Palazzo Serristori Rome

The Palazzo Serristori is a historic building in Rome‘s rione Borgo. It used to be the seat of the Tuscan Ambassador to the Pope.

Palazzo Serristori Rome

Practical information

The fa├žade of the three-story Palazzo Serristori faces the Via dei Cavalieri del Santo Sepolcro, 1. The sides face Via della Conciliazione and the Borgo Santo Spirito.

History Palazzo Serristori Rome

The Palazzo Serristori is one of the few buildings that survived the destruction of the so-called Spina del Borgo (“spine of the Borgo“) during the construction of the Via della Conciliazione.

It was built on a number of sites and houses that had existed since the 15th century. Construction began in 1555.

Its construction was commissioned by Averardo Serristori, then Cosimo I de’ Medici‘s ambassador to Pope Pius IV. It is not known who the architect was.

Palazzo Serristori remained the seat of the Tuscan Embassy to the Holy See, and until 1830 it also remained the property of the family that originally owned it.

In that year it was purchased by the Camera Apostolica and transformed into a barracks. The former name was preserved as Caserma Serristori.

During revolutionary skirmishes in 1867, an exploded mine killed 34 zouaves working as mercenaries for the pope. The two men who had laid the mine, Giuseppe Monti and Gaetano Tognetti, were beheaded the following year.

After 1870, the barracks were seized by the Italian troops and in 1902 the name was changed to Caserma Luciano Manara.

Immediately after the war, people who had been evicted from their homes were housed there.

In 1929, however, after Mussolini had signed the Lateran Pact, it was returned data to the Holy See.

Under the architect Alberto Calza Bini, it was renovated and turned into a school (the Scuola Pontificia Pio IX).

Description

The inscription above the main portal (Ac Christianam Puerorum Utilitatem) means “For the Christian Use of Young Women.” Above the window surmounting the portal you can see the coat of arms of Pope Pius XI Ratti (an eagle and three bezants), with the papal tiara and crossed keys.

The fountain in the courtyard consists of a mask, from which water falls into an underlying basin. Above the fountain you can see a plaque and the papal coat of arms.

Palazzo Serristori, Rome


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