Palazzo Colonna

If you are in Rome on a Saturday, wake up early and head out, because Palazzo Colonna is only open on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. It’s a pleasant walk from the apartment, and is it worth the walk — indeed, the place is guaranteed to make you gasp.

The unbelievably lavish palazzo has been home to the noble Colonna family for eight centuries.  You’ll see their family crest — a standing column —  throughout the palazzo and, indeed, throughout Rome (the Spanish Steps Apartment is located in the Colonna Rione, or ward, so you’ll definitely see it in our neighborhood).

Colonna family crest
Colonna family crest

The older part of the palace was once home to the 15th Century Colonna pope, Martin V. The Baroque palace you see today dates back to the 1700’s, when the monumental gallery  was built to house the family’s amazing art collection.

Palazzo Colonna -- art everywhere
Palazzo Colonna — art everywhere

 

Palazzo Colonna
Palazzo Colonna

 

Annibale Carracci, the Bean Eater
Annibale Carracci, the Bean Eater

 

Bronzino, Venus, Cupid and a Stayr
Bronzino, Venus, Cupid and a Satyr

 

Francesco Albani, the Rape of Europa
Francesco Albani, the Rape of Europa

The older wing of the complex, once housing Martin V’s library and palace, is now known as Princess Isabelle’s apartments, and contains beautiful frescoes and inlaid floors.  If you ever wanted to see what the good life looks like, this is it.  Actually, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

Private apartments of Palazzo Colonna
Private apartments of Palazzo Colonna

 

More grandeur
More grandeur
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