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Rione III Colonna

Rione Colonna was named after the column erected in honour of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, commonly called Colonna Antonina. It borders to the north on Campo Marzio and the walls of Rome, to the east on Trevi, to the south on Pigna and to the west on Sant' Eustachio.
For a map of the Roman quarters (Rioni) click here.

Coat of arms
Coat of arms of Rione Colonna

The symbol of Rione Colonna is quite obviously Colonna Antonina. Rione Colonna is composed of two very different areas, one in the plain of Campo Marzio, the other on a hilly area next to the walls. The area in the plain was the location of several Roman monuments: Tempio di Nettuno in Piazza di Pietra, the already mentioned Colonna Antonina, Horologium Divi Augusti, a gigantic sundial which indicated the hours of the day and the days of the year and a Column dedicated to the emperor Antoninus Pius: all these monuments still exist at least in part. The area on the hills was mainly used for large villas (Horti Sallustiani) and this utilization continued through the centuries until 1885 when Villa Ludovisi was sold and the area became a very elegant quarter of Rome.

Rione Colonna
1777 Map of Rione Colonna

1) Entrance of Villa Ludovisi
2) Casino dell'Aurora
3) Convento dei Cappuccini
4) S. Ildefonso e Tommaso di Villanova
5) Villa Albani
6) S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case
7) S. Maria di Costantinopoli
8) Palazzo De Angelis
9) Collegio Nazzareno
10) Palazzo Bernini
11) Convento di S. Silvestro in Capite
12) Chiesa di S. Silvestro in Capite
13) Palazzo Theodoli
14) Palazzo Chigi
15) S. Bartolomeo dei Bergamaschi
16) Piazza di Pietra
17) Seminario Romano
18) S. Maria in Aquiro
19) S. Maria Maddalena
20) Casa dei Preti della Missione
21) Palazzo di Fiano
22) Collegio di Propaganda Fide

The development of Rione Colonna is due to the initiatives of Alexander VII Chigi (1655-67). In 1659 his family bought Palazzo Aldobrandini now Chigi and cleared Piazza Colonna of some small buildings giving to it its current form. In 1662 the pope enlarged Via del Corso by pulling down the so called Arco di Portogallo. He had already embellished Piazza del Popolo and by this changes he gave to the section of Via del Corso between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Colonna the same prestige the lower section of Via del Corso already had. His successors by building Palazzo di Montecitorio where all the tribunals were located increased the importance of Rione Colonna. Today it is considered the centre of Rome in part because Palazzo di Montecitorio hosts one of the two Chambers of the Italian Parliament and Palazzo Chigi is the residence of the Prime Minister.

Decoration of a window near S. Lorenzo in Lucina, portal of Palazzo Guelfi Camajani next to Palazzo Ferraioli, madonnella in 
Via Mario dei Fiori, fountain in the courtyard of a building near Chiesa di S. Giuseppe
Decoration of a window near S. Lorenzo in Lucina, portal of Palazzo Guelfi Camajani next to Palazzo Ferraioli,
madonnella in Via Mario dei Fiori, fountain in the courtyard of a building near Chiesa di S. Giuseppe

The prevalence of XVIIth and XVIIIth century architectural patterns in Rione Colonna is evident in many minor details.

Rione Colonna S. Lorenzo in Lucina Casa Vacca Palazzo di Montecitorio Obelisco Solare Casa dei Preti della Missione S. Maria Maddalena Palazzo Capranica S. Maria in Aquiro Albergo del Sole Palazzo Ferrini Piazza di Pietra Albergo Cesari Collegio dei Bergamaschi S. Macuto Seminario Romano Palazzo Serlupi San Bartolomeo dei Bergamaschi Palazzo Ferrajoli Palazzo del Viceregente Colonna Antonina Palazzo Chigi Palazzo Piombino Palazzo Verospi S. Maria Maddalena delle Convertite Palazzo di Fiano S. Silvestro in Capite Casa di Gian Lorenzo Bernini Palazzo di Propaganda Fide S. Andrea delle Fratte Palazzetto dei Pupazzi S. Giuseppe a Capo le Case Collegio Nazzareno S. Maria di Costantinopoli Chiesa dei Cappuccini SS. Isidoro e Patrizio SS. Ildefonso e Tommaso Palazzo Ferri Orsini Palazzo Perucchi Casino dell'Aurora Porta Pinciana Porta Salaria
Main monuments of Rione Colonna

The red X mark the main changes which occurred after 1777:
a) X above the building coloured in blue: in 1908-18 the area behind Palazzo di Montecitorio was largely modified to expand the palace and provide it with the facilities needed by its use as Lower Chamber;
b) two X linked by a line: the central section of Via del Corso was enlarged in the 1890s by pulling down the buildings on its eastern side;
c) X near the building coloured in green: the two squares of San Silvestro in Capite and SS. Andrea e Claudio dei Borgognoni (Rione Trevi) were merged into a larger square;
d) far right: in the 1880s Villa Ludovisi was sold and split into small parcels. It became one of the most elegant quarters of Rome.

Details of Liberty buildings in the area of the former Villa Ludovisi
Details of Liberty Style buildings in the area of Villa Ludovisi

The different colours group the monuments which are shown in the same page.

Palazzo Chigi-
-Colonna Antonina-
Chiesa di San Bartolomeo dei Bergamaschi-
Palazzo Ferraioli-
Palazzo del Viceregente-
Palazzo Piombino-
Palazzo di Montecitorio-
-Obelisco Solare-
Chiesa di S. Lorenzo in Lucina-
Casa Vacca-
Chiesa di S. Maria Maddalena-
Chiesa di S. Maria in Aquiro-
Palazzo del Collegio Capranica-
- Piazza di Pietra-
Palazzo Ferrini-
- Albergo del Sole-
- Albergo Cesari-
Palazzo del Collegio dei Bergamaschi-
Palazzo del Seminario Romano-
Palazzo Serlupi-
Chiesa di San Macuto-
Casa dei Preti della MissioneWith monuments of Campo Marzio.
Palazzo di FianoWith monuments of Campo Marzio.
Palazzo VerospiWith monuments of Trevi.
Chiesa di S. Maria Maddalena delle ConvertiteWith monuments of Trevi.
Chiesa di San Silvestro in Capite-
Palazzo di Gian Lorenzo Bernini-
Palazzo di Propaganda Fide-
Chiesa di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte-
Chiesa di San Giuseppe-
Palazzo dei Pupazzi-
Palazzo del Collegio Nazzareno-
Chiesa di Santa Maria di Costantinopoli-
Chiesa dei Cappuccini-
Chiesa dei Santi Ildefonso e Tommaso di Villanova-
Chiesa dei Santi Isidoro e Patrizio-
Palazzo Ferri Orsini-
Palazzo Perucchi-
Casino dell' Aurora-
-Porta Pinciana-
-Porta Salaria-

You can start your tour of Rione Colonna from Casa dei Preti della Missione.
You can also have a look at it from the Janiculum: Piazza Navona.

I - MontiII - Trevi
III - ColonnaIV - Campo Marzio
V - PonteVI - Parione
VII - RegolaVIII - Sant'Eustachio
IX - PignaX - Campitelli
XI - Sant'AngeloXII - Ripa
XIII - TrastevereXIV - Borgo

Go to or to The Coats of Arms of the Popes or to My Home Page on Baroque Rome or to My Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller

All images © 1999 - 2004 by Roberto Piperno. Write to