Palazzo Chigi

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Palazzo Chigi
Palais Chigi.JPG
Palazzo Chigi. Italy's Prime Minister residence
General information
Town or cityRome
CountryItaly
Coordinates41°54′05″N 12°28′47″E / 41.9014°N 12.4797°E / 41.9014; 12.4797
Current tenantsGiuseppe Conte
(Prime Minister of Italy)
Construction started1562
Completed1580
ClientAldobrandini family
Chigi family
Design and construction
ArchitectGiacomo della Porta
Carlo Maderno

The Palazzo Chigi (Italian pronunciation: [paˈlattso ˈkiːdʒi]) is a palace and former noble residence in Rome which is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy. Since 1 June 2018, the occupant of the Palazzo Chigi is Giuseppe Conte.

History[edit]

The Palazzo, overlooking the Piazza Colonna and the Via del Corso, was begun in 1562 by Giacomo della Porta and completed by Carlo Maderno in 1580 for the Aldobrandini family. In 1659 it was purchased by the House of Chigi, a rich family of bankers from Siena.[1] It was then remodelled by Felice della Greca and Giovanni Battista Contini. It has five floors, a broad stairway that leads to the living rooms, and a courtyard decorated with a fountain, designed by Giacomo della Porta. The fountain has been copied in many sites in Rome and other Italian cities.[2]

The meeting room of the Council of Ministers

In its history the palace was the residence of some of the most important noble families of Rome. On 20 April 1770, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave a concert there in the presence of Charles Edward Stuart[3] In 1878 it became the residence of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Italy.

Institutional building[edit]

In 1916 it was bought by the Italian state and became the seat of the Minister for Colonial Affairs, the ministry responsible for the government of the country's colonial possessions and the direction of their economies. In 1922, at the beginning of Benito Mussolini's rule, Palazzo Chigi became the official residence of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1961, it became the official meeting place of Council of Ministers and the residence of its President, who is the head of the Italian government.

At the end of the 20th century, the building underwent a restoration, completed on 7 November 1999. The intervention involved not only the facades, but also the rooms of the Prime Minister's office, which Prime Minister Giuliano Amato had transferred to another hall of the palace, and that for the occasion it was re-established in its original location. On 28 April 28, 2013, during the oath of the government led by Enrico Letta, a man, Luigi Preiti, opened fire on two carabinieri, Giuseppe Giangrande and Francesco Negri, injuring the latter and a pregnant passerby.[4]

Art[edit]

The Palazzo Chigi in an 18th-century etching by Giuseppe Vasi

The Library Hall was commissioned by Agostino Chigi at the end of the 17th century in order to house the enormous library of cardinal Flavio Chigi. The project was realized by Giovanni Battista Contini.

The Chigi library or Chigiana contained thousands of valuable manuscripts, to a large part based on the personal library of Pope Alexander VII, a member of the Chigi family. Since the time of Pope Benedict XV, the Vatican attempted to acquire this library, but lacked the necessary funds. Eventually, Pietro Tacchi Venturi was tasked by Pope Pius XI to negotiate the purchase with the newly formed fascist government of Benito Mussolini. Venturi managed to convince Mussolini to donate the library to the Vatican free of charge.

See also[edit]

Some other Italian institutional buildings:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Palaces, Villas and Gardens". Rome Guide Italy. Travelplan.it. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  2. ^ Roberto Piperno; Rosamie Moore. "Piazza Colonna". Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  3. ^ Conosciamo Roma – Palazzo Chigi
  4. ^ "New Italian 'grand coalition' government sworn in". BBC News. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.

External links[edit]