Friday, October 7, 2016

Galleria Colonna

Via della Pilotta,17

In the heart of Rome is the Palazzo Colonna, home to one of Rome's largest private art collections, only open on Saturday mornings.
The palace was constructed in the 14th century and it has been home to the Colonna family and its descendants since that time. The Colonna family had many ties to the Catholic church, producing twenty cardinals and one pope, Martin V, who used the palace as his main residence from 1424 until his death.
During the Sack of Rome in 1527 when the troops of Emperor Charles V mutinied over their lack of payment for fighting against the French, Palazzo Colonna was a safe haven for for thousands of Rome's wealthy citizens whose own palaces had been sacked and destroyed. The Colonna had fought on the side of the Holy Roman Emperor and that was a possible reason why the palace was spared.
In the 16th century the palace began its transformed into the Baroque style. The gallery was commissioned in the mid-sixteenth century by Cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew, Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna for their 15th and 16th century art collection.

The gallery is open on Saturdays from 9am until 1:15pm and an English guided tour is available at noon.
Tickets available at the gallery or online
On other days private tours are available on written request by email —

Galleria Colonna website

Artists in Galleria Colonna
Salvatore Rosa
ceiling frescoes
Filippo Gherardi
Sebastiano Ricci
Benedetto Luti

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Getting Around

I found walking around Rome was the best way to see everything but the metro, trams and buses are an easy and cheap option also.

Most buses and metros do get crowded and tickets must be bought before boarding and validated when you first get on but it is a great way to get around and see Rome if you are short on time or suffer from sore feet.

Buses #40 and #64 starts at Termini and ends near St. Peter's traveling past other places of interest, returning the same way.

Bus #75 takes you past the Colosseum

Bus #910 takes you to Villa Borghese

#64 & #40 Express Bus


Piazza Venezia

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Campo de'Fiori

St. Peter's

The Electric buses that are around Rome can travel into the older parts of the city and wind around the narrow streets. Bus #116 travels though the streets of Centro Storico.

Ticket Options

B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro,tram or bus ride for a 100 minute period.

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Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

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Large fines apply to travelers not holding ticket. Tickets once they are validated, start from the time they have been stamped.

These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.