The Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi is a historical building between the Piazza dei Santi Apostoli and the Via del Corso in Rome. Several famous architects, including Maderno, Bernini and Vanvitelli, have contributed to the building’s development. The building hosts a rare privately owned painting by Caravaggio.
Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi Rome
Opening hours and admission
The palace is still owned by the Odescalchi family. Visitors are not allowed.
Address and public transport
The address of the Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi is Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 80 – Rome. Bus: 40, 60, 64, 70, 117, 170, H, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18.
The Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi has existed since the 15th century, although it was much smaller at the time. The original owners were the Benzoni family. When Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi acquired the building in 1622, he had it completely renovated by Carlo Maderno.
The next owners were the Colonna, who around the middle of the 17th century sold it to Cardinal Fabio Chigi. The Cardinal commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to design the facade. At the time the facade was the present left part of the building, delimited by the first eight pillars.
In 1745 Baldassarre Odescalchi, the next owner, had Nicolò Salvi and Luigi Vanvitelli widen this facade.
After a fire in 1887 the facade needed to be restored. At the same time Raffaele Ojetti renovated the facade on the Via del Corso side. Baldassarre Ladislao Odescalchi had ordered him to take the 15th century Florentine palaces as his example.
The building has a big courtyard, which was designed by Maderno . The central fountain in this courtyard is adorned with two dolphins and an eagle inside a chalice, plus the Odescalchi coat-of-arms.
The palazzo hosts one of the very few Caravaggio paintings that are private property. The painting in question is the “Conversion of Saint Paul”, which was probably commissioned by Tiberio Cerasi in order to enrich his chapel in the Santa Maria del Popolo Church.