Chigi Palace in Rome

Friday, 7 October 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Chigi Palace and column of Marcus Aurelius © flickr.com - jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0

Chigi Palace and column of Marcus Aurelius © flickr.com – jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0

The Chigi Palace (Italian: Palazzo Chigi) is a palace and former noble residence in Rome which is the seat of the Council of Ministers and the official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy. Since 13 February 2021, the tenant of the Chigi Palace has been Prime Minister Mario Draghi. It is located in the Piazza Colonna, next to Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Chamber of Deputies.

The architectural history of Chigi Palace spans more than three centuries during which several projects and continuous adaptations to the ever-changing needs of the Palace have followed. The Palace, overlooking the Piazza Colonna and the Via del Corso, was begun in 1562 by Giacomo della Porta. On 28 January 1578, the consistorial lawyer Pietro Aldobrandini, brother of the future Pope Clement VIII, purchased a house on Via del Corso. The architect Matteo Bartolini from Città di Castello was entrusted with the project. Aldobrandini already owned a property along the road that borders the so-called “Colonna island”, connecting via del Corso with Montecitorio, he intended to unite the two properties. At the death of Pietro Aldobrandini, his son sold the properties to Paolo Fossano, who continued the work on the side of Via del Corso. In 1616, cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, nephew of Clement VIII, repurchased the family home, resuming construction and incorporating various houses adjacent to the wing facing the future square. In 1659 it was purchased by the House of Chigi, a rich family of bankers from Siena. It was then remodelled by Felice della Greca and Giovanni Battista Contini. It has five floors, a broad stairway that leads to the living rooms, and a courtyard decorated with a fountain, designed by Giacomo della Porta. The fountain has been copied in many sites in Rome and other Italian cities. After a couple of centuries in which the building has served mainly as the home of important families of Papal Rome, starting from the end of the 1700s, the building was used as the seat of Spanish embassy in Rome. On 20 April 1770, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave a concert there in the presence of Charles Edward Stuart In 1878 it became the residence of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Italy. During this period the Palace was nicknamed the “Austrian-Vatican mole“. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Palace was hit by frequent irredentist demonstrations, asking for the independence of Trento and Trieste.

Piazza Colonna with Palazzo Ferrajoli on the left, column of Marcus Aurelius in the center, Chigi Palace on the right and Palazzo Wedekind in the background © flickr.com - jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0 Chigi Palace and column of Marcus Aurelius © flickr.com - jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0 Chigi Palace © G.dallorto Chigi Palace © G.dallorto The meeting room of the Council of Ministers © Governo Italiano - Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri/cc-by-4.0 Fontana di Piazza Colonna and Chigi Palace © flickr.com - Simone Ramella/cc-by-2.0
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Piazza Colonna with Palazzo Ferrajoli on the left, column of Marcus Aurelius in the center, Chigi Palace on the right and Palazzo Wedekind in the background © flickr.com - jimmyweee/cc-by-2.0
In 1916 it was bought by the Kingdom of Italy and became the seat of the Minister for Colonial Affairs, the ministry responsible for the government of the country’s colonial possessions and the direction of their economies. In 1922, at the beginning of Benito Mussolini‘s rule, Palazzo Chigi became the official residence of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1961, it became the official meeting place of the Council of Ministers and the residence of its President, who is the head of the Italian government. At the end of the 20th century, the building underwent a restoration, completed on 7 November 1999. The intervention involved not only the facades, but also the rooms of the Prime Minister’s office, which Prime Minister Giuliano Amato had transferred to another hall of the palace, and that for the occasion it was re-established in its original location.

The Library Hall was commissioned by Agostino Chigi at the end of the 17th century to house the enormous library of cardinal Flavio Chigi. The project was realized by Giovanni Battista Contini. The Chigi library or Chigiana contained thousands of valuable manuscripts, in large part based on the personal library of Pope Alexander VII, a member of the Chigi family. From the time of Pope Benedict XV, the Vatican attempted to acquire this library, but lacked the necessary funds. Eventually, Pietro Tacchi Venturi was tasked by Pope Pius XI to negotiate the purchase with the newly formed fascist government of Benito Mussolini. Venturi managed to convince Mussolini to donate the library to the Vatican free of charge.

Read more on governo.it – Chigi Palace, TurismoRoma.it – Chigi Palace and Wikipedia Chigi Palace (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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