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Piazza S. Marco (Book 2) (Map B3) (Day 1) (View C7) (Rione Pigna)

In this page:
The plate by Giuseppe Vasi
Today's view
The windows and the lion
Palazzo Panfilio
Palazzo Grazioli

The Plate (No. 39)

Piazza S. Marco

Piazza S. Marco is today Piazza Venezia, but S. Marco and Venice were almost synonyms in the past. The view is towards Piazza del Gesù and it shows the southern side of Palazzo Panfilio and Palazzo Altieri. Other views of Piazza S. Marco are in Book 4 (Palazzo di S. Marco) and in Book 9 (Palazzo dell'Accademia di Francia). The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Palazzo di S. Marco (with a reference to the fact it was the palace of the ambassador of Venice); 2) Palazzo Altieri; 3) Palazzo Panfilio; 4) Palazzo d'Aste. 2) and 4) are covered in other pages. The small map shows also 5) Palazzo Grazioli.

Small ViewSmall View


The view today

This part of Piazza Venezia looks unchanged but it's the only part which was not affected by the significant changes made for the erection of the Monument to King Victor Emmanuel II and for the opening of Via dei Fori Imperiali.

The Windows and the Lion

The Window and the Lion

Palazzo Venezia was built in Florentine style by Cardinal Pietro Barbo from Venice who became in 1464 Pope Paulus II. The architect is unknown. It was used by the Popes until Pius IV presented it to the Republic of Venice. It then became the Embassy of Venice and eventually the Embassy of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire after Venice was annexed to that Empire. After World War I the Palace was acquired by the Italian Government.
The large windows as well as the little window in the background bear the coat of arms of Paulus II. The pope wanted his name written on the windows; as other popes he added to his name a reference to his country. This kind of window is indicative of  palaces of families supporting the Guelph (Papal) side. In a niche on the lateral side the Winged Lion of S. Marco has replaced the Two-Headed Eagle of the Austrian Emperor.
You may wish to see the winged lions of the Venetian Fortresses in Greece.

Palazzo Panfilio

Palazzo Panfilio

The southern side of Palazzo Doria Pamphylj was completed in 1743 by Paolo Amelj and it is one of the last additions to Baroque Rome. The palace has two other (more imposing) fašades: one next to S. Maria in Via Lata and another one opposite Collegio Romano. The Doria did not live on this side of the palace which was structured in flats for rent and this explains why the fašade is so crowded with windows and why there are not many flying doves.

Palazzo Grazioli

Palazzo Grazioli

Palazzo Grazioli was designed by Camillo Arcucci in 1650. It was rented a few years ago by Mr Silvio Berlusconi, the current Presidente del Consiglio (Prime Minister) of the Italian Republic, who lives there when he is in Rome and sometimes holds political meetings in this building, rather than in the official residence of the Prime Minister in Palazzo Chigi. Palazzo Grazioli is also known as Palazzo della Gatta (cat) because its rear fašade has a little statue of a cat. The statue was found in a nearby Temple of Isis and most likely it represented a monkey.

Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:

Palazzo Panfili
L'anno 1743. fu edificata questa gran parte del palazzo Panfili col disegno di Paolo Amelj dal penultimo Principe di questa antichissima famiglia Romana, ora estinta, il quale per la sola vastitÓ di appartamenti forma un gran palazzo per uso di varj Signori. Siegue dopo di questo, quello de' Sig. Gottifredo con nobilissima archittettura del Cav. Rainaldi.

Next plate in Book 2: Piazza di Spagna
Next step in Day 1 itinerary Palazzo Altieri

Next step in tour of Rione Pigna: Palazzo d'Aste

Go to    or to  Book 2 or to my Home Page on Baroque Rome or to my Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller.

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