The Grand Palaces of Rome

must see palaces in rome

The best of Rome’s palazzi and their artistic masterpieces

Political headquarters, embassies, papal residences, Rome’s grand palazzi have a long, colorful history filled with priceless works of art. We’ve organized a list of the top must- see palazzi in the city, and why they are worth visiting.

Palazzo Spada

must see palaces in rome palazzo spada
Photo by: Antohty Maganlahti

Though positioned outside the entrance, the gallery is arguably the Palazzo’s star exhibit. Working on mathematical calculations by Augustinian friar Giovanni da Bitonto, Borromini’s equivalent of Bernini’s Scala Regia teases the eye of the beholder: That 37 meter tapering colonnade measures in reality a mere 8.8 metres; Mars’ giant statue at the end is little higher than a figurine. Read More.

Piazza Capo di ferro, 13
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-7:30pm; Entry: €5, €2.50 (reduced), free first Sunday of the month


Palazzo Madama

palazzo madama

Although it is the seat of the Italian senate, (and has been since 1871) Palazzo Madama has a long and colorful history: it was built by the Medici family on the ruins of Nero’s ancient baths, and received its name from Madama Margherita of Austria, Emperor Charles V’s illegitimate daughter.

Piazza Madama (Corso Rinascimento)
Guided Visits: First Saturday of every Month; Hours: 10am-6pm
Free Entry (guided tours only, tickets available day-of at 8:30am)

Palazzo Altemps

palazzo altemps

Although it is one of the lesser-known museums, Palazzo Altemps is a work of art in its own right: frescoed rooms with painted wood beamed ceilings are part of its charm, and it houses works such as the Grand Ludovisi Sarcophagus and the sculpture “Gaul killing himself and his wife.”

Piazza di Sant’Apollinare, 46
Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 7.45pm
Entry: €7; €3.50 (reduced); €2 (online/phone); free (first Sunday of the month and/or under 18 years old)

Palazzo Mattei di Giove

must see palaces of rome mattei di giove

Designed in the style of the 17th century by Carlo Maderno, this grand palazzo is worth visiting for the beautiful multi story courtyard at its core and its impressive collection of statues, busts and reliefs.

Via Michelangelo Caetani, 32
Free Entry

Palazzo del Quirinale

must see palaces of rome palazzo del quirinale

Palazzo del Quirinale is a masterpiece of regal interior design. Pope Gregory XIII commissioned Italy’s finest architects and artists to construct this summer home: Domenico Fontana (the facade), Carlo Maderno (the chapel) and Guido Reni was responsible for the frescos inside. Reservations must be made online and ahead of time.

Piazza del Quirinale
Guided Visits (reservation required 5 days prior): Tues-Sun; Hours: 9.30am- 4pm
Entry: €1.50 (short tour); €10 (long tour); €5 (reduced fee long tour); free (EU citizens under 18 years old)

Palazzo di Montecitorio

must see palaces in rome palazzo di montiecitoric

This magnificent palace is home to Italy’s Chamber of Duties (Camera dei Deputati) and is also the centre stage for political power play in the Bel Paese. The Baroque palace was built by none other than master himself, Bernini in 1653.

Piazza Montecitorio
Guided Visits: First Sunday of every month; Hours: 10.30am-5:30 pm; Entry: Free (tickets available at 9:30am)

Palazzo Farnese

must see palaces of rome palazzo farnese

The Palazzo Farnese is graced with one of the must-see artistic treasures in Rome: the glorious Carracci Galleria titled “The Love of the Gods”. All 133 square meters of it have been recently restored, as well as other notable works of art in the French consulate building. Read more.

Piazza Farnese, 67
Guided Visits (book online 7 days in advance): Mon, Wed or Fri; Entry: €9

Galleria Pamphilj

Doria Pamphilj Gallery

Owned by the Pamphilj family, the palace exhibits some of the most magnificent pieces of artwork, sculptures and décor (from Caravaggio to Bernini, from Velàzquez to Tiziano, from Raffaello to Memling and many others). Read more.

Via del Corso, 305
Hours: Every day 9am – 7pm; Entry: €12, €8 (reduced)

Book your private tour

Palazzo Colonna

must see palaces of rome palazzo colonna

The palazzo and galleria belong to the Colonna family, one of the oldest noble families in Rome. A gem of Baroque art, the Palace contains works by Pinturicchio, Cosmè Tura, Carracci, Guido Reni, Tintoretto, Salvator Rosa, Bronzino, Guercino, Veronese, Vanvitelli. Read More.

Via della Pilotta 17
Private tours on request seven days a week; Hours: Saturday 9am – 1.15pm; Entry: €12, €10 (reduced)


Palazzo Barberini

must see palaces in rome palazzo barberini

Built in 1549, Palazzo Barberini is not just a classic example of an massive regal Roman palace; it is the house of the National Gallery of Ancient Art, which contains one of Italy’s the most renowned painting collections (Raphael, Caravaggio and Holbein line the walls.)

Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13
Hours: Tues-Sun 8:30am-7pm (ticket office closes at 6pm); Entry: € 7, €3.50 (reduced), free under 18 years old


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