Palazzo Montecitorio Rome
Address, opening times and admission
Address: Piazza di Monte Citorio, 33 – Rome (tel. +39 06 67601 or 06 67603875). Opening hours: First Sunday of every month, except July, August and September. Sometimes the dates are postponed or anticipated by one week. Once you have made a reservation (maximum 4 people) you have to pick up your tickets on the day of the visit at the Infopoint in the Via Uffici del Vicario, on the corner with the Via della Missione. You have to choose a time between 10.30 and 15.30. The tickets can be picked up from 09.30 onward. You have to be at the entrance of the Palazzo Montecitorio 10 minutes before the hour indicated on your ticket. Entrance: Free.
History and description
The Palazzo Montecitorio is built on an artificially created hill, the result of the dumping of old materials that had become redundant when the Campo Marzio was reconstructed during the Middle Ages.
For a long time the district was in the hands of the wealthy and influential Colonna family, who used the land for both vegetable and ornamental gardens.
In 1650 the Ludovisi family had Gian Lorenzo Bernini start on the construction of the residence that would eventually become the Palazzo Montecitorio. At the time Gregory XV, a member of the Ludovisi family, was Pope.
When he died and the Ludovisi family entered in dire financial straits, work was interrupted, not to be taken up again until 30 years later when Pope Innocent XII commissioned it to be finished. The architect in charge of its completion was Carlo Fontana.
It was the Pope’s intention to house the Pontifical Curia, the Vatican’s highest administrative body of justice, in the building.
The building subsequently had various functions until it became the seat of the Chamber of Deputies after Rome had become the new capital city (1870) of the new Italian State. In order to achieve this the former internal courtyard was roofed over in order to make it into an assembly room.
Another big renovation, under the architect Ernesto Basile, took place in 1919. He added a new building on the Piazza del Parlamento side, called the Transatlantico.
Bernini‘s façade was left intact, as was Fontana‘s bell gable above the main, triple-doored entrance.
The Montecitorio Obelisk was installed in front of the Palazzo in 1789.