"Palazzo Senatorio" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 26th June 2011
Palazzo Senatorio (Town Council) is the central palace in Piazza del Campidogio. Its name derives from the fact that it was a seat of Roman Senate till 1870, when became the official seat of Comune di Roma and the Mayor of Rome. On the remains of the ancient Tabularium in the 11th century was built a fortress by the Corsi, and the Senate was probably installed here in 1143. The medieval castle with four towers was renewed in the 13th-14th centuries, and redesigned by Michelangelo in the 16th century. The present aspect of the palace is a modification of Michelanelo's design by G.Della Porta in 1582-1606.
In front of the double stair-case, with converging flights, is a fountain with two colossal statues (2nd century A.D.) of the Tiber (right) and Nile (left) coming from the Baths of Constantine in Quirinal Hill; in the recess is a porphyry statue of Minerva, Dea Roma (Goddess of Rome). The palace is crowned by a bell-tower, projected by M.Longhi in 1578-1582, with a clock, a statue of Minerva, and a gilded cross; two bells (1803-1804) replace the famous major bell called Patarina, which has been installed in 1200 to summon the people to "Parlamento". In 1827-1935 this bell-tower housed an Astronomic Observatory, which now is located on Monte Mario.
Council Chamber (with a statue of Julius Caesar), Sala delle Bandiere (Hall of the Flags), Sala della Protomoteca (with large collection of busts of famous people picked by Pius VII), Great Hall.
Tabularium (pictured below), or depository of the State archives, its great blocks of porous tufa built into the unhewn rock dominate the view of the hill from the Forum, erected in 78 b.C..
Michelangelo also designed a monumental double-flighted staircase for the Palazzo Senatorio, in addition to dividing up the façade with gigantic pilaster strips, large windows and tympanums and a crowning balustrade featuring statues. The work was completed after his death by Giacomo della Porta, who made some alterations to Michelangelo's plan. The bell-tower was also the result of an alteration to the original plan, this time by Martino Longhi the Elder.
Originally it was a building with at least two floors and eight arches facing the Forum. Still existing staircase connected it with the level of Forum. The vast hall on the first floor in the Middle Ages was used as a store of sole and a prison.
The entrance to Palazzo Senatorio (Town Council) is in Piazza del Campidoglio at the corner with via S.Pietro in Carcere. The tour includes the Studio and the blue salon of the Mayor with a view on the Forum, the Hall of the Tapestries, the Hall of the Banners, the Julius Caesar hall, seat of the city council, and the Collection of busts. From here, through the portico by Vignola, you enter the Picture Gallery and the Roman Garden with the Exedra of Marcus Aurelius. Handicapped visitors can use the lift of the Tabularium (entrance in via di San Pietro in Carcere) to reach the first floor of the Palazzo Senatorio, and they will follow the other visitors. No booking is needed.
Palazzo Senatorio (Town Council)
Piazza del Campidoglio, 1 (Via del Tempio di Giove)
00186 , Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Campitelli (Foro Romano- Campidoglio-P.Venezia) (Roma centro)
Palazzo Senatorio (Town Council) is Shown By "Map K Zone" As "2"
Hours: Guided tours: from 10 Dec 2006 to 2 Dec 2007 every first Sunday of the month 9am-1pm. Entrance for groups of max 30 people every 10/15 minutes.
Telephone: 0039 06 69941531/2/3/4 - 67103898/9
Fax: 0039 06 67103590