The Palazzo Valentini is a historical building in an area that used to be part of Trajan’s Forum in Rome. It is the present seat of the Citta Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, which is really the Province of Rome.
Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via Quattro Novembre, 119/a or Foro Traiano, 85 – Rome (tel. +39 06 67661; +39 06 22761280 reservations). Opening hours: From 09.30 till 18.30. Closed: Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, December 25. Admission: 12 Euros; age 6-17: 8 Euros; age 0-5, handicapped: Free. These prices do not include the obligatory 1,50 Euro reservatio fee. There are guided tours in English at 09.30, 13.30, 14.00 and 14.30.
History and description
Palazzo Valentini was commissioned by Cardinal Bonelli and constructed by Fra Domenico Paganenelli. Construction, in a site that used to be part of Trajan’s Forum, lasted from 1583 to 1585. In the mid-17th century it was acquired by Cardinal Imperiali, who had it enlarged, after a design by Francesco Peparelli.
The palazzo gets its name from Vincenzo Valentini, a banker who bought it in 1796 and who later (1830) had the neoclassical facade facing Trajan’s Forum built.
The building has a central courtyard that contains some classical sculptures. The facade shows an enormous entrance with Ionic columns that support a balcony. The windows of the first floor are surmounted by triangular architraves, while those of the second floor have simple frames.
On the second floor a late 16th century coat of arms of Cardinal Bonelli can be seen.
In 1873 the Italian State bought the Palazzo Valentini to use as the seat of what was then called the Province of Rome.
The Domus Romane found underneath the Palazzo Valentini were built in the Imperial Age. These patrician’s houses were owne by the most powerful families of the age. They were decorated with impressive mosaics, polychrome floors and wall ornaments.
Virtual reconstructions show the space as it supposed to have looked in those days.
The tour ends with a huge model of the neighborhood in the Imperial period and of the Palazzo Valentini itself at various points in history.
A highlight is an underground space in front of Trajan’s Column, which probably served as a public or religious meeting point. The space is characterized by enormous blocks of marble and the pedestals of the biggest columns of antiquity. Inscriptions on the laterizio brick walls indicate that the building was constructed during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. A virtual reconstruction of Trajan’s Column itself allows for a close look of the reliefs adorning the monument.