Over the centuries Rome's Farnese Palace has hosted kings and popes.
Palazzo Farnese, a Renaissance jewel in central Rome as well as home to the French embassy to Italy, can be visited by the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The 45-minute tours, which must be booked at least a week in advance, are led by professional guides and are conducted in French, Italian or English. The Wednesday tour, at 17.00, is held in English.
There is also an option for group tours for up to 25 people but for security reasons strict rules apply and tours must be requested at least three months in advance.
The tours offer the chance to discover Sangallo’s atrium, the courtyard, the garden and the Hercules Room with its tapestries inspired by Raffaello’s frescoes.
A higlight of the tour is the Carracci Gallery, the 17th-century Baroque masterpiece whose restoration in 2014-2015 uncovered hidden drawings, dates and signatures.
The gallery contains frescoes and stucco of mythological scenes completed primarily by the Bolognese maestro Annibale Carracci between 1597 and 1607. Carracci was assisted in this task by his brother Agostino and several of their protégés such as Domenichino and Giovanni Lanfranco.
Palazzo Farnese has played an important role in Rome’s history, politics and art, and over the centuries it has hosted countless diplomats, kings, artists, popes and cardinals. Construction of the palace began in 1517 after a design by architect Antonio da Sangallo the younger.
On the death of Sangallo in 1546, Michelangelo took over the project, modifying Sangallo’s designs. When Michelangelo died in 1564 Giacomo della Porta oversaw work on the building until its completion in 1589.
For full visiting details for the palace, located near Campo de' Fiori, see Inventer Rome website.
Cover photo French embassy to Italy / Mauro Cohen.