In Roma, the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospiglosi is one of the largest privately owned palaces. Started in 1613 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V, it was built on top of the Baths of Constantine, on the Quirnal Hill, which still exist beneath. In 1704, the powerful Pallavicini-Rospiglosi family moved in and now the family of Princess Elvina Pallavicini, directly descended from Margaret Pallavicini-Misciatelli, lives there.
The family history is interesting: Cardinal Lazzaro Pallavicini transplanted the family from Genoa in 1669. His descendent, Margaret, was born in 1868 and married the Marquis Mario Misciatelli. The connection with Piegaro you are wondering? Their son, the Marquis Geremia Misciatelli married, Cunegonde, the last descendent of the powerful Cocchi family of Piegaro who owned the famed glass factories in Piegaro and the 18th century Palazzo Cocchi, later known as the Palazzo Pallavicini.
For years the Palazzo, just inside the Porta Romana in Piegaro, was the country residence of the Pallavicini of Roma. The Princess Pallavicini, daughter of the Marquis Misciatelli took over the management of Piegaro’s glass factories and had a huge new furnace constructed in 1941 next to the Palazzo, the remains of which are now the Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum) in Piegaro. The Marchesa Maria Carolina Misciatelli would arrive in May to ride in the ox-drawn cart surrounded by young girls dressed in white to the May Pole and stay until the wine harvest in October. Because of her frequent stays with friends in town from Roma, Piegaro became known as the Piccolo Parigi d’Italia, the “Little Paris of Italy” with courtier designers, cobblers and hat makers in all the shops. The last Marchesa left Piegaro to live full time in Roma in 1959 and the beautiful Palazzo became apartments.
Now lovingly and elegantly restored as a luxury Residenza d’Epoca, Ca’ De Principi, today visitors can stay there with its frescoed ceilings and period furniture, living like Roman royalty.