ItalianNotebook – Italy Travel Blog

From Palace to Palace (part I)


In the heart of the historical center near piazza Venezia, two luxurious palaces await your visit. One is Galleria Colonna on Via della Pilotta  and the other, Galleria Doria Pamphilj on via del Corso. Why visit them together?

Apart from their physical proximity, a tour to both will give you an excellent idea of the wealth and power certain Roman families waged when their star was in the ascendant, so to speak. You will also learn the true meaning of “nepotism”—the word was born when Giovanni Battista of the Doria family brought his family to prominence by becoming Pope Innocence X. Subsequently this Pope and King assigned his nipote (nephew), Prince Camillo, to the position of Cardinale Nipote, or Secretary of State.

A scandal at the time, the prince declined the offer in order to marry Olimpia Aldobrandini, the very wealthy widow of Paolo Borghese—another important family name in Italian history.

Happily, the current Genoese-English branch of the Doria Pamphilj family has opened the doors of their home to the public, even dictating a free tour on the helpful art-phones. It is possible to see an enchanting gallery of paintings from different eras, artists the likes of Tiziano to Filippo Lippi to Caravaggio to Velázquez.


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