Madama Palace (Palazzo Madama)
Built for two Medici cardinals who later became popes Leo X and Clement VII, Palazzo Madama saw a series of regal residents—from Catherine de’ Medici to Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, best known as patron of Caravaggio—before housing Italy’s Senate in the 19th century. Today, many of its halls retain original Renaissance flourishes, primarily ceiling coffers and frescoes. Later renovations modernized the remainder of the lavish interior, and much of the art dates from the Risorgimento, Italy’s unification.
You can visit the palace only with a guide—tours are available on the first Saturday of the month on a first-come-first-serve basis. Many walking, e-bike, and Vespa tours of Rome’s famous sights go past the palace.
Things to Know Before You Go
Large bags and backpacks, plastic and glass bottles, cans, umbrellas, and other pointed objects are prohibited inside Palazzo Madama.
No photos or videos are allowed.
The palace is wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
Located on Piazza Madama, between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, Palazzo Madama can be reached on foot from most of the top attractions in Rome’s historic center.
When to Get There
Palazzo Madama is open to the public the first Saturday of the month, but you can admire its Renaissance facade and cornice at any time. The palace is particularly lovely at night, when the building is lit up.
Palazzo di Montecitorio
Not far from where senators gather at Palazzo Madama, the baroque Palazzo di Montecitorio, built in 1653 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, houses Italy’s Chamber of Deputies. The palace was expanded by Carlo Fontana in the late 17th century, and today sports art nouveau touches added in the early 20th century.
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- Gladiator Museum
- Piazza Navona
- Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana delle Quattro Fiumi)
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- Church of Santa Maria della Pace (Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pace)
- Piazza della Rotonda
- Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante)
- Basilica di Sant'Andrea della Valle
- Welcome to Rome