The Palazzina of Pius IV stands at the corner of the Via Flaminia and the Via di Villa Giulia in Rome. At present, it is the seat of the Italian Embassy to the Vatican. The fountain built against the palace is older than the building itself.
Palazzina of Pius IV Rome
History and description
What is now known as the Palazzina di Pius IV started its exitence as an annex of the Villa Giulia. Pope Paul IV had confiscated this building from the family of his predecessor Julius to give to his nephew Carlo Borromeo. In 1929, the Borromeo family sold it to the Italian state, which converted it into the seat of its embassy to the Vatican.
One of the first ambassadors to reside here was Count Galeazzo Ciano, who was married to Benito Mussolini‘s daughter Edda. Because he opposed the alliance with Hitler‘s Germany, Ciano, formerly foreign minister, had been demoted to ambassador. He played an important role in the fall of Mussolini, who, however, had him executed by order of Hitler after the latter succeeded in returning the dictator to power.
The bottom part of the building was constructed by Vignola and Ammanati, the architects of the Villa Giulia. The Acqua Vergine Fountain against the facade is also their work. When Paul IV confiscated the building, he immediately had it enlarged. The extension, including the striking loggia, was executed by the Neapolitan architect Pirro Ligorio.