All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to email@example.com. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page revised in August 2009.
Giardino Pontificio sul Quirinale (Book 10) (Map B3) (Day 3) (View B7) (Rione Trevi)
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The view is not so much of the gardens, but rather of the palace, seen from the gardens. The view is interesting for its representation of the Papal court as it shows the pope walking in the gardens and wearing a large straw hat while an attendant shades him with a parasol. This hat is called a saturno and its use, after a long period of neglect, has been revived by Pope Benedict XVI.
The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Casino built by Pope Benedict XIV; 2) Papal Apartments; 3) Buildings for housing the servants and the Swiss Guard (Manica Lunga). The small map shows also: 4) S. Maria Maddalena; 5) Palazzina del Segretario della Cifra.
The Palace is today the residence of the President of the Italian Republic and the gardens are not opened to the public. Corazzieri is a special regiment of Carabinieri, entrusted with the security of the President.
On June 2, 2000 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Republic between 1999 and 2006, opened the gardens to the public and in that occasion it was possible to take a view of the gardens and of the palace.
June 2 is Republic Day in Italy because it is the anniversary of the referendum held on June 2, 1946 by which the Italians chose republic as institutional form of government.
The design of the gardens has been modified by planting palms and pine trees, but it is still possible to identify most of the elements of Vasi's plate.
The little casino designed in 1741 by Ferdinando Fuga for Pope Benedict XIV has not been modified; it is now called "the Coffee House".
In the morning President Ciampi reviewed a selection of the Italian armed forces; and in the afternoon the crowds in the garden were entertained by various bands. To see the 2005 parade click here.
The special opening of the gardens has occurred every year since 2000, although the celebrations have now (2009) a more subdued tone, because of budget cuts and lesser emphasis on all references to Italian unity.
The long building (a barracks for the Swiss Guard) described by Vasi is called Manica Lunga (Long Sleeve) and as Vasi says it was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini during the pontificate of Pope Alexander VII. In 1730-32 it was completed by Ferdinando Fuga, who designed at its end a small palace for Segretario della Cifra, the assistant to the pope in charge of ciphering his secret letters. The palace is now the private apartment of the President of the Republic. The long corridor of Manica Lunga is embellished with Vasi's plates.
Several monasteries stood opposite Manica Lunga. When in 1871 Palazzo del Quirinale
became the residence of the excommunicated King of Italy, the presence
of these monasteries became an embarrassment and they were pulled
down including the monastery of S. Maria Maddalena,
which was located very near Piazza del Quirinale (where now there is a
public garden). The photo shows Via Pia (today known as Via XX Settembre),
which leads to Porta Pia.
The Italian flag is il Tricolore, the tricolour and it derives from the flag of the French Republic, with green replacing blue. On public buildings and since 1998 the Italian flag is accompanied by that of the European Union (twelve gold stars on a blue background).
A special flag indicates the presence of the President of the Republic in Palazzo del Quirinale: it is based on an early design of the Italian flag; it is surrounded by a blue band which indicates the Italian Army (the President is its Chief) and it has at its centre the coat of arms of the Italian Republic. This special flag was introduced in 2000; before that date the "flag of the President" was blue.
The clock of Loggia del Quirinale used to indicate the Italian hour (more on this topic).
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page: