The ducal palace or Palazzo Chigi, perched on one of the ends of the monumental bridge of Ariccia, is a unique example of a Baroque residence designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his young pupil Carlo Fontana. Its environmental context and original decoration have remained unchanged, and it documents the splendour of one of the greatest Italian papal families, the Chigi, already owners of the homonymous Roman palace, today the seat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
Begun in the second half of the 1500s by the Savelli family, the palace was transformed by the Chigi into a sumptuous Baroque residence between 1664 and 1672. The building boasts an important collection of paintings, sculptures and furnishings, dating back to the seventeenth century, also from other family homes, including the same building in Rome, sold to the state in 1918. Perhaps because of its Spanish features, Luchino Visconti wanted to use the palace as a setting for a large part of his masterpiece, “The Leopard” (1962).
Sold by Prince Agostino Chigi Albani della Rovere to the City of Ariccia on December 29, 1988, the building has been set up as a museum and cultural centre (exhibitions, concerts, guided tours, conferences).
The parts that can be visited in the Palace are the rooms of Cardinal Flavio Chigi on the ground floor, the main Piano Nobile Floor, the Museum of Roman Baroque on the left mezzanine floor and, during temporary exhibitions, the exhibition areas on the right mezzanine level. All rooms accessible to the public are free of architectural barriers.
Open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays; 10am – 1pm and 3.30pm – 7pm
For more information: tel. 06 9330053; www.palazzochigiariccia.it