"Palazzo Venezia (Venice Palace)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Tuesday 10th May 2011
Its construction was begun in 1455 by Venetian cardinal Pietro Barbo, future pope Paul II, and finished in 1467 by his nephew, cardinal Marco. Palazzo Venezia is the first example of Renaissance architecture in Rome.
The idea of cardinal to erect here his palace was determined by the fact that the new center of Rome and its life had a tendency to concentrate around Via Lata (Via del Corso), where the carnivals moved from Testaccio and horse races begun.
It became a papal residence, and was often occupied as such even after it had been given in 1564 by Pius IV to the Venetian Republic for its embassy. From the Treaty of Campoformido in 1797 it passed to the Austrian embassy. After Rome became a capital of Italy, Palazzo Venezia remained under Austria as its embassy to the Holy See until the WWI (1915). The Palazzo Venezia was designated as the seat of the museum when it was returned to the Italian State. In 1929-1943 the palace was a seat of the head of the government, B.Mussolini, and of the Great Council of Fascism. In that epoch the palace had been splendidly restored outside and inside.
Palazzo Venezia has a massive tower on the left, which was one of the medieval strongholds appeared during the wars of Roman barons. It was a property of the Annibaldi, around which grew a number of houses, that served as a base for the future palace. The architect was L.B.Alberti; the doorways on Piazza Venezia and Via del Plebescito are by G.Dalmata. The famous balcony overlooking Piazza Venezia, from where B.Mussolini pronounced some of his most famous speeches, was added in 1715 by a Venetian ambassador.
Inside, in the Sala Regia are the traces of the paintings by Bramante, and the Sala del Mappamondo is decorated with the classic perspective views by A.Mantegna. At the angle with the Via del Plebiscito is a Lion of St Mark, presented by Venetians in 1922 to celebrate the return of the palace to the Italian State. The inner court has some tall palm trees, a large 15th century loggia on two sides, and a fountain by Carlo Mondali (1730) in the middle.
At present Palazzo Venezia is a seat of Museo del Palazzo Venezia occupying several of the papal apartments and many rooms in the Palazzetto di Venezia. It is the museum of decorative arts with the various collections of tapestries (15th-17th centuries, German, Flemish, Italian), ivories, marbles, arms and armour, majolica, paintings (Sassoferrato, Vasari, C.Ferri, C.Maratta, F.Zuccari, T.Zuccari, Guercino, etc.) , silver (mostly German, English and American ware dating from the 17th to the late 19th centuries), ceramics (examples from all the main workshops of Italy: Faenza, Urbino, Deruta, Montelupo, Pesaro and etc.), sculptures (P.Bracci, F.Duquesnoy, A.Algardi, G.L.Bernini, Sansovino, E.Ferrata, F.Mochi, etc.), bronzes. Here is also a seat of very important Library of Institute of Archeology and History of Art, founded in 1922, with more than 350,000 volumes.
Today the Palazzo Venezia (Venice Palace) houses the museum with the same name. It is worth noting that the building incorporates the Basilica di S. Marco and in the corner between the Palazzo and the Palazzetto is one of the famous talking statues of Rome, “Madama Lucrezia”.
Palazzo Venezia (Venice Palace)
Via del Plebiscito, 118 (Piazza Venezia)
00186, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Pigna (Torre Argentina) (Roma centro)/ Rione Trevi (Quirinale-Tritone-Barberini) (Roma centro)
Palazzo Venezia (Venice Palace) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "129"
Hour: Opening times as for the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia. The ticket office closes half an hour before closing time.
Bus: 40 - 46 - 60 - 62 - 63 - 64 - 70 - 81 - 87 - 186 - 492 - 628 - 810
Telephone: 0039 06 69994319
Fax: 0039 06 69994221