Basilica of Neptune Rome

The Basilica of Neptune (Basilica di Nettuno) in Rome was built in the year 25 BC. It was constructed by Agrippa in the same period the Pantheon and other buildings like the baths and the Saepta were built. Remains of the basilica can be seen behind the Pantheon.

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Pigna District Rome

The 9th rione of Rome is called Pigna. The word means pine-apple and the name originates from an enormous statue in the shape of a pine-apple which was found in the area. Being one of the most central districts, it has a huge number of tourist attractions, including the Pantheon and the Piazza Venezia.

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Piazza della Minerva Rome

The Piazza della Minerva is located in the center of Rome, in the rione Pigna. It is named after the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, in its turn named after a temple built by Pompey and dedicated to Minerva Calcidica. Its biggest attraction is the Minerva Obelisk, also known as Bernini’s Elephant.

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Pantheon Rome

The Pantheon is one of the Top 10 tourist attractions of Rome and one of the city’s best preserved monuments. Although it started its existence as a pagan temple dedicated to all the Gods it is at present a Catholic church and officially called Santa Maria ad Martyres. It has survived virtually unaltered since it was erected in the 2nd century AD. The structure of its domed interior is unique.

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Largo di Torre Argentina Rome

The Sacred Area at the Largo di Torre Argentina is a complex of ruins in the center of Rome. It lies several feet below the present street level and is especially known for its cat sanctuary. Continue reading “Largo di Torre Argentina Rome”

Palazzo Altieri

The Palazzo Altieri is a historical building in the Pigna district in the center of Rome.

Palazzo Altieri Rome

Address, opening times and admission

The address of the Palazzo Altieri is Piazza del Gesù, 49 – Rome, but the entrance is in the Via degli Astalli 19 (tel. +39 ). Bus: 30, 46, 62, 64, 70, 81, 87, 130F, 190F, 492, 628, 916, 916F, N5, N6, N7, N15, N20. Openingstimes and admission: The building is usually not open for visitors.

History and description

The building is named for the family who owned it, the Altieri. They also owned a number of other properties in the area, including several buildings that were later destroyed in order to be able to construct the Chiesa del Gesù.

Fresco in the Palazzo Altieri
Interior Palazzo Altieri

When Giambattista Altieri became cardinal (1643) he of course needed a residence in accordance with his new status and the architect Giovanni Antonio De Rossi was given the task to redesign the Piazza del Gesù.

An interesting detail is that one woman, a widow named Berta, refused to abandon her home and thus De Rossi came up with the idea to incorporate it into the new Palazzo Altieri. The two smaller windows used to belong to Berta‘s house.

When the Cardinal died and the building was completed (1655) it was smaller than it is now and the courtyard was not there yet.

In those days being a Cardinal ran in the family and in 1679 it was Giambattista‘s brother Emilio Altieri‘s turn. He had been appointed by Pope Clement IX, whose successor he became, as Clement X, only one year later.

Obviously Popes need bigger residencies than Cardinals and De Rossi was told to enlarge the palazzo. He kept the original façade but enlarged the structure itself to the right and to the back, also adding the courtyard.

Nowadays part of the Palazzo Altieri is owned by Associazione Bancaria Italiana and can only rarely be visited.

Piazza del Gesù, 49 – Rome