Palazzo Braschi between history and exhibitions not to be missed

interno del palazzo braschi roma

Enclosed in the heart of Rome, between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the splendid Piazza Navona, the historic Braschi Palace it is part of the “Museums in the Municipality” circuit. Built at the end of the 18th century by order of Pope Pius VI, it extends over three floors: the first is used to house exhibitions temporary.

Let's discover the history of Palazzo Braschi, why it is worth visiting, how to reach it and where to eat nearby:

Palazzo Braschi in Rome: the history

The construction of Palazzo Braschi began in 1792, in the same place where Palazzo Orsini stood, demolished some time before. The then Pope Pius VI commissioned thearchitect Cosimo Morelli: in fact he wishes to donate it to his nephew, Duke Luigi Braschi Onesti. The money needed to build the elegant palace, sent directly into the family member's coffers, comes from the favors and privileges enjoyed by the pontiff. The works, interrupted by the French occupation of 1798, resumed four years later, in 1802; the chapel located on the first floor, completed in 1804, is attributed toarchitect Giuseppe Valadier. Because of economic problems of Luigi Braschi Onesti upon his death in 1816, the decorations of the palace remain unfinished.

The story of Palazzo Braschi in Rome continued to be quite troubled. Sold to the Italian state by the heirs of the Braschi family in 1871, it was chosen first as the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior and then of some fascist associations. After the war it became the object of thefts, demolitions and shelter for 300 homeless families. Frescoes and floors are unfortunately damaged by the habitual lighting of fires inside.

In 1952 Palazzo Braschi was converted into the headquarters of the Museum of Rome and in 1990 it became the property of the Capitol. Declared unusable in 1987, it was renovated and reopened to the public in 2002. Since 2017 it has taken new shape: a thematic itinerary winds between the second and third floors, while temporary exhibitions are set up on the first.

Why visit Palazzo Braschi

The Museum of Rome Palazzo Braschi amazes with its majesty. It can boast two monumental entrances, one on Piazza San Pantaleo and the other on Via di San Pantaleo. It then has two arched doors on the other sides of the building, overlooking Piazza Navona and Via della Cuccagna. Its architecture is inspired by 16th century models: in the atrium there is an extraordinary monumental staircase, with ancient statues and stucco decorations. The entire structure is characterized by paintings and decorations.

At the time of its construction, Palazzo Braschi enjoyed a certain fame: thanks to the magnificence of its interiors and large spaces, but also to the acoustics of the monumental staircase. Today, thanks to a skilful use of lights, it is possible to admire it in all its splendor: it was also chosen by the director Paolo Sorrentino to shoot some scenes of Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty.

It is not only its architecture that attracts visitors: several exhibitions in Rome are in fact set up in the rooms of Palazzo Braschi. Until March 15, 2020 it will be the scene of “Canova. Eternal Beauty“, an exhibition-event focused on the relationship between the famous neoclassical artist and the city of Rome. There are over 170 works by Antonio Canova and other artists of his time on display, for a total of 13 sections. The entire exhibition itinerary also includes particular installations designed specifically for the occasion.

How to get there and where to eat

Palazzo Braschi Museum of Rome has two entrances: from Piazza Navona 2 and from Piazza San Pantaleo 10. AND easily accessible bus – lines 30, 64, 62, 46 and 87 with stops on Corso Vittorio Emanuele or Corso Rinascimento – or with the tram 8 from Piazza Venezia to Largo Argentina, and then continue on foot for about 450 metres. The stops of meter The closest, less than 2 km away, are the Colosseum (metro B) or Ottaviano (metro A). The parking (for a fee) a short distance away is on Piazza Cavour.

Visit Braschi Palace offers you the opportunity to admire some of the most significant places in Rome. Not only the suggestive Piazza Navona, which houses works of inestimable value, including the Fountain of the Four Rivers, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini; but also the alleys and streets that surround it, characteristic and full of life, both day and night.

Right near Piazza Navona, in Piazza Sant'Apollinare, you can treat yourself to Taste breakfast, lunch, dinner or even simply a delicious break from your tour of the Eternal City. Pizzeria, restaurant, grill and wine cocktail bar, it can boast a menu that includes traditional local culinary dishes and Italian meat and fish specialities. It also has an extensive wine list, with over 350 labels. Gusto is the right place to immerse yourself in the authentic Roman atmosphere, a few steps from historical and famous places in the world. But also a space for private dinners, parties, team building events and where you can go on Thursday evenings to listen to excellent jazz music. Its strategic position allows you to visit, from time to time, other points of interest in the city. For example Palazzo Altemps, the churches of Sant'Agostino and San Luigi dei Francesi, up to Castel Sant'Angelo.

Palazzo Braschi, thanks to everything that distinguishes it, is one of Rome's attractions to mark on your diary!