"Palazzo del Parlamento (Palazzo di Montecitorio), Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 11th January 2012
It was built by E.Basile in 1908-1918 as a seat of Camera dei Deputati (Chamber of Deputies), adjoining to the Palazzo di Montecitorio. The Chamber is panelled in oak and brightly illuminated from above by a row of windows pierced in the cornice. Below the cornice is frieze by G.A.Sartorio (1908), representing the development of Italian civilization. The fine bas-relief in bronze in honour of the House of Savoy is by D.Calandra. The whole of construction overloaded by decorative elements is an example of liberty style, as well as the monument to Victor Emmanuel II on Piazza Venezia.
In front of the palace is formless Piazza del Parlamento appeared in 1907 as a result of destruction of numerous constructions, caused by construction of Parliament's Chamber.
The present seat of the Chamber of Deputies stands on an area occupied by the 15th century Palazzo Gaddi. The building was entrusted in 1653 to Gianlorenzo Bernini by Innocent X Pamphilij, who wanted to give it to the Ludovisi family. In 1694 Innocet XII Pignatelli decided to convert it into the seat of the State Law Courts and entrusted the works to Carlo Fontana. In 1871 the palace became the seat of the Chamber of Deputies but, being insufficient for its new functions, it was enlarged according to the project by Ernesto Basile who, between 1908 and 1927, added the new body containing the present Parliament hall and realized the facade onto Piazza del Parlamento.
The debating chamber is characterized by numerous decorations in the Art Nouveau style: the impressive canopy of coloured glass (the work of Giovanni Beltrami), the pictorial frieze entitled "The Italian People" (by Giulio Aristide Sartorio) which surrounds the chamber, the bronze figures flanking the presidential and government benches, and the panels depicting "The Glory of the Savoy dynasty" by Davide Calandra.
It is not known with the certainty the origins of the word "Montecitorio". One of the versions suppose that it could be Monte Acceptorio, that is a mountain formed by accept of soil brought here for the creation of a hill, which could be used for erection of the monuments.
The arrangement of the square was executed according to a plan of F.Fuga by order of Clement XII in the 1st half of the 18th century, but the works were finished only under Pius VI, in the end of the 18th century.
In the middle of the square is an Obelisk, dedicated to Psammetichus II and dating from the 6th century b.C. It was brought from Heliopolis to Rome by Augustus to celebrate his victory over Cleopatra, and set up in the Campus Martius, where it served as the gnomon of an immense sundial. Under Sixtus V it was discovered and excavations continued till Pius VI ordered its transfer to Piazza di Montecitorio in 1792. It was restored and enforced by the pieces from the unfortunate column of Antoninus. The obelisk is 22m high, but with the basement reaches 29m height. On the top is a globe and some heraldic symbols of pope.
Its construction was begun by Innocent X for his relatives the Ludovisi. The general project was by G.L.Bernini, who started work in 1650 on the site of the old houses and a Chiesetta di S.Biagio de Monte o de Hortis. The construction was finished by C.Fontana in 1694, under Innocent XII, who destined the palace for the seat of Civic and Criminal Tribunals and State Treasury with the name Curia Innocenziana. Immediately Palazzo di Montecitorio obtained a great importance in Rome; its bell (1695) gave the sign for the beginning of the lessons in the schools and opening of the offices in the 19th century.
On its balcony the drawing of lottery numbers took place for a certain period of time.
In 1870, the palace was chosen for the seat of the Chamber of Deputies. Its form permitted creation of the Chamber itself in 1871. In 1900 was built a new temporary hall of the Chamber, and in 1908-18 the new Palazzo del Parlamento, adjoining Palazzo di Montecitorio from the back and containing a specially built Parliamentary Chamber, was erected. The large facade of the palace is by G.L.Bernini and C.Fontana. In its center is a balcony surmounting three entrances. Above the facade is a little bell-tower with three bells.
The main facade onto Piazza di Montecitorio still preserves Bernini's extremely convex lines (the central body and the side wings are slightly projected). Rich in scenographic motivs, it has naturalistic decorations typical of the Baroque architecture like the rustic ashlars in the corner of the wings and in the windows on the ground floor.
Inside of the Palazzo di Montecitorio is a solemn stair case; a Hall of She-wolf with a big reproduction of bronze statue of Lupa Capitolina (the hall is also famous for proclamation here in 1946 of Italian Republic).
Fontana added the triple entrance, the gabled bell tower and the semicircular arcades in the courtyard. In tune with the liberty style popular at the time, Basile built a new section at the back of the 17th century palazzo, with an entrance on Piazza del Parlamento. In the palazzo's interior, feature worthy of note is the famous "translatlantic" corridor next to the assembly hall (decorated by Sartorio and Calandra).
The palace is decorated with the paintings from various regions of Italy, executed by such masters as L.Giordano, G.Recco, Guercino, school of G.Reni. There is also an interesting archeological collection mostly from the Necropolis of Vulci; and a collection of modern art.
Usually, Palazzo di Montecitorio can be visited for free the first Sunday of the month, with the exception of August and first week of September. Schools, groups and cultural associations visit the Palazzo from Monday to Friday, upon reservation. The request must be addressed to the Consigliere Capo per la Sicurezza della Camera dei Deputati, via della Missione 10 - 00186 Roma (tel. +39 0667603875; fax +39 0667609950). Public relations office (URP): tel. +39 67604150 / 67603097.
Palazzo del Parlamento (Palazzo di Montecitorio)/ Camera dei Deputati
Piazza del Parlamento,
Piazza di Monte Citorio, 33
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Colonna (Pantheon-Montecitorio-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Palazzo del Parlamento (Palazzo di Montecitorio) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "30 & 35"
Hours: Free visits: usually the first Sunday of the month (except August and the first Sunday of September)
Telephone: 0039 06 67601 - 06 67603875
Website: http://legxiv.camera.it/ and http://www.governo.it/Presidenza/storia_chigi/index.html
You can reach Piazza del Parlamento By the following Bus Station:
(Know before you go: Rome Bus stops, Bus Lines, Signs, Color, etc.)
116 (temporary), l.go fiorentini
116T (temporary), l.go fiorentini
Closest Underground Metro stations near Piazza del Parlamento: (Get an idea of : Rome Underground METRO Lines System and Trains)
METRO A BARBERINI, Barberini (piazza), 10, 410 mt. away
METRO A SPAGNA, Della Trinita' Dei Monti (piazza), 3, 445 mt. away
METRO A REPUBBLICA, Della Repubblica (piazza), 55, 637 mt. away
METRO A LEPANTO, Lepanto (via), 1, 682 mt. away
METRO A FLAMINIO, Piazzale Flaminio (Piazzale), 684 mt. away
METRO B COLOSSEO, Del Colosseo (piazza), 1, 721 mt. away
METRO B CAVOUR, Visconti Venosta (largo), 228, 728 mt. away
Closest Railway stations near Piazza del Parlamento:
STAZIONE FLAMINIO, Di Villa Ruffo (via), 1, 777 mt. away
STAZIONE TERMINI, Dei Cinquecento (piazza), 1, 861 mt. away
STAZIONE SAN PIETRO, Della Stazione Di San Pietro (piazza), 1, 1.1 km away
ROMAPANTANO TERMINI LAZIALI, Giovanni Giolitti (via), 64, 1.1 km away
Closest Tourist Information Points near Piazza del Parlamento:
Navona, Piazza delle Cinque Lune, 205 mt. away
Fontana di Trevi, Via Minghetti, 218 mt. away
Castel Sant'Angelo, Piazza Pia, 518 mt. away
Visitor Center Fori Imperiali, Via dei Fori Imperiali, 597 mt. away
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Nazionale 194, 618 mt. away
Trastevere, Piazza Sonnino, 633 mt. away
Getting To Palazzo del Parlamento / Palazzo di Montecitorio (Piazza del Parlamento) From Chiesa San Lorenzo in Lucina (Via In Lucina) :
Departure from roma via in lucina , 1
walk 100 meters
to roma piazza del parlamento , 1
distance covered (metres) 100 meters.