The Doria-Pamphilj apartments in themselves are a delight to see with their ornate 17th century tables, different colored rooms like the one covered in hand-cut red velvet, a hall of mirrors, a private chapel with the relic bodies of two early saints, and a one-of-a-kind harp made of ebony and ivory in the princess’ debutante ballroom.
After your coffee break with toast at the nearby Doria caffè, step over to Galleria Colonna to see similar marvels. There, over walls hung with beautiful mannerist paintings (“in the manner of” Renaissance art,) a frescoed vault features the famous battle of Lepanto. During this battle fought in the 1570s, Prince Mark Antonio Colonna, appointed Admiral of the Papal State, helped the Doge (leader) of the Republic of Venice defeat the Turks threatening to overtake Europe. In the sumptuous main gallery with its array of restored classical statues—even a rare one in bronze—a huge ebony and ivory chest features a miniature reproduction of the Sistine chapel’s ceiling and may even outdo the aforementioned harp, at least in monetary value. On account of its precious material this chest alone was worth more than a Renaissance palace in its own time.
Make an appointment also to see what were once the private apartments of this illustrious family.