"Palazzo Giustiniani (Palazzo Madama, Italian Parliament/Senato Della Repubblica), Rome" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 29th April 2011
It was built on the area of the Baths of Alexander in the end of the 16th century by G.Fontana for the Giustiniani family. Construction was finished by Borromini (the main doorway). The palace housed a rich collection of ancient columns and marbles, which nearly disappeared now. It was here that the Constitution of the Republic of Italy was signed in 1947, and at present Palazzo Giustiniani (Palazzo Madama, Italian Parliament/Senato Della Repubblica) is a residence of the President of Senate and houses the Senate's offices.
The Giustinianis were great merchant aristocrats from Genova who invented the concept of a trading company comprised of shareholders. When they moved to Rome, they made this palace their family home. Having relocated to Rome, the Giustinianis settled in the palace, where they possessed an immense art collection, including more than 1800 ancient statues, some of the most important 17th century paintings and numerous paintings by Caravaggio.
The main façade has a huge door with columns and a balcony, to its sides are three and five big windows. On the first floor are architraved windows, on the second and third floor are simple framed windows. The same architectural scheme is in the other faces of the building, onto via dei Giustiniani and the salita de’ Crescenzi.
This building was built in the 16th century for Monsignor Francesco Vento and acquired by Giuseppe Giustiniani at the end of the century. It housed the Giustiniani family’s extensive and important art collection, that comprised – among others – works by Caravaggio, Raffaello, Giorgione, Tiziano and Andrea del Sarto, and other findings of ancient Rome. For this reason the building was the destination of many artists and scholars until the end of the 18th century and was described in many tourist guides of the period. After the dispersion of the collection between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, the building went to decay for a period. In 1898 it became the seat of the Massoneria del Grande Oriente d’Italia. In 1943 the Italian State bought the palace and after some restoration it became the seat of the President of the Senate. In the library, on December 27, 1947 the President of the Republic Enrico De Nicola signed the Constitution of the Italian Republic. The building was linked to Palazzo Madama, seat of the Senate, by means of an underground passage realized in 1938.
Since 1871, when the palace became the seat of the Italian Senate, much work has taken place on the building, including important alterations connected with its new functions. The facade onto Corso Rinascimento has a door supported by columns and surmounted by a balcony and a heavly decorated frame with a frieze of angels. Inside the palazzo are worth mentioning the Senate Chamber painted by Cesare Maccari (1880). Palazzo Madama has a valuable library, with more than 500 000 volumes.
"The new elective Senate is an unprecedented institution in the century-long history of our young Republic, for it comes into being not at the behest of a high authority of state but in response to the people's will to directly reflect the political feelings of the ation". 8 May 1948. Ivanoe Bonomi pronounced these words at the beginning of the new Parliament when he took office as President of the first republican Senate. The ceremony was all the more remarkable because it marked a historical coincidence with a similar event that had taken place exactly one hundred years earlier; the joint sitting (of Chamber and Senate) that had inaugurated the Parliament of Piedmont in Turin, in a building of the same name: Palazzo Madama.
The psychological history of a country is no less influential than the history of events and persons. In Italy's psychological history, the name "Palazzo Madama" itself has a special meaning, for a Palazzo Madama has housed the Senate in Turin, capital of Piedmont, and the Senate in Rome, capital city of unified Italy.
In the eyes of many, the histories of the two women who gave their names to the two buildings gradually merged into one, and many went as far as believing that the "Madams" of Turin and Rome were one and the same.
In fact, there were two Madamas, and each represented a different era and a very different historical context. Margaret of Austria - the Roman Madama - lived when the Renaissance was at its highest and the Medici family and their relations with the papacy and the empire at their strongest.
Christine of France - the Madama of Turin - represented a totally different historical period, about one hundred years later, when the Duchy of Savoy had very close ties with France. The two women have nothing more in common than the nickname of madama, and their being related to the Medici family. More details about the history of Palazzo Giustiniani (Palazzo Madama, Italian Parliament/Senato Della Repubblica)
Note: Palazzo Madama is open to the public on the first Saturday of every month for guided tours from 10am until 6pm. The entrance is at Piazza Madama 2. The visit is free and it is not necessary to book. Schools can ask for a guided tour. The request must be sent by post to the Servizio di Questura e Cerimoniale del Senato della Repubblica - Piazza dei Caprettari n. 79 - 00186 Roma - fax n. 06 67063513.
Palazzo Giustiniani (Palazzo Madama, Italian Parliament/Senato Della Repubblica)
Via della Dogana Vecchia, 29
Via Giustiniani, 11, Piazza Madama, Close by the Pantheon near Piazza di San Luigi de Francesi
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione S. Eustachio (Senato-Corso Rinascimento) (Roma centro)
Palazzo Giustiniani (Palazzo Madama, Italian Parliament/Senato Della Repubblica) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "41"
Tel: 0039 06 67061
You can reach Piazza Madama (Via Giustiniani) By the following Bus Station:
(Know before you go: Rome Bus stops, Bus Lines, Signs, Color, etc.)
Bus: 70 - 81 - 87 - 116 - 116T - 186 - 204 - 492 - 628
Closest Underground Metro stations near Piazza Madama (Via Giustiniani): (Get an idea of : Rome Underground METRO Lines System and Trains)
METRO A BARBERINI, Barberini (piazza), 10, 561 mt. away
METRO A SPAGNA, Della Trinita' Dei Monti (piazza), 3, 711 mt. away
METRO A REPUBBLICA, Della Repubblica (piazza), 55, 741 mt. away
METRO B COLOSSEO, Del Colosseo (piazza), 1, 770 mt. away
METRO B CAVOUR, Visconti Venosta (largo), 228, 778 mt. away
METRO B CIRCO MASSIMO, Del Circo Massimo (via), 1, 806 mt. away
METRO A OTTAVIANO, Barletta (via), 1, 857 mt. away
METRO A LEPANTO, Lepanto (via), 1, 871 mt. away
METRO A FLAMINIO, Piazzale Flaminio (Piazzale), 874 mt. away
METRO B TERMINI, dei cinquecento (piazza), 84, 875 mt. away
Closest Railway stations near Piazza Madama (Via Giustiniani):
STAZIONE FLAMINIO, Di Villa Ruffo (via), 1, 935 mt. away
STAZIONE TRASTEVERE, Flavio Biondo (piazza), 1, 959 mt. away
STAZIONE TERMINI, Dei Cinquecento (piazza), 1, 981 mt. away
ROMALIDO PORTA SAN PAOLO, piazzale ostiense, 1, 997 mt. away
STAZIONE SAN PIETRO, Della Stazione Di San Pietro (piazza), 1, 1.0 km away
Closest Tourist Information Points near Piazza Madama (Via Giustiniani):
Navona, Piazza delle Cinque Lune, 161 mt. away
Fontana di Trevi, Via Minghetti, 313 mt. away
Castel Sant'Angelo, Piazza Pia, 525 mt. away
Getting To Palazzo Giustiniani (Palazzo Madama, Italian Parliament/Senato Della Repubblica) at Piazza Madama (Via Giustiniani) From Church /Chiesa di San Luigi (Saint Louis) dei Francesi (Piazza di San Luigi de Francesi, Via Santa Giovanna d'Arco):
Departure from roma piazza di san luigi de' francesi , 1
walk 100 meters
to roma piazza madama , 1
distance covered (metres) 100 meters.