Palazzo Cesi Rome
Address and Opening Hours
The address of the Palazzo Cesi is Via della Conciliazione, 51 Rome. The building is private property.
History Palazzo Cesi Rome
The Palazzo Cesi was built in the early 16th century for Cardinal Francesco Armellini. To do this, the cardinal had to have a 15th-century residence, which he had obtained by emphyteusis, demolished.
In 1520, he had his palace decorated by Martino da Parma, Giovenale da Narni and Anderlino da Mantova. Unfortunately, he could not enjoy his palace for very long, because in 1527, during the Sack of Rome, the Landsknechts made off with all his precious possessions.
The Cardinal, who had fled to the Castel Sant’Angelo, where he had been hoisted up in a basket, was to die that same year. His sisters subsequently passed the palace on to the Bishop of Todi, Federico Cesi.
The family of Pope Paul III Farnese often stayed in the building and his son (yes!) Pierluigi even appropriated some antique works of art which he had moved to his own Palazzo di Castro.
When his nephew Ottavio and his wife moved into the palace, the pope had it decorated. Only after the couple had lived in the palace for several years did Federico Cesi, who in the meantime had made it to Cardinal, get the opportunity to live in his own property.
After his death, his heirs managed to buy the building, which had remained in lease all this time, from its owners, the Collegio dei Procuratori.
In 1569, the Palazzo Cesi was completely renovated by Martino Longhi il Vecchio. Cardinal Pier Donato Cesi gave it further prestige by opening a museum full of works of art and antiquities and a library.
Subsequent owners were Cardinal Mantica and the Moroni family. Today it is the seat of the Società del Divin Salvatore (“Society of the Divine Redeemer”).
From the 1569 reconstruction, especially the facade is still intact. The courtyard, formerly surrounded by arches and loggias is now bordered by a wall with bricked-up arches. Of the antique interior, only some decorations and ceilings remain, and most of the frescoes were added between 1930 and 1950.
The lion’s head, visible at the corner with the Via Pfeiffer, is the only remnant of Cardinal Cesi‘s antique collection.
Before the construction of the Via della Conciliazione, the façade gave out onto the Borgo Vecchio.