1980. Later, it hosted the offices of the Superintendency for Artistic and Historical Heritage of Basilicata and, since 2003, it is the seat of the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata.   ARCHITECTURE The asymmetric facade of the palace is divided horizontally into two orders by a cornice. In the lower order, there are five niches in which we can see the statues of San Nicola, the Madonna del Carmine, San Filippo Neri, San Giacinto and San Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Sedile

    Palazzo del Sedile (Palace of the Seat) is an ancient building located in the square with the same name, in Matera.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo del Sedile was built in 1540 by the Archbishop Saraceno and was used since then as the seat of the Municipality of Matera. The current structure is due to the expansion and renovation works carried out since 1759. The offices of the municipal administration were housed here until 1944, and then moved to the former Monastery of Santa Lucia, in Via Luigi la Vista. Since 1982, the offices are located in the current and modern Town Hall, located in Via Aldo Moro. In the last decades, the palace changed its use, becoming the main venue of the National Conservatory of Music dedicated to the composer Egidio Romualdo Duni. The underground levels of the building host since the early 80s a modern Auditorium with a capacity of about 450 seats.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade is characterized by a large entrance arch flanked symmetrically by two bell towers, one with a sundial and the other with a clock. The facade is adorned with six statues: two above the arch, in a central position, representing the Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Banca d’Italia

    Palazzo della Banca d’Italia is a palace in Bari, located on the Corso Cavour, between the Palazzo della Camera di Commercio and the Petruzzelli Theater.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in 1926 after a design by the architect Accolti Gil, on an area of about three thousand square meters that previously housed the Mercato Coperto (Covered Market). The works lasted six years and the ribbon was cut in October, 1932. The offices of the Bank were transferred here from its original headquarters located in Via Cairoli.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The palace stands on four levels plus a basement. Valuable elements are the public lounge with its Art Nouveau windows, the large staircase leading to the vault and various bas-reliefs of Carrara marble. On the first floor, there can be found the Sala Consiliare (Council Hall), with its huge central chandelier, the fine coffered ceiling, and the director’s office, which still preserves the furniture of 1934. In the Council Hall, there is also a bronze bust depicting Vittorio Emanuele III, which was found only a few years ago in the basement of the building. Banca d’Italia also commissioned the construction of the fountain in front of the building, Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Provincia

    Palazzo della Provincia is a palace in Bari, part of the larger monumental transformation project of the Lungomare Nazario Sauro during the first decades of the 20th century, which hosts today the Pinacoteca Metropolitana di Bari Corrado Giaquinto (Painting Gallery of Metropolitan City of Bari).   SHORT HISTORY The Provincial Administration commissioned the design of its definitive headquarters in 1930. The palace, completed in 1936, is the result of the collaboration of the best Apulian architects of the time, coordinated by Luigi Baffa. Severely damaged during the Second World War, today the building houses the offices and the council chamber of the Provincial Administration, the Painting Gallery of Metropolitan City of Bari and the Archives of the city.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The building is characterized by eclecticism that recalls the neo-medieval civil architecture. The palace presents itself as an irregular quadrilateral, alternating Trani stone and red bricks. At the center of the rusticated base, there are five large round arches that give access to a portico in two-color marble. Beyond the upper floors, stands a clock tower, an allusion to the bell tower of the Cathedral of San Sabino, also visible from the Lungomare Nazario Sauro. The clock tower Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Sedile

    Palazzo del Sedile (Palace of the Seat), known also as the Palazzo dei Nobili, is a palace located in the historical center of Bari, in Piazza Mercantile. The palace, of which today only the facade remains, was once the Town Hall of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The first documented information about a municipal office in Bari dates back to 1466, when the notary Giovanni de Lutiis mentioned a place in Piazza Mercantile, where the Municipality met to discuss the problems of the city. In 1601, a serious disaster occurred, originated from a small fire ignited in Piazza Mercantile, which spread very quickly to the buildings in the square and to the city’s arsenal, where gunpowder and weapons were kept. The explosion caused the death of over 60 people and ruined many buildings, including the municipal palace. In 1602, the palace was rebuilt by the Mayors Nicola Donato and Pietro Ponzo, as a plaque recalls, along with the arsenal and the city wall. In 1604, the Municipality built a small bell tower on top of the building and had a German-manufactured clock installed, which struck every quarter of an hour. The activity of the municipal seat ceased in the early Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Reale di Milano

    Palazzo Reale di Milano (Royal Palace of Milan), formerly Palazzo del Broletto Vecchio, was for many centuries the seat of the government of Milan and a royal residence until 1919, when it was acquired by the state, becoming a venue for exhibitions and events. Originally designed with a system of two courtyards, then partially demolished to make room for the Duomo, the palace is located to the right of the facade of the Cathedral of Milan, opposite to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.   SHORT HISTORY A former palace that stood on the same area in the late Middle Ages, the Broletto Vecchio, also called Brolo di Sant’Ambrogio, was the first documented seat of the Municipality of Milan. The palace, built before the 10th century, ended this function in 1251, when the municipal office was moved to the Palazzo della Ragione. Broletto Vecchio was then demolished, and in its place was built the Palazzo Reale, known at first as the Palazzo del Broletto Vecchio, recalling the name of the pre-existing building. Palazzo Reale became a political center during the lords of the Torriani, Visconti and Sforza families, taking later the role of Palazzo Ducale, the seat of the Duchy of Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Ducale

    Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), known once as the Palazzo degli Illustrissimi Signori (Palace of the Illustrious Lords) and today as the Palazzo della Provincia (Palace of the Province), is a palace located in Piazza Napoleone, in Lucca.   SHORT HISTORY Until the rise of Castruccio Castracani, Duke of Lucca, in the first years of the 14th century, the seat of the government of the Republic was located in Piazza San Michele. Castracani built the vast Augusta Fortress, in which he moved the entire administrative power of the city. The huge complex of Augusta Fortress, which covered about a fifth of the city, was destroyed by population in 1370, after the Emperor Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, gave the Republic its freedom. With the new lordship of Paolo Guinigi, a new fortress called Cittadella di Lucca was built on the ruins of the former Fortezza Augusta. In 1430, after the fall of Paolo Guinigi, the Citadel was destroyed as well, but the restored republican government preserved the palace that belonged originally to Castruccio, for its headquarters. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Palazzo Pubblico grew without a precise design, with the progressive addition of new buildings. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Roncioni

    Palazzo Roncioni is a palace located on the northern bank of the Arno river, in Pisa, adjacent to the Palazzo Toscanelli and about 100 meters away from the Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the first half of the 17th century, by merging several medieval buildings. In 1662, the original owners, the Navarette family, sold it to the Roncioni family. In 1789, Angiolo Roncioni, passionate about art, hired the painter Giovanni Battista Tempesti to paint frescoes on the walls and vaulted ceilings of the palace, and J.B. Desmarais to paint family portraits. In 1794, Angiolo Roncioni and Andrea Agostini created the Roncioni Academy, a cultural circle where famous artists were invited, and where the most advanced theatrical texts of the period were presented. In 1795, the owner comissioned the architect Alessandro Gherardesca to build a small theater in the palace. The Count Vittorio Alfieri, the founder of the Italian tragedy, stayed there in the same year, when he was invited to recite his work Saul during the period of Luminara di San Ranieri. In 1816, the writer Madame de Staël lived in the palace, and later Louis Bonaparte – the brother of Napoleon, and Read more [...]

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    Palazzo dell’Opera

    Palazzo dell’Opera is a palace located on the north-eastern area of Piazza dei Miracoli, in Pisa, to the east of Campo Santo and to the north of Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Until the first years of the 21st century, the palace housed the headquarters of the Opera della Primaziale Pisana, which is the entity that manages the Cathedral of Pisa and the monumental complex of Piazza dei Miracoli. Currently, it only holds some offices for the technical staff and, since 2014, it hosts temporary art exhibitions.   SHORT HISTORY The main body of the building, which still maintains its original facade, dates back to 1309, while the expansions date back to the 18th century. The building was in fact the residence of the various workers of the cathedral complex: the tailor, the gardener, the bell ringers, until the 19th century, when the administration offices of the Opera della Primaziale were brought in the palace.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade shows a Medici coat of arms and marble panels with the initials of the Opera del Duomo, as well as an 18th-century plaque commemorating the stay of Charles VIII of France in Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Reale

    Palazzo Reale is a palace located on the Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti, in Pisa, now hosting the National Museum of the Royal Palace.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) was built in 1583 by Bernardo Buontalenti for Francesco I de’ Medici, to replace the Medici Palace located near the Church of San Matteo. The palace was built by merging some medieval buildings dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries and partly still visible – that of the Counts Gaetani of Terriccio, Pomaya and d’Oriseo (the Tower of the Verga d’Oro and the Tower of the Canton), and was remodeled several times, during the 17th and 19th centuries. On an alley behind the palace, we can see the round arches of a medieval building, now lowered due to the rising of the floor, and from the courtyard, we can see an ancient tower, with an arched portal, two small windows with a pentagonal architrave and a single-lancet window higher up. On the ground floor of the courtyard, we can also see the remains of a loggia, with two columns with capitals, partially abraded. The Medici court met here mainly in winter, and among its guests were the scientists Galileo Galilei Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Agostini

    Palazzo Agostini, commonly known as Palazzo dell’Ussero or Palazzo Rosso (Red Palace), is one of the most beautiful palaces in Pisa and one of the main examples of Gothic architecture in Tuscany. The palace, belonging to the noble family Agostini Fantini Venerosi della Seta Gaetani Bocca Grassi, is home to the Caffè dell’Ussero starting with 1775, and houses the Cinema Lumière since 1899.   SHORT HISTORY In the first half of the 14th century, the Astajo family built their palace by merging two older buildings. In 1447, the heirs of Jacopo and Filippo Astajo ceded the palace to Antonio Primi. Later, the palace passed to the Florentine family Visdomini who, on 25 January 1465, ceded it to the brothers Antonio and Pietro, Pisan goldsmiths. In 1496, the palace was bought by Mariano and Pietro Agostini, belonging to a family of mercantile origin, specialized in the silk trade. The palace was restored in 1895 on a project of the architect Angelo Giannini. On May 12, 1895, the roof was added by Luigi Corona, on a design of the architect Luigi Del Moro.   ARCHITECTURE The facade, covered in terracotta tiles with a characteristic reddish color, from which the palace draws its Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Giuli Rosselmini Gualandi

    Palazzo Giuli Rosselmini Gualandi is a palace located in Pisa, on the Lungarno Gambacorti, near the Church of Santa Cristina. The palace has recently become known as the Palazzo Blu (Blue Palace), because of the restored color of its plasterwork.   SHORT HISTORY On November 14, 1356, Doge Giovanni Dell’Agnello, owner of some properties in the area, obtained permission to enlarge some of his buildings, thus raising the first nucleus of the palace, a structure composed of large pillars, with two or more modules, joined to form ogival arches, filled with bricks and decorated with single mullioned windows. During the first Florentine domination, between 1406 and 1494, the building underwent considerable changes, due to the decline of the Dell’Agnello family. Passed to the Municipality at the end of the 14th century, it became the property of the Republic of Florence, which used it as the headquarters for the five supervisors of the occupied city, until it was given back to Giovan Bernardino Dell’Agnello. Towards the end of the 16th century, the complex was transformed by the families of Sancasciano and Del Testa. It was precisely Emilio Del Testa, who in 1593 radically transformed the building to a sumptuous late-Renaissance palace, Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Canonica

    Palazzo della Canonica is a palace dating from the 16th century, located in Piazza dei Cavalieri, in Pisa, near the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, across the square from the Palazzo della Carovana.   SHORT HISTORY In 1567, Cosimo I de’ Medici donated the medieval buildings standing between Via Ulisse Dini and Via San Frediano, to provide quarters for the important and influential division of the priests of the Order of Knights of Saint Stephen. Giorgio Vasari was comissioned to design the palace, along with the whole new layout of the square, and David Fortini was the architect to built it. The works on the building lasted over forty years, because most of the funds available were directed to the construction of the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri. The interventions continued until the 17th century. Between 1604 and 1607, the rooms on the top floor were built, which were renovated between 1690 and 1692, with further additions at the middle of the 19th century.   ARCHITECTURE The long facade of the palace closely resembles that of the Palazzo della Carovana. Three rows of windows define its facade as a whole, masking the differences between the medieval buildings joined Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Lanfreducci

    Palazzo Lanfreducci, also called Palazzo alla Giornata or Palazzo Upezzinghi, after the 19th century owners, is a Mannerist or early Baroque-style palace on the Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti, in Pisa. The building is now the seat of the Rectorate of the University of Pisa.   SHORT HISTORY Built at the behest of Francesco Lanfreducci, Knight of Malta and exponent of an important and ancient family of Pisa from the 13th century, the palace owes its present appearance to the Sienese architect Cosimo Pugliani, who suprevised the works between 1594 and the early 17th century. The Pisans called it Palazzo alla Giornata, inspired by the motto chosen by its owner. One of the many legends raised by the enigmatic motto alla Giornata (on the day of the battle) tells that, after a long imprisonment in Algiers, the Knight Lanfreducci placed that inscription above the door as a reflection on the precariousness of life. Behind the palace, there was a church called San Biagio delle Catene, owned by the Lanfreducci family. Torre dei Lanfreducci (Tower of Lanfreducci) is one of Pisa’s best preserved medieval towers, located in the internal courtyard of the palace. The tower, with a rectangular plan, was built in two Read more [...]

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    Palazzo dell’Orologio

    Palazzo dell’Orologio (Palace of the Clock) is a palace in Pisa, located in Piazza dei Cavalieri, near the more famous Palazzo della Carovana and about 100 meters away from the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavaleri.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo dell’Orologio is an ancient medieval building where the Captain of the People (Capitano del Popolo) resided from 1357, when the palace already belonged to the Gualandi family. When the palace was built, it incorporated the famous Torre della Muda (or della Fame – Tower of Hunger) where in 1289 the Count Ugolino Della Gherardesca, along with his sons and grandchildren, died of hunger. The profile of the tower is still recognizable to the left of the central arch, where the 20th-century four-light window opens today. Starting with 1566, the palace housed the infirmary of the Order of the Knights of Saint Stephen. The health manager was called Bonomo, and for this reason the palace is also known as Palazzo del Bonomo. The current appearance of the palace dates back to 1605-1608, when two neighboring buildings were joined through an arch with a clock, according to a project of Giorgio Vasari from 1554. Between 1607 and 1609, Giovanni Stefano Marucelli and Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Toscanelli

    Palazzo Toscanelli, known until the 19th century as the Palazzo Lanfranchi, is a Renaissance-style palace located on the Lungarno Mediceo, in Pisa, about 120 meters away of the Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici. Since 1913, the palace is the seat of the State Archive (Archivio di Stato di Pisa), which holds an impressive collection of documents from the archives of the Pisan Republic. Over time, the archive was enriched with documents from the Pisan monasteries or donations from private individuals belonging to noble Tuscan families.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the first half of the 16th century by Bartolomeo Lanfranchi. Another palace commissioned later by Alessandro Lanfranchi stands across the Arno river. In 1576, the palace was refurbished after a design by Francesco Mosca. Lord Byron lived in the palace between 1821 and 1822. From here, the English poet left for Greece, where he died in 1824. The Toscanelli family bought the palace in 1827. The current appearance of the building dates back to the same 19th century, when Palazzo Toscanelli was renovated by the architect Alessandro Gherardesca. Giovan Battista Toscanelli and his wife, Angiola Cipriani, lived in the palace, gaining over time a large and prominent art Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici

    Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici, formerly Palazzo Appiano, is a palace in Pisa, located on the Lungarno Mediceo, about 120 meters away of Palazzo Toscanelli. Today, Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici is the seat of the Prefecture.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the 13th century, on the site of a previous building dating back to the 11th century. The Appiani family, lords of Pisa between 1392 and 1398, lived here until 1446, when the palace was bought by the Medici family. Lorenzo de’ Medici often stayed there, as he came to the Tuscan coast to cure his frail health. The King Charles VIII of France, guest of Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici, also known as Piero the Unfortunate, resided in the palace in 1494, when Florence rebelled against Piero and he was exiled from the city. In 1539, the palace was the residence of Cosimo I de’ Medici. In 1574, Francesco I de’ Medici built a new Medici palace in Pisa, Palazzo Reale, and by 1784, the Medici Palace was sold to Jacopo Finocchietti. In 1871, the architect Ranieri Simonelli was comissioned by Vittoria Spinola, the morganatic daughter of Vittorio Emanuele II, to restore the palace. The architect transformed Read more [...]

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    Palazzo di Giustizia

    Palazzo di Giustizia is the seat of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy, located in Piazza Cavour, in Rome. The palace is commonly called the Palazzaccio (Bad Palace), due to its unusual dimensions, excessive decorations and laborious construction, which led, at the beginning of the 20th century, to the suspicion of corruption.   SHORT HISTORY The palace, one of the major works created after the proclamation of Rome as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, was built between 1889 and 1911 by the Perugian architect Guglielmo Calderini. The official inauguration of the works, with the laying of the first stone, took place on the afternoon of 14 March 1889, in the presence of the sovereigns Umberto I and Margherita. The palace was inaugurated 22 years after the beginning of the works, in the presence of the sovereign Vittorio Emanuele III, on 11 January 1911. At the end of the sixties, the cracks and collapses increased, a commission of specialists was established to decide the fate of the monument, and most of them called for its demolition. However, the demolition cost was enormous, and it was decided that the palace will be saved. In the seventies, the palace underwent Read more [...]