Monday, November 13, 2017


1583/85 Fra' Domenico Paganelli for Cardinal Michele Bonelli nephew of St. Pius V Ghislieri (1566/72) and known as Palazzo Bonelli
Expanded in the first half of the seventeenth century maybe by Francesco Peparelli (active from about 1626/d. 1641)
In the years 1705/13 it was rented to the Marquis Francesco Maria Ruspoli who opened a theater in the building and hosted musicians such as George Frideric Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti and Angelo Corelli
In 1752 it was bought by Cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali who arranged a rich library with 24,000 volumes also visited by Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717/78)
From 1827 it belonged to the banker Vincenzo Valentini who had the FAƇADE FACING THE FORUM OF TRAJAN built in about 1830 by Filippo Navone (active first half of XIX century)
The Valentini family had in it a great picture gallery and lived here until 1870
Since 1873 it is the headquarters of the PROVINCE OF ROME, which transformed the courtyard and the interior in 1878 by Luigi Gabet (active 1858/78)
In the COURTYARD there are four ancient statues with modern changes:
“Valentini Aphrodite”
“Man with breastplate and head of Marcus Aurelius” maybe not relevant
“Hermes of Andros with head of Pertinax” not relevant
“Naked man with head of Caracalla” not relevant
The palace houses a collection of ancient statues and paintings which belonged to Vincenzo Valentini with works by artists such as Carlo Cignani and Ludovico Stern (1709/77) as well as many anonymous seventeenth century artists 
1,800 square meters (20,000 square feet) residential district comprising
Two richly decorated houses (domus) of the fourth century AD maybe owned by a judge or a senator: walls decorated with polychrome panels and polychrome mosaic floors
Small private baths
The excavations were made from 2006 to 2010
Landfill of the sixteenth century known as BUTTO (throw) where ceramic plates were discovered, as well as everyday objects and even food scraps
Two sculptures of “Togati” of the second century AD without head that had been used as a fill for foundations in the sixteenth century
Stretch of paved Roman road very well preserved
Two “Fragments of huge monolithic columns” in Egyptian granite similar to the one near the Column of Trajan and probably part of the Temple of Trajan, whose exact topographic location is still the focus of academic debate. The columns had to have a minimum height of 15 m (49 feet) and perhaps it was even 20 m (65 feet) high
The area is beautifully accessible with very effective reconstructions using virtual reality and an exciting archaeological trail that goes up to the front of the Trajan's Column
An example that should be imitated in many other archaeological sites, almost a waking dream for those who love Rome, made possible thanks to the initiative of the great popularizer Piero Angela

Friday, November 10, 2017


Begun about 1500 by Cardinal Adriano da Corneto Castellesi secretary of Alexander VI Borgia (1492/1503) with a project maybe by Donato Bramante (1444/1514)
The works were completed in about 1520 maybe by Andrea Bregno (1418/1503)
It was donated unfinished in 1505 to the King of England, Henry VIII, who had commissioned the now disappeared external paintings to Polidoro Caldara aka Polidoro da Caravaggio
It was the seat of the English Embassy and was seized by the apostolic chamber after the Anglican schism
Between 1609 and 1635 it belonged to the Borghese family
In 1760 it was bought by the French bankers Giraud and was called PALAZZO GIRAUD
Since 1820 it belongs to the Torlonia family who restored it and built the rear wing. They are still the owners to this day