The magnificent Palaces of the Republic that were once the residences
of Popes and kings:
Palazzo del Quirinale – This has been the President of the
Republic’s residence since 1948. In the past it was used as
the summer residence for Popes who had the Cappella Paolina and
the Cappella dell'Annunziata chapels built inside it. In 1871, it
became the residence of the Savoia dynasty and it was completely
renovated. The East wing of the Palace was called the Sabauda Wing.
The palace’s wonderful outdoor gardens that lie on four hectares
of land are full of tree-lined avenues, fountains and rare plants.
Palazzo Montecitorio - Around 1600, Pope Innocent X commissioned
the project for this palace by Bernini. It then became the courts
of Rome and since 1870 it has been the Lower House of Parliament.
Inside the building there are several antique and modern works of
Palazzo Chigi – This palace was bought by the Chigi family,
an aristocratic, Roman family, in 1659, and it was furnished with
their private collection of furniture and works of art that can
still be seen in its rooms. At the beginning of the 20th century
the palace was sold to the Italian State and it has been the seat
of the Council of Ministers since 1961.
Palazzo Madama – This palace dates back to the 15th century.
It was turned into a luxurious residence by Pope Leo X, who belonged
to the powerful De Medici family. The palace still contains a huge
library and several works of art. It became the House of the Italian
Senate in 1871.
The wonderful Villas and luxuriant gardens in Rome, magical places
for romantic walks:
Villa Borghese – This is the largest public park and the favorite
of the Roman people. This park covers eighty hectares and contains
buildings, sculptures, fountains and one of the most interesting
collections of all, the one inside Galleria Borghese, which was
recently reopened to the public. Villa Borghese was built around
1600 following the wishes of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who bought
the land surrounding the first central part, which already belonged
to the Borghese family. At the end of the 18th century, the park
was enriched even further by the building of the “Giardino
del Lago”: a small island with luxuriant vegetation on which
a temple was built.
Villa Pamphilj – Due to its position and the particularly
favorable climate in this area, this park was named "Villa
Belrespiro". This wonderful villa was first built in 1644 on
a huge piece of land just outside the center of Rome. Now those
beautiful gardens, full of animated fountains are just a memory:
around 1800 a large part of the park was transformed into an English-style
garden. Today you can walk along the long pine tree-lined avenues,
and can see the wonderful woodland.
Pincio – This garden stretches out above Piazza del Popolo:
from Piazzale Napoleone one has a wonderful panoramic view of the
city. The Pincio gardens already existed in ancient Rome, but were
redesigned in the 19th century into their current form: wide avenues
lined with pine and oak trees and several marble busts of famous
personalities from Roman history. The Egyptian obelisk, the old
water clock and the Casina Valadier, a famous old restaurant that
has recently been restored and where it is possible to taste refined
Italian cuisine, are all interesting sites to see.
Gianicolo - Passeggiata del Gianicolo is very romantic and charming
and a perfect place from where to admire Rome from above: in fact,
the Gianicolo hill is 88 meters high. The walk begins at the Fontana
dell'Acqua Paola and goes right across the Gianicolo as far as Piazza
Garibaldi. From here it is possible to see the entire city and every
day at noon a cannon fires a blank shot that echoes all over the
city. Villa Farnesina, full of frescoes by Raffaello is another
site to see.