Palazzo Torlonia (also known as the Palazzo Giraud, Giraud-Torlonia or Castellesi) is a 16th-century Early Renaissance town house in Via della Conciliazione, Rome, Italy. Built for Cardinal Adriano Castellesi da Corneto from 1496, the architect was Andrea Bregno., although others have attributed the design to Bramante.
The style of architecture was undoubtedly influenced by that of the papal chancery, the Palazzo della Cancelleria, one of Rome's first Renaissance palaces, which had been completed a few years earlier. The palazzo's arcaded inner courtyard has been attributed to Raphael.
In 1504, before its completion, the Cardinal (who had fallen from papal favor) presented the palazzo to King Henry VII of England. The English later handed it to Lorenzo Campeggio, England's last Cardinal Protector. He lived in the unfinished palazzo from 1519 to 1524. Following England's split from the Church of Rome, remained possession of the Campeggio family until 1609.
From 1609 until 1635, it was owned by the Borghese family. In 1760, it was purchased by the French Giraud banking family. In 1820, it was purchased by the Torlonia family, whose name it retains along with the family's coat of arms above its great portal.
Today, the palace faces the wide boulevard named Via della Conciliazione, however, this is the result of 20th century monumental Fascist concept intended to provide an imposing approach to St Peter's Basilica. Originally, the palazzo formed the north side side of a small square, the Piazza Scossacavalli, and is today (with the Palazzo dei Penitenzieri) one of the two surviving buildings of it. The Via della Conciliazione scheme involved the demolition of numerous neighboring buildings, and Mussolini himself ceremonially swung the first pickaxe blow to commence the demolitions. Among the many historically important buildings lost were the Palazzo del Governatore int the Borgo and the Church of San Giacomo a Scossacavalli. Meanwhile, other buildings, such as the Palazzo dei Convertendi, had their ancient facades dismounted and reconstructed onto new and internally modern buildings lining the boulevard. Following the fall of the Fascist government, the controversial scheme was completed by the new Italian government with the financial aid of the Roman Catholic Church.
As of 2011[update], the palazzo remains the property of the Torlonia family.
- Palazzo Castellesi Giraud Torlonia
- Palazzo Torlonia
- A.Bruschi, Edifici privati di Bramante a Roma, in "Palladio", a.II n.4, 1989
- Champ, p58.
- World architecture.
- Champ, Judith (2000). The English pilgrimage to Rome: a dwelling for the soul. Leominster: Gracewing. ISBN 0-85244-373-0.
- Bazza, Ruth (2000). La dolce Vita de Alessandro Lequio.
See also 
- Palazzo Castellesi Giraud Torlonia Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- World Architecture Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Palazzo Torlonia Retrieved 28 April 2010 (Italian)