Longer opening hours for Italy's Quirinal palace

President's official residence to open daily except Monday and Thursday.

Italian president Sergio Mattarella has announced that the presidential Quirinal palace will have much longer visiting hours from 23 June onwards. Instead of only on Sunday mornings the historic 16th-century palace will open every day except Monday and Thursday from 09.30-16.00. The scope of the guided tours will also be extended significantly.

Mattarella made the announcement during the Festa della Repubblica celebrations on 2 June, when the gardens of the president's official residence are traditionally opened to the public each year. Since his election on 30 January, it has been Mattarella's express wish to grant the public greater access to the former papal palace.

There will be a choice of two guided tours, both of which must be booked in advance: the first is free (apart from the €1.50 booking fee), lasts an hour and 20 minutes, and is dedicated to the reception rooms and principal features of the piano nobile or main floor. This includes the Hall of Mirrors, the Ballroom, and the Hall of Tapestries, as well as formerly off-limit rooms devoted to the palace's former residents: popes, kings and presidents.

The second itinerary is longer – two and half hours – and costs €10. This tour also includes the piano nobile but with the addition of the palace's vasella porcelain collection, its gardens, and the museum of carriages. The second tour is free for children under 18, school children and their teachers, as well as university students of arts, archaeology and history. It is also free for disabled visitors and their carers, while for there is a reduced rate of €5 for visitors aged between 18 and 25, and those over 65.

ll-Quirinale

Over the centuries the 1,200-room palace has been home to 30 popes, four kings of Italy and, since the 1940s, 12 presidents of the Italian republic.

Situated on the summit of Rome’s Quirinal hill, the building is a third again the size of London’s Buckingham Palace and 20 times the size of Washington’s White House.

The palace's annual running costs amount to almost €230 million, and it employs a workforce of 1,720.

For tickets see Coop Culture website while for more information about the Quirinale palace see its website.