The Palazzo Doria Pamphili is located on the highest point of the hill town of Valmontone, south east of Rome. It is considered to be the symbol of the city and is one of few buildings having survived World War II in a reasonable condition. At the moment it is the seat of the Valmontone Archaeological Museum.
Palazzo Doria Pamphili Valmontone
Address: Piazza Umberto Pilozzi – Valmontone. Phone: +39 06 95990460. Opening hours: From Tuesday till Friday from 09.00 till 13.00 and Saturdays and Sundays from 09.30 till 13.00 and from 16.00 till 20.00. Entrance fee: Free. A reservation is necessary to visit the piano nobile. (Note that the palazzo during the Covid-crisis is not open for visitors).
History and description
The Palazzo Doria Pamphili is an enormous fortified building in the centre of Valmontone. It was built in the 17th century and consists of 365 rooms, spread out over four floors.
It stands 30 metres tall and has a width of 60 metres.
The piano nobile is reached by a monumental staircase and is decorated with an impressive series of ceiling frescoes. Some of these are themed according to the elements, including the “fire room”, the “air room”, the “water room” and the “earth room”. A second series of frescoes is dedicated to the four (yes!) continents. The frescoes were painted between 1657 and 1661. Mattia Preti painted the “Allegory of Air”, which is considered the highlight. Other contributing artists were Pier Francesco Mola, Guglielmo Cortese, Gaspard Dughet and Francesco Cozza.
The most important room is the Sala del Principe, which is also decorated with wall frescoes.
After the war Prince Doria sold the building piecemeal those inhabitants of the city whose homes had been destroyed during the bombings. They stayed there till the 1970’s, when the city of Valmontone acquired the entire building.