The Palazzo Massimo is a historic building in the Parione district of Rome. It is generally called Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, to distinguish it from other buildings belonging to the family Massimo, and is best known for the so-called San Filippo Neri Chapel. It can only be visited on March 16.
Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne Rome
The address of Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne is Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 141. It is located on the border of the Parione and Pigna districts. Every year on March 16 from 07:00 to 13:00 the courtyard and the San Filippo Neri Chapel can be visited. The rest of the year the building is closed to the public.
History and description
The Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne is situated on the site where the 15th century houses of the Massimo family used to be. After these had been destroyed during the sacking of Rome in 1527, the architect Baldassare Peruzzi was commissioned to build the Palazzo Massimo there.
For the convex facade of the palace, Peruzzi used the lines of the cavea of the former Odeon of Domitian, which was located on the south side of the Stadium of Domitian built by the Emperor (today’s Piazza Navona).
This facade is characterized by a portico supported by six central columns. The large rectangular windows on the sides are closed by bars. The ceiling of the portico has stucco decorations. On both sides there are two niches containing statues.
The first and second floors are separated by a cornice. This cornice is surmounted by seven windows with an architrave and a balconette.
The windows on the second and third floors are smaller.
The interior of Palazzo Massimo is graced by wall and ceiling paintings, classical statues, tapestries and antique furniture.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the interior of the Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne was connected to that of the neighboring Palazzo Massimo di Pirro.
San Filippo Neri Chapel
On March 16, 1583, Saint Filippo Neri performed a miracle in one of the rooms on the 2nd floor of Palazzo Massimo, by bringing back to life the son of Fabrizio Massimo. In the 18th century, this room was converted into a chapel. The date this miracle occurred is the only day the palace can be visited by the public.