The Galleria Alberto Sordi is an elegant shopping arcade in the heart of Rome. It is located in the Piazza Colonna, along the most important shopping street of the city, the Via del Corso. It was re-opened in 2003, after a lengthy restoration, and is named for Alberto Sordi, one of Italy’s most popular movie actors.
Galleria Alberto Sordi Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Adress: Galleria di Piazza Colonna – Rome (tel. +39 06 69190769). Opening hours: Monday till Saturday from 08.30 till 21.00; Sunday 09.30 till 21.00. Admission: Free.
History and description
Although the building is much older than that, the Galleria Alberto Sordi did not get its present name until December 4 2003, when, after a lengthy restoration, it was renamed from its original name of Galleria Colonna.
In order to be able to start construction on the Galleria Colonna, it had been necessary to first demolish the 16th century Palazzo Giustini-Spada, which was designed by Giacomo della Porta. After the unification of Italy, the city of Rome confiscated and demolished the building, which by then was called the Palazzo del Principe di Piombino and owned by the Boncompagni-Ludovisi family.
After the nearby Palazzo di Montecitorio had been enlarged with the House of Representatives, it was felt that the Piazza Colonna also had to be enlarged and improved. The project for the Galleria Colonna was approved in 1911. The actual work, under the architect Dario Carbone, was started in 1914 and finished in 1922.
In the 80’s and 90’s of the last century the Galleria Colonna lost much of its prestige. Shops and cafes gradually closed or moved elsewhere and it became a nighttime hangout for junkies and vagabonds. The situation deteriorated so much that the Galleria Colonna was finally closed.
After the Reconstruction: Galleria Alberto Sordi
- The main entrance is in the Piazza Colonna. Two galleries lead to two other entrances on the other side.
- The original Art Nouveau glass ceilings remained but the mosaic floor was completely replaced and shows, a.o., the logo of the Galleria, a Corinthian Capitol with the letter G.
Did You Know?
- Before the Galleria Colonna was built there were plans to make it into Rome’s central railway station. This rather impractical plan was soon abandoned, however.
- Alberto Sordi was an Italian comic and movie actor, who died in 2003. One of his best known movies, Polvere di Stelle, “Stardust” (1973), begins and ends with its protagonists walking through the then Galleria Colonna.