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Palazzo Farnese, Rome

3.9
#13 of 76 in Parks in Rome
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Palazzo Farnese Reviews
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180 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • A real pleasure to discover this magnificent palace in charge of history in the company of an erudite person. A little frustrated not being able to discover all the treasures of this Palace because it is the Embassy of France and we can all visit. Nevertheless, we are consoled admiring the sumptuous frescoes of the salons, gardens and common areas and in all cases, the virtual tour on the internet allows you to fill in the gaps. Booking is essential at least one month in advance.
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  • Charming visiting this splendid residence, opposite the Foreign Ministry beyond the Tiber. Must be booked in advance, and the reservation is fairly complicated: Besides, you enter the building of the French Embassy! But it's certainly worth an hour of exciting immersion in the world of Borgia/Bourbon. I highly recommend it.
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  • At the end of the 15th century, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1534 later became Pope under the name of Paul III) purchased the land between Campo de ' Fiori and the Tiber to build the home of your esteemed House. Author of the project was the Architect Antonio da Sangallo the younger. Work proceeded at slow, both for the designer's death, which came one after the other talented artists (Michelangelo Buonarroti, Jacopo Barozzi called Vignola and finally Giacomo della Porta) and the tragic events which shaped the city in those years: the sack of Rome (1527) and the devastating plague that followed. The Farnese family, who were one of the most wealthy aristocratic families of the peninsula, the company invested a considerable economic resources. The Palace was completed by the end of the century, along with the front square; the mole and the elegance of the sumptuous building amazed the Roman citizens, who called the building with the nickname "the nut Farnese" in reference to its massive form and squared. In the following centuries the estate became the property of the Bourbons of Naples, related to the French and Spanish monarchs homonyms. It was for a decade the residence of King Francis II of the two Sicilies (Francischiello) as they were dethroned by the enterprise of a thousand (1861). From 1874 the building housing the Embassy of France, although formally state-owned Italian today. On the main façade the Palace features the main entrance inscribed in a handsome rusticated and a harmonious balcony with balustrade above it, perhaps created from designs by Michelangelo. Decorate the façade also three rows of large Windows (twelve in the lower one, thirteen in the other two) separated by elegant string courses. The Windows in the lowest row are protected by large metal grilles. Those in the middle row (i.e the main floor, marked by the coats of arms of the client) are topped by small triangular and semicircular frontons, Alternatively, supported by graceful columns in Corinthian capital. The Windows in the highest row of triangular pediments, ionic columns each; observe the surfaces between these Windows: they present refined decoration in lozenge, obtained using a variety of bricks darker than those of the background. A robust and well marked cornice, which is also probably designed by Michelangelo, crowns the entire structure. The lateral façades of the building, on Via dei Farnese and Via del Mascherone, repeated a general outline of the main façade (with an extra window per level). The rear façade on Via Giulia, has three rows of eight Windows broken up by three arcades; the ground floor gives access to a beautiful garden. On this side the Palace should have been connected by some sort of bridge to Villa Chigi, another great and historic property bought by the Farnese family on the other side of the Tiber, but the ambitious project was never completed; It remains only a span on Via Giulia (known as the "Arco dei Farnesi"). The monumental inner courtyard, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture due to the great Michelangelo, has a square shape with three tiers of five large arches on each side, supported by buoyant columns with Doric capitals. Later the arcades were closed by Windows. Between the sumptuous interiors are by seeing the "Sala del Cardinale", the "Sala dei Fasti" and the "Sala di Ercole" (where it was once housed the famous Hellenistic statue of the namesake character, now kept in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples). Don't miss the frescoes of the Grand Gallery, the Bolognese brothers Annibale and Agostino Carracci. In the square in front of 600 Farnese Palace was adorned with two large tanks of granite from the baths of Caracalla. On this occasion the two artifacts were transformed into spectacular Baroque fountains, with the addition of ornaments of various types. The Palace is open to visitors as a group, and local help required.
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  • Very good location, clean! and pretty well managed. Staff was really kind and professional. Not a fancy place at all, the breakfast is below the average and the bar is always closed. I would suggest it if you don't have too many expectations and spend all day out as you will probably do in Rome.
  • I went as part of a group of 22 British and Americans. Those who applied with less than six weeks notice were refused a place. Six more were refused entry on the day without justification. So only half the party got in. Despite the fact a tour in English had been booked the tour was given in Italian and our guide was not allowed to translate or give his own information. Some of the building was defaced in the sixties by a Frenchman who insisted the of the walls be defaced with rag rolling. Are the French rude? YES. Don’t bother going here!
  • You must "apply" in advance fr the visit. Do it prior to your departure to come to Rome. As it is the Ambassade de France in Italia, they require passport information in order to do security controls before your visit. WOW, looks like a good old palace up to the time you enter the final room... full of artworks, from antic sculptures tu wall ans ceiling paintings... smaller than Chapelle Sixtine but unique of its kind and in a certain way more art-full-packed than teh Chapelle Sixtine. A MUST SEE in Rome. Take the time to prepare this visit in advance. It is NOT something you decide last minute
  • Book tours online, ahead of time. It is very easy to do. There are tours in a number of languages, including English. It is the French Embassy and there was quite a bit of security. Outside, our bags were searched and we were scanned with a handheld metal detector. Then our passports checked against what we gave when booking. Then we were permitted inside the building and one-by-one allowed into the next room where our bags were x-rayed and we went through another detector. Needless to say photos weren't permitted. That procedure was successfully completed and no one was shot by the French gendarmes. Our tour was about the history of the building, the architecture and to see the Carracci Gallery. The palace was built in 1513 by the Farnese family. Alessandro Farnese was Pope Paul III. Three nephews, all cardinals, completed construction of the building. Popes had a habit of promoting nephews to important roles in the church. The Italian word for 'nephew' is 'nipote' and that is where our English 'nepotism' comes from. Eventually the palazzo became the Embassy of France in Rome, capital of the new country of Italy. The Italian government owns the building. France has a 99 year lease for 1€ per annum, although France spent one million euros renovating it. The Hercules Hall is huge (as befits its name), being almost 20 metres high. There are two 17th century tapesties based on frescoes by Raphael in the Vatican. The highlight is definitely the Carracci Gallery, so-called as it was decorated by the Carracci brothers, Annibale and Agostino, between 1597 and 1608. The room is considered Annibale's masterpiece and the quality is said to compare with that of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. The walls were decorated by students of the Carracci's such as Domenichino. The hour went very quickly. Perhaps the only drawback was that the guide spoke a little quietly and quickly.
  • One of the most beautiful palace in Rome. It's the French embassy today then quiet complicated to visit. Do not miss the open day once a year!
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