Palazzo Colonna, Villa Colonna & Galleria (Gallery) Colonna

"Palazzo Colonna, Villa Colonna & Galleria (Gallery) Colonna" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 4th May 2011

Main Courtyard of Palazzo Colonna (Colonna Palace)

Villa Colonna is not big villa was placed on the slopes of the Quirinal Hill, on the rests of the Temple of Serapide built in 1730 by architect Nicola Michetti. Its remains were used by the Colonna for their medieval fortifications. The Palazzo Colonna & villa and its constructions were seriously reduced in the 16th-17th centuries by popes, who wouldn't like such a proximity of the powerful Colonna family to the popes' new residence on top of the Quirinal Hill, Palazzo del Quirinale. Palazzo Colonna is one of the oldest and largest private palaces of Rome.

Palazzo Colonna (Colonna palace) is more important from the historical point of view, rather than from the architectonic one. It was built for the Colonna family, which for centuries was one of the most powerful houses of Rome and quite often was in the head of baronal wars opposite to the Pontifical government.

The original construction was created for pope Martin V Colonna, who lived here in 1424-1431, on the territory which belonged to its family. On the right of the Chiesa dei SS.Apostoli cardinal Pietro Riario had another palace built, where previously was a house of cardinal Giovanni Bessarione. One more palace was built on the slope of Quirinal by cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, who, after he became pope with the name Julius II, presented both palaces to the Colonna as a wedding gift for his nephew, who entered the noble Colonna family. In the 17th century the big construction works took place and were concluded only in 1730 with participation of A.Del Grande, G.Fontana and N.Michetti.
Palazzo Colonna
The present palace is in form of a rectangular with two courtyards, in the main of which is a great heraldic column with the trees and flowerbeds. The exterior of the palace is quite modest, unlike its interior, where in 1703 was opened Galleria Colonna, 76m long, 12m wide and 10m high. This art collection together with those of Doria-Pamphili, Rospigliosi-Pallavicini, Borghese and Spada are the only collections of great noble houses survived.

The present building fills the large block stretching from Piazza SS Apostoli to Via della Pilotta, which it bridges with four arches before continuing as far as the garden of the villa Colonna.

The Colonna Gallery (Galleria Colonna)

It was begun in 1654 by cardinal Girolamo I Colonna, who employed the architect A.Del Grande, but the work was completed only 50 years later. The Colonna Gallery is situated inside the Palace with the same name in Piazza Santi Apostoli. It was set up in 1654 by cardinal Girolamo the First Colonna, who entrusted its construction to the architect Antonio Del Grande. At his death in 1671 Girolamo Fontana took over the supervision of the works. The Galleria Colonna was founded in 1654 by Cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and exhibit wonderful paintings by Veronese, Palma the old, Tintoretto, Bronzino, Guercino, Salvator Rosa and others. From the Gallery you can see the beautiful private garden of the Palace, built on the ruins of the Temple of Serapis.

Hall of the Colonna Bellica is named after 16th century column of rosso antico, surmounted by a statue of Pallas Athena. The ceiling frescoes of the "Reception into Heaven of Marcantonio II Colonna", are by G.Chiari. The paintings in this hall include works of L.Lotto, Ghirlandaio, and numerous others.

The Great Hall has ceiling paintings by G.Coli and F.Gherardi with the incidents in the life of Marcantonio Colonna, who commanded the papal contingent at Lepanto in 1571. On the walls are four Venetian mirrors with flower paintings by M.d.Fiori and Giovanni Stanchi, and putti painted by C.Maratta. The paintings are by S.Rosa, G.Lanfranco, G.Reni, Guercino and others. The Roman sculpture includes Marcus Aurelius, Gladiator, Dancing faun.

The Room of the Desks derives its name from two valuable desks displayed here. The first, in ebony, has 28 ivory bas-relieves after drawings by C.Fontana; the second one, in sandalwood, is adorned with lapis lazuli, amethysts, and other semi-precious stones. The ceiling frescoes, by S.Ricci, are of the battle of Lepanto. Among the paintings in this room are the works by G.Dughet, Borgognone, P.Brill, and etc. There are also some bronze statues.

Room of the Apotheosis of Martin V takes its name from the subject of the ceiling painting by B.Luti. There are works by Guercino, F.Salviati, F.Albani, Spagna, A.Carracci, and etc.

The Throne Room is reserved, as in other princely houses, for the Pope; the chair is turned to the wall so that no one else can sit in it. There are some paintings here; a French clock, bronze statuettes and marble busts of Zeus and a woman.

Room of Maria Mancini preserves a big number of paintings.
Galleria (Gallery) Colonna, Rome
The decoration of the vaults (Episode of the life of Marcantonio the Second Colonna, Apotheosis of Marcantonio the Second Colonna, and Allegory of Marcantonio the Second Colonna at Lepanto) realized by the painters J.P. Schor, G. Coli, F. Gherardi, S.Ricci and G.B. Chiari, was completed in 1702. The colored marbles of the floor come from the Temple of Serapis on the Quirinal. The collection includes paintings by Bronzino (Venus, Cupid and Satyr, Madonna with drowsy Infant), J. Tintoretto (Narcisus at the spring), Guido Reni (St. Francis in prayer with two angels), Guercino (Martyrdom of St. Emerenziana, St. Paul the hermit, Moses with the Tables of the Law, Archangel Gabriel), Annibale Carracci (Eater of Beans), Salvator Rosa (St. John the Baptist in acave), Dughet (various Landscapes). The Gallery allows a view of the beautiful private gardens of the Palace.
Hall of the Fountain at Princess Isabelle Apartment in Palazzo Colonna
Princess Isabelle Apartment in Palazzo Colonna (Colonna Palace) is one of the grandest palaces of the world, where there is a gallery just as marvelous as the great halls of Versailles, the Colonna Princes conserve the apartment of Princess Isabelle exactly as it was when she was still alive. It is the Palace Where Princess Isabelle received Queen Elizabeth. On the wall you can still see the canopy with the family symbol.

There are a number of publications on the Colonna family, Palazzo Colonna and its Art Collections which you can find either at the book shop on Saturday morning in Galleria Colonna on Via della Pilotta 17, or at the offices of the Galleria Colonna.

Palazzo Colonna, Villa Colonna and Galleria (Gallery) Colonna
First Entrance:
Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 53-66
Zone: Rione Trevi (Quirinale-Tritone-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Second Entrance:
Via della Pilotta, 17
Zone: Rione Trevi (Quirinale-Tritone-Barberini) (Roma centro)
00187, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trevi (Quirinale-Tritone-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Palazzo Colonna, Villa Colonna and Galleria (Gallery) Colonna is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "103 & 108"
Telephone: 0039 06 6784350 - 06 69921022 - 06 6794362
Fax: 0039 06 6794638
Web site:

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