Ospedale del Celio Rome

What is now the Ospedale del Celio in Rome is built on the area that used to be occupied by the ancient Villa Casali. After the unification of Italy a big part of the villa was ddestroyed to make space for new constructions.

Ospedale del Celio Rome


Ospedale del Celio Rome
The interior of the complex in 1915.

The villa started its existence as property of the family Massimo, who later sold it ti the family Teofoli. Later Marquis Mario Casali inherited it from his wife Margherita di Sertorio Teofili.

At the end of the 17th century, the Casali had a house constructed by the architect Tommaso Mattei. They also had an enormous garden laid out.

In those days the main road through the villa faced the Santo Stefano Rotondo Church, while the side roads ended at the apse of the Santi Quattro Coronati Church.

In 1871 the city decided to develop the area. The owners of the land were supposed to build houses and the city would take care of the infrastructure.

Initially most of the villa was saved. However, in 1884, having decided to build a military hospital on its grounds, the city bought everything and five years later completely destroyed it. More than 50000 m² of green area disappeared.


The new military hospital was constructed between 1884 and 1889. It was designed by Colonel Luigi Durand de la Penne together with the architect Salvatore Bianchi.

It consists of a series of 30 pavilions, connected by galleries and metal walkways.

Works of  art

Ospedale del Celio Rome - Antinoo Casali
The Antinoo Casali, now in the Ny Carlsbergh Glyptotek in Copenhagen.

Of the works of art collected by Cardinal Antonio Casali many were lost. Others ended up in Copenhagen’s Ny Carlsbergh Glyptotek. These include the “Casali Sarcophagus”, the “Antinoo Casali” and a mosaic depicting the “Rape of Europe”.

During excavations for the foundations of the hospital several ancient structures were unearthed.

The Basilica Hilariana was built by the pearl merchant Manius Publicius Hilarus. One of the most interesting finds was a mosaic with a depiction of the evil eye, which can now be viewed in the Antiquario Comunale del Celio. The building consisted of a porticoed courtyard surrounded by various rooms. It was probably used as a sort of temple for the followers of the goddess Cybele, who was know as the Magna Mater (“Great mother”) and was a very important deity in ancient Rome. The base of a statue dedicated to Hilarus himself, was also found in this spot.

Other ruins uneartehd in the area include those of the house of the Simmaci, a senatorial family in the Imperial era.

Ospedale del Celio – Piazza Celimontana 50, Rome

Palazzo Colonna Rome

The Palazzo Colonna is located near the Piazza Venezia in the centre of Rome. The building has been owned by the same noble family for more than 900 years. The Galleria Colonna still houses part of the art collection established over the years by this Colonna family. The exhibition can only be visited on Saturday mornings.

Palazzo Colonna Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Palazzo Colonna is located on Via della Pilotta 17, Rome (Tel: +39 066784350/362). Bus: 40, 60, 64, 70, 117, 170, H, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18. Opening Hours: The Galleria Colonna is open every Saturday morning from 9am to 1.15pm.

History and description

Palazzo Colonna Rome
Palazzo Colonna

Part of the Palazzo Colonna dates from the beginning of the 15th century, when Martino V Colonna was pope.

The current appearance of the palace, however, is mainly due to a renovation carried out by Nicola Michetti in the year 1730.

The building is part of a large block of houses between the Piazza SS. Apostoli and the Via della Pilotta. From here, four viaducts across the street give access to the Villa Colonna.

The Palazzo itself is the seat of the Galleria Colonna, which was started by Cardinal Girolamo Colonna. Here one can admire works of great masters such as Veronese, Tintoretto and Guercino. The Galleria also offers an excellent view of the private gardens of the palace, which were built on the ruins of the Temple of Serapide.

The huge frescoes in the majestic hall illustrate the life of the ancestor Marcantonio Colonna II, with martial scenes from the Battle of Lepanto, where the Turkish fleet was defeated in 1571.

Military trophies and huge mirrors decorated with playing cherubs are everywhere, making the baroque interior look even more impressive. Marble tables and double rows of chandeliers made of Murano glass on the ceiling complete the picture.

Since the Colonna family still lives in the palazzo, tourists can only visit on Saturday mornings.

Palazzo Colonna – Via della Pilotta 17, Rome

Palazzo Barberini Rome

The Palazzo Barberini is home to the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica (National Gallery of Ancient Art) and faces the Piazza Barberini in Rome. A second seat of this museum can be found in the Palazzo Corsini.

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Palazzo Bonaparte Rome

The Palazzo Bonaparte in Rome stands on the corner of the Piazza Venezia and the Via del Corso, the city’s most famous shopping street. It is called thus because Napoleon‘s mother lived here from 1818 until her death in 1836. From October 2019, part of the palace will be used as an exhibition space. The first exhibition was devoted to impressionist painters.

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Villa Aurelia Rome (American Academy)

The Villa Aurelia in Rome was property of Cardinal Gerolamo Farnese who had had it built in the year 1650. The house next-door used to belong to Alessandro Farnese (later Pope Paul III) and had been decorated by Gerolamo with paintings. Nowadays it is the seat of the American Academy.

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Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi Rome

The Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi is a historical building between the Piazza dei Santi Apostoli and the Via del Corso in Rome. A number of famous architects, including MadernoBernini and Vanvitelli, have contributed to the building’s development.

Weetjes Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi Rome

Opening hours and admission

The palace is still owned by the Odescalchi family. Visitors are not allowed.

Address and public transport

The address of the Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi is Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 80 – Rome. Bus: 40, 60, 64, 70, 117, 170, H, N7, N8, N9, N15, N18.


Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi Rome
The Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi in an engraving by an unknown artist.

The Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi has existed since the 15th century, although it was much smaller at the time. The original owners were the Benzoni family. When Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi acquired the building in 1622, he had it completely renovated by Carlo Maderno.

The next owners were the Colonna, who around the middle of the 17th century sold it to Cardinal Fabio Chigi. The Cardinal commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to design the facade. At the time the facade was the present left part of the building, delimited by the first eight pillars.

In 1745 Baldassarre Odescalchi, the next owner, had Nicolò Salvi and Luigi Vanvitelli widen this facade.

After a fire in 1887 the facade needed to be restored. At the same time Raffaele Ojetti renovated the facade on the Via del Corso side. Baldassarre Ladislao Odescalchi had ordered him to take the 15th century Florentine palaces as his example.

The building has a big courtyard, which was designed by Maderno . The central fountain in this courtyard is adorned with two dolphins and an eagle inside a chalice, plus the Odescalchi coat-of-arms.

The palazzo also hosts one of the very few Caravaggio paintings that are private property. The painting in question is the “Conversion of Saint Paul”, which was probably commissioned by Tiberio Cerasi in order to enliven his chapel in the Santa Maria del Popolo Church.

Piazza dei Santi Apostoli, 80 – Rome

Roman Aquarium and House of Architecture Rome

The Acquario Romano (“Roman Aquarium“) is located in the center of a small park in the Esquilino district in Rome. It was built towards the end of the 19th century in a style typical of the period, called Umbertino, after the then king of Italy. Originally an aquarium, the building has held several functions during the time of its existence. At the moment it is the seat of the Casa dell’Architettura (“House of Architecture“). Continue reading “Roman Aquarium and House of Architecture Rome”