Palazzo Chigi, as befits a government building, is located in the center of Rome. It has served as the official residence of the Italian prime minister since 1961, which means that Silvio Berlusconi has been able to indulge his prime ministerial lusts in the building.
Palazzo Chigi Rome
Address, hours, tickets
The address of the Palazzo Chigi is Piazza Colonna, 370 – Rome (District: Colonna). Tel. +39 06 67794555. Opening hours: The Palazzo Chigi can be visited only with a tour guide, from October to May. For information call the number above or write to email@example.com. Closed: June, July, August, September. Entrance fee: Free of charge.
History Palazzo Chigi Rome
In 1578, what was to later become Palazzo Chigi, but was then no more than a collection of hovels, was purchased by the Aldobrandini family. The hovels were destroyed and construction of the new building began. The first architect was Matteo da Castello, but it was Carlo Maderno who had the final touches put on the building in 1630.
In 1659, Pope Alexander VII, in his pre-papal days known under the name Fabio Chigi, bought the building for his family, which led to the name change.
The palazzo has changed hands very often over the centuries and each owner left a new mark on its architecture.
The first owners were without exception papal families, but towards the end of the 18th century the Spanish Embassy came to reside there. In 1878, it was the turn of the Austro-Hungarian Embassy.
What to see
The small tower on top of the building was placed there by order of Olivia Aldobrandini, to make the building slightly taller than the neighboring Palazzo Montecitorio.
The Sala dei Mappamondi is so named because of the magnificent 17th century globes displayed on either side of the entrance.
The Galleria Deti is named after a cardinal who used to live here in the 17th century. It is one of the most beautifully decorated halls in the building. This is the hall with the loggia at the corner of the Via del Corso and Piazza Colonna, where an attack on Mussolini once took place.
The “Hall of Maritime Republics” (medieval independent port states, including Venice and Pisa), is connected to the Aldobrandini section of the building by two “Halls of Tapestries” (Saloni degli Arazzi).
The most richly decorated room is the “Golden Hall,” which is part of the President’s apartment.