Palazzo Colonna

This extraordinary palace has been home to the Colonna family for about 700 years. After Oddone Colonna had been elected pope with the name Martin V in 1417, it became even the papal residence for some years. It was the pope who started the family’s collection of works of art, which was increased in the course of the history.  The gallery on the first floor, the most representative part of the palace, was created in the 17th century on behalf of cardinal Girolamo. The rich decoration of the rooms has as leitmotiv the celebration of the “hero” in the family: Marc Antony II, the winner of the sea battle of Lepanto in 1571 against the Turkish fleet.  The most beautiful of all, and much envied by the other noble families of the city, is the “Hall of Mirrors”, which even became the set of the movie “Roman Holiday”. Amongst the many beautiful sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and other pieces of furnishing certainly stands out Annibale Carracci’s painting of the “Bean eater”. The tour includes the visit of the gardens that were created on the slope of the Quirinal Hill at the end of the 16th century and offer a wonderful panoramic view across the city. It is possible to also visit the so-called “apartment of the Princess” on the ground floor, lived in by the wife of Prince Marc Antony VII, Isabelle Sursock, until her death in 1984. Here we find the oldest rooms of the palace, like the Hall of the Fountain with decorations of the renaissance period by Pinturicchio, as well as a collection of splendid “vedute” by Gasparre Vanvitelli (Duration 3 hours, Saturday morning only, tickets need to be reserved.)