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All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to romapip@quipo.it. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page revised in November 2009.

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Palazzo Panfilio (Book 4) (Map B3) (Day 1) (View C7) (Rione Pigna)

In this page:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
Today's view
Palazzo Pamphilj

The Plate (No. 66)

Palazzo Panfilio

Palazzo Panfilio or Doria Pamphilj has three fašades: in this plate we see the 1660 fašade designed by Antonio del Grande in Piazza del Collegio Romano. For the other two fašades see Plate 39 and Plate 44.
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) Collegio Romano; 2) Palazzo De Carolis; 3) S. Maria in Via Lata; 4) Monastero di S. Marta. 1), 2), 3), and 4) are shown in other pages. The small map shows also 5) Palazzo Pamphilj.

Small ViewSmall Map


The view today
The view in June 2009

Palazzo Pamphilj and Collegio Romano (built by Pope Gregory XIII in 1583 and owned by the Jesuits) still face each other, but while the palace is still a property of the Doria Pamphilj, Collegio Romano today belongs to the Italian State and it houses a high school (Liceo Ennio Quirino Visconti). Unfortunately the square is one of the very few in the centre of Rome where parking is still allowed; Palazzo Pamphilj is in bad need of being repainted.

Palazzo Pamphilj

Palazzo Panfili
(left) Decoration of the central part of the fašade behind which is located the palace's main hall (Salone Aldobrandini); (right) 1779 sacred image at the corner with Via della Gatta leading to Palazzo della Gatta or Grazioli

The Pamphilj acquired the ownership of a block of houses in Rione Pigna in 1647 when Olimpia Aldobrandini married Camillo Pamphilj, nephew of Pope Innocent X. At that time a palace belonging to the Salviati family stood between Collegio Romano and the Pamphilj property; it occupied most of the current square. The Jesuits bought that palace with the sole objective of pulling it down which they did in 1659; they then sold part of the land to Camillo Pamphilj who commissioned Antonio del Grande a redesign of the buildings and the construction of new fašade. The palace, together with the section along Via del Corso, houses Galleria Doria Pamphilj.

Doves on the windows and on the loggia (where they were added to the stars and stripes of the Aldobrandini)

Reference to the Pamphilj's heraldic symbol, a dove, is everywhere (in the loggia there is also a reference to the Aldobrandini family as stars and stripes were their heraldic symbols). In 1671 Anna, daughter of Camillo Pamphilj married Giovanni Andrea III Doria Landi who added Pamphilj to his surname; although the family is usually called Doria Pamphilj, the exact surname is Doria Pamphilj Landi. The Doria were a Genoese noble family; Andrea Doria was the admiral of the Spanish fleet at the time of Emperor Charles V; their heraldic symbol was a double-headed eagle, but they preferred not to add eagles to the decoration of the palace for fear of scaring the doves.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:

Palazzo Panfili
Con magnifica architettura del Barromini fu eretta questa parte del palazzo Panfili, e se collo stesso disegno fosse stata seguitata l'altra parte, che corrisponde sulla piazza di Venezia e quella sulla strada del Corso, sarebbe una delle pi¨ superbe e grandi fabbriche di Roma. Sono per˛ in questo molti quadri celebri e rari, e perchŔ mi riuscirebbe assai malagevole il solo accennarli in questo breve ragguaglio, rimetto il Lettore alla diligente narrativa del custode, che con tutta gentilezza ha piacere di mostrarli.

Next plate in Book 4: Palazzo Colonna di Sciarra
Next step in Day 1 itinerary: Accademia di Francia
Next step in tour of Rione Pigna: Palazzo Marescotti