Palazzo della Consulta Rome
The address of the Palazzo della Consulta is groupsPiazza del Quirinale, 41 – 00187 Rome (District: Trevi). Tel: +39 0646981. Bus: 40, 64, 70. Opening hours: Can only be visited by school groups.
Even before the palace was constructed, this part of the Quirinal Hill was an important site. First, the Terme di Costantino used to be here, and later the two founders of the Accademia Romana, Pomponio Leto and Bartolomeo Sacchi, had two houses constructed on the site. (The houses were later destroyed.)
The land was sold to the Ceci, who resold it to Cardinal Bonifacio Ferrero. In 1588 it was donated to the Camera Apostolica, and during the reign of Pope Paul V Borghese it was used as a sort of dépendence of the Quirinal Palace itself.
After some unsuccessful attempts at reconstructing what remained (including in 1610 under the architect Flavio Ponzio, who unfortunately also had the remaining ruins of the Baths of Constantine destroyed), in 1732 it was decided to start from scratch.
The papal architect Ferdinando Fuga was the one chosen for this purpose. It was his first major commission in Rome.
On Christmas Day of the year 1737, the Sacra Consulta (a kind of papal Council of State, which no longer exists) moved into the new building and remained there until 1870, with an interruption during the time of Napoleon (1809-1814).
After the unification of Italy, the Palazzo della Consulta changed functions frequently.
- Residence of Umberto and Margherita of Savoy.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (from 1874 to 1922).
- Ministry of the Colonies (during the Fascist period).
During World War II, Allied troops had their headquarters there for a time, and in 1955 the Constitutional Court moved in.
What to see
The building is rectangular in shape, with some irregularities caused by the course of the hill . There are four entrances. It has two, very high, floors.
The main attraction of the Palazzo della Consulta is the great staircase inside the building, which was designed by the architect Sanfelice in 1728 (so even before Fuga designed the new version of the palazzo).