The Palazzo Colonna is located near the Piazza Venezia in the centre of Rome. The building has been owned by the same noble family for more than 900 years. The Galleria Colonna still houses part of the art collection established over the years by this Colonna family. The exhibition can only be visited on Saturday mornings.
Palazzo Colonna Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Palazzo Colonna is located on Via della Pilotta 17, Rome (Tel: +39 066784350/362). Bus: 40, 60, 64, 70, 117, 170, H, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18. Opening Hours: The Galleria Colonna is open every Saturday morning from 9am to 1.15pm.
History and description
Part of the Palazzo Colonna dates from the beginning of the 15th century, when Martino V Colonna was pope.
The current appearance of the palace, however, is mainly due to a renovation carried out by Nicola Michetti in the year 1730.
The building is part of a large block of houses between the Piazza SS. Apostoli and the Via della Pilotta. From here, four viaducts across the street give access to the Villa Colonna.
The Palazzo itself is the seat of the Galleria Colonna, which was started by Cardinal Girolamo Colonna. Here one can admire works of great masters such as Veronese, Tintoretto and Guercino. The Galleria also offers an excellent view of the private gardens of the palace, which were built on the ruins of the Temple of Serapide.
The huge frescoes in the majestic hall illustrate the life of the ancestor Marcantonio Colonna II, with martial scenes from the Battle of Lepanto, where the Turkish fleet was defeated in 1571.
Military trophies and huge mirrors decorated with playing cherubs are everywhere, making the baroque interior look even more impressive. Marble tables and double rows of chandeliers made of Murano glass on the ceiling complete the picture.
Since the Colonna family still lives in the palazzo, tourists can only visit on Saturday mornings.
The Apartment of Princess Isabella Colonna
It is not part of the halls open on Saturday mornings, but Princess Isabelle’s apartment has been kept in its original state by the current Colonna princes. The family photos, as well as the 27 paintings by Vanvitelli and displayed in the room named after him, can be seen as they were positioned back in Princess Isabella’s own time. Vanvitelli, by the way, was a Dutchman whose real name was Gaspar van Wittel.