Quirinal Palace

Palazzo del Quirinale

Quirinal Palace is located on the Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome from where one can observe a clear excellent view on Eternal city right to St Peter’s Basilica. The hill takes its name from the ancient god Quirinus which temple once stood on the hill. From the ancient times this place attracted famous people of the time: poet Martial lived here as well as Pomponius Atticus, Cicero’s friend. Along the perimeter of the Piazza del Quirinale there stand two magnificent administrative buildings: Palazzo della Consulta that houses the Constitutional Court and Quirinal Palace that is currently the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. Quirinal Palace was built at the end of the XVI century by Pope Gregory XIII as a papal summer residence. Architecture of the palace was designed by Domenico Fontana, while chapels were designed by Carlo Maderno. The interior was adorned with numerous frescos by Guido Reni and Melozzo da Forli. Some frescos in the Throne Hall were made by Eugenio Agneni. The palace had long served as the papal residence until in 1870 the royal family started residing there.

President’s office where he makes the New Year speech addressing Italian people and meets with the ministers and Senate representatives used to serve as popes’ summer bedroom. In the Hall of the Mirrors (White Hall) constitutional judges take an oath, it also houses hearings of the highly-important cases. Interior of the Hall of Mirrors is distinguished by numerous mirrors and white silk on the walls. This interior was created during the times of Napoleon occupation of Italy; Napoleon’s idea was to place the Throne Hall in this room. Every day palace attracts the audience for the change of duty of the guard of honour. It is strictly prohibited to take pictures inside the palace but it is strongly recommended to visit it!

Another attraction of this location is Fontana dei Dioscuri that stands right in the centre of Piazza del Quirinale. The original version of the fountain was commissioned in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. The statues of Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, were moved to the piazza from the Thermes de Constantin and added to the architectural composition of the fountain. At the end of 1780s Pope Pius VI ordered to rebuild the piazza, the fountain was moved to its current location and the obelisk was added to it. The obelisk of red Aswan granite was delivered from ancient Egypt in I AD by the order of the Emperor Domitian and originally stood at the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus. In 1818 Pope Pius VII ordered to make a new version of the fountain to Raffaele Stern, this particular version survived to our days. There are two stories regarding the personalities depicted in the statues of the twins: one story tells that it is Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) with his horse Bucephalus and his father Philip; others think that both sculptors were creating Alexander the Great. In the left corner of the piazza there are papal stables. On the piazza there is also the building that was constructed in 1732 where the ground and first floors house temporary exhibitions: we strongly recommend you to see the playbills! There is also a cafe in the mezzanine.

Address: Piazza del Quirinale
Opening hours: palace is opened for visits on Sun, Sep-June 8.30 am – 12 pm (unless there is an official reception); change of duty of the guard of honour Mon-Sat 15.15 pm, Sun 4 pm, in summer 6 pm
How to reach: metro Barberini
Coordinates: 41.899674, 12.487048