Visiting Rome: exhibitions, concerts and treasures of Palazzo del Quirinale
One of the most striking spots in Rome is the Palazzo del Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic, a complex of rare beauty built in the late 1500s. The building, located on the homonymous hill near Piazza Venezia, includes the central building, which various valuable art collections, the seventeenth-century gardens and the Scuderie del Quirinale, where some of the capital's most important exhibitions are set up.
Palazzo del Quirinale: discovering Renaissance and modern treasure
The Palazzo del Quirinale rises on one of the highest hills of Rome, the collis Quirinalis, with an important strategic and defensive role, in the ancient times. In the 1400s, the area became an aristocratic neighbourhood, there actually were the houses of nobles and prelates on the Quirinale hill, whereas, in 1587, Pope Sixtus V started the built of the building he used as summer residence. During the following centuries, various renovations were undertaken, such as enlargements and new decorations.
In 1870, the Palazzo del Quirinale became the residence of the royal family, giving a Rococo appeal to the rooms of the complex, by large purchases of paintings and statues to embellish the interior rooms. Finally in 1946, the Quirinale became the residence of the President of the newly formed Republic, since then named the responsible for the management and maintenance of this building. Inside of it, there are several rooms, including the elegant imperial apartments, with sumptuous furnishings and tapestries of particular beauty.
The heart of the building is the spectacular rooms of the Piano Nobile, such as the Paolina Chapel, the Salone dei Corazzieri and the wonderful Sala del Bronzino. Among the treasures of the Quirinale there are the splendid collections of clocks, the vintage carriages, including the golden Berlingotto hand-painted from1789, the antique furniture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the European ceramics, with some unique pieces from the court of Louis XV. Not to be forgotten, the 261 tapestries that decorate the halls of the Palace, where you can also admire statues, ancient and modern paintings, such as the Madonna with Child by Pompeo Batoni from 1779, and the Volo su Vienna, a futurist work by Alfredo Gauro.
The gardens of the Quirinale: a walk among gardens, woods and statues
In addition to the historical and artistic richness of the building, in the inner part of the Quirinale complex there is a garden of about 4 hectares, accessible by the Porta Giardini of 1800. The structure of the area has 12 geometrical flowerbeds, hosting several unique species such as the Cycas revoluta and the Phoenix canariensis, including a rare specimen of Trithrinacs from Brazil. After the avenue of the palms, you reach the little wood, an Italian garden, with Mediterranean plants and several sculptures adorning the avenues.
The Fountain of the Turtles is particularly striking, dating back to the 17th century, with sculptural groups belonging to the Vatican's papal collection. Continuing the visit of the Quirinale Gardens, you get to the sundial of Urban VIII, up to the marvellous panorama with the Organ Fountain, from where it is possible to enjoy a unique view of Rome, of great charm especially at sunset. The grove created in 1560 is equally peculiar, separated from the rest of the garden by hedges and walls, a cool environment even in the height of summer, where Cardinal d'Este used to walk there.
The Scuderie del Quirinale: the art beating heart in Rome
In 1722, the complex was enlarged by the creation of the Scuderie del Quirinale, located in front of the building and separated by the homonymous square, decorated by the obelisk and the statues of the Dioscuri. It is a structure on two floors, with a total area of 1500 square metres, a place completely renovated in 1999, which for 18 years has hosted the most important exhibitions in the capital. Several exhibitions of great artists of past centuries, including names such as Cezanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Sisley and Matisse took place there.
Obviously, the Italian presence is strong, with numerous exhibitions on the great classical and Renaissance artists, such as Caravaggio, Giotto, Lorenzo Lotto, Tiziano, Botticelli and Bernini, including events on representatives of modernist and contemporary trends, from Picasso to Andy Warhol.In 2018, two very important exhibitions took place there, one on the great Roman poet Ovid, the other on traditional Japanese art entitled Hiroshige. Until June 30th 2019, an exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci will take place, in occasion of the Italian genius' death, to discover his inventions and artistic pieces.
The most important dates of 2019 at Palazzo del Quirinale
The Palazzo del Quirinale is one of the liveliest places in Rome, reason why exhibitions, concerts of classical music and other unique events took place there, making it benchmark in the capital, both for tourists and residents. Concerning the concert season, the next events are April 14th 2019, when the wind quintet of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra will perform, playing music by Nielsen and Dvoràk, while on April 28th a performance by the Trio Gaon, piano, violin and cello and repertoire of Brahms and Mendelssohn will take place.
Not to be missed, of course, the great exhibition about science set up at the Scuderie del Quirinale focused on the genius Leonardo da Vinci, begun on March 13th and opened until June 30th, 2019, after the just concluded exhibition "1938: l'Umanità negata", a multi-sensory experience following the journey of the horror a Jewish family live, locked up in a Nazi concentration camp. On the Quirinale official website there are several virtual tours available, accessible by smartphones, tablets and PCs by downloading the appropriate application, which allow you to discover the beauties of the building, the gardens through 3D images.
How to visit the Palazzo del Quirinale: timetable, prices and reservations
The President complex is situated in Via del Quirinale, near Via della Consulta, about 10 minutes by feet from Piazza Venezia and the Altare della Patria. You can get there by underground A - getting off at Piazza della Repubblica stop - or B - gettinng off at Cavour stop -, walking for a few metres. You can also get there by buses 40, 60, 117, 70, 170 and H, until Nazionale-Quirinale stop. Visits are available by reservation only, to be made at least 5 days in advance, access to groups is admitted to no more than 30 people. Inside of it, there are two tours: the artistic-institutional one that lasts approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, to the Noble Floor and the Ground Floor, and the artistic-institutional and thematic one, with a duration of 2 hours and a half, including the Vasella, the Gardens and the Halls of the Carriages, in addition to the rooms of the first tour. To make a reservation, contact the Call Centre by 06 3996 7557, every day from 9am to 7pm, or go to the Info-point located in via Salita di Montecavallo 15, open from 9am to 5pm.
The entrance of the Scuderie del Quirinale is in Via XXIV Maggio 16, open from Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 8pm, while on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 10.30pm. Tickets can be purchased online or on-site, with a 15 € full rate and a reduced of 13€, for young people up to 25 years of age, teachers, groups with special agreements, service people and people with permanent disabilities below 100%. Children up to 6 years and people with 100% disability can enter for free, there is also a courtesy ticket with a price of just € 2, reserved for children aged 6 to 17, tourist guides, employees of the MiBAC and the holders of ICOM and ICCROM cards. For more information, please contact the Call Centre by +39 02 9289 7722, or by the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Ariston, the ideal starting point to discover Rome!