Renaissance palace open from 07.00-13.00 on 16 March.
The interior of Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, a Renaissance palace fronting onto Rome’s Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, opens to the public each year on 16 March, for one day only, from 07.00-13.00.
The one-day opening relates to the death, on 16 March 1583, of the 14-year-old Paolo Massimo, who was brought back to life briefly by S. Filippo Neri in the chapel which was created inside the boy’s bedroom.
Built for the old Roman Massimo family in 1532-1536, and designed by celebrated architect and painter Baldassarre Peruzzi, the building is founded on the remains of three adjoining palaces ruined during the Sack of Rome in 1527.
The exterior of the palace is characterised by its curved façade with six Doric columns incorporating the foundations of the stadium, or odeon, of Emperor Domitian. The palace’s interior contains elaborately-decorated ceilings, featuring coffering and frescoes by artists such as Daniele da Volterra.
The façade, which had been blackened by traffic along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, was restored in 2002. It was saved from the post 1870 demolition to widen the street, then called the Strada Papale, during the building boom that followed the unification of Italy but was then right on the edge of the new thoroughfare. Today the best view of the palazzo is on the Campo de’ Fiori side of the pedestrian crossing to Palazzo Braschi and Piazza Navona.
The Massimo family still resides in the palace to this day.
For details see city website.