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Galleria Doria Pamphilj
Via del Corso, 305
Tel: +39 06 679 7323
Monday to Sunday: 10 to 17h.
Metro Linea A – Anagnina – Battistini – Fermata Spagna
Metro Linea B – Laurentina – Rebibbia – Fermata Colosseo
The present Doria Pamphilj Palace was inherited by Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini in 1601. When he died, his niece Olympia Aldobrandini inherited it as she was his only heir. Her husband Paolo Borghese died in 1647. She then married Camillo Pamphilj who renounced his title of Cardinal given to him by his uncle Pope Innocent X to marry Olympia. Later the couple settled down in Rome at the Aldobrandini Palace. Camillo wanted to have a princely palace, so he started buying property adjacent to his palace, which he restored and made part of the palace. He then started buying art to furnish the new and enlarged palace. Today the palace has in its four wings that line the palace's courtyard, a picture gallery with a total of 550 paintings, one of the largest art collections in Rome.
The most famous piece of art is a portrait of Pope Innocent X, painted by Velazquez. It is in a small room called the Velazquez Chamber. The subject of the painting was Giovan Battista Pamphilj, who was Pope between 1644 and 1655. Velazquez painted the Pope with an unpleasant frowning expression, which led his enemies to think that he had a despotic and vindictive character. Velazquez portrayed the psychological traits of his subject and this made the portrait one of the most famous among his works. The Velazquez Chamber also has a beautiful bust of the Pope done by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The palace has a ballroom that occupies two spaces and is beautifully decorated. There is an Aldobrandini Room which has many of the paintings in the collection. One of the most beautiful rooms is the Gallery of Mirrors, refurbished in 1731 by the architect Gabriele Valvassori. It alternates gold framed mirrors and antique statues. There are frescoes on the vault by Aureliano Milani. The effect of all of these things is a gallery that impacts one with its sheer beauty.
The family still lives in part of the palace. When one buys a ticket, one is given an audio guide in the language one chooses. The person who speaks on the audio guide is Prince Jonathan Doria Pamphilj, the current heir (born in England, he was adopted by the late Principessa Orietta). He provides an intimate family history that is very candid and is a pleasure to listen to.
No photography is allowed.
The façade of the Doria Pamphilj Palace on Via del Corso.
A view of the beautiful courtyard.