The Piazza Mattei in the Sant’Angelo district of Rome is considered to be one of the most beautiful piazze of the city. The main attractions on this central square are the Palazzo Costaguti and, especially, the Fountain of the Turtles. The square is named for an influential family, which was also responsible for the construction of several buildings.
Piazza Mattei Rome
History and description
The Fountain of the Turtles (Fontana delle Tartarughe) takes up central position in the square. Like many fountains in the area, it was designed toward the end of the 16th century by Giacomo della Porta.
The interior of the Palazzo Costaguti is graced with ceiling frescoes by famous artists such as Guercino, Domenichino, Lanfranco and others. It is still owned by the family Costaguti.
The two lower palaces (numbers 17 and 19) together form the Palazzo Giacomo Mattei. The architect was probably Nanni di Baccio Bigio. They were constructed between the late 15th and the early 16th century. The two buildings were part of a collection of mansions known as the Isola Mattei (“Mattei island”). Except for the Palazzo Giacomo Mattei mentioned above, these were the Palazzo Mattei di Giove, the Palazzo Mattei di Paganica and the Palazzo Caetani.