Rome Travel Guide

Rome Sights

Palazzo Farnese

  • Piazza Farnese 67 Map It
  • Campo de' Fiori
  • Castle/Palace/Chateau
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 06/20/2007

Fodor's Review

The most beautiful Renaissance palace in Rome, the Palazzo Farnese is fabled for the Galleria Carracci, whose ceiling is to the Baroque age what the Sistine Chapel ceiling is to the Renaissance. The Farnese family rose to great power and wealth during the Renaissance, in part because of the favor Pope Alexander VI showed to the beautiful Giulia Farnese. The massive palace was begun when, with Alexander's aid, Giulia's brother became cardinal; it was further enlarged on his election as Pope Paul III in 1534. The uppermost frieze decorations and main window overlooking the piazza are the work of Michelangelo, who also designed part of the courtyard, as well as the graceful arch over Via Giulia at the back. The facade on Piazza Farnese has geometrical brick configurations that have long been thought to hold some occult meaning. When looking up at the palace, try to catch a glimpse of the splendid frescoed ceilings, including the Galleria Carracci vault painted by Annibale Carracci between

1597 and 1604. The Carracci gallery depicts the loves of the gods, a supremely pagan theme that the artist painted in a swirling style that announced the birth of the Baroque. Other opulent salons are among the largest in Rome, including the Salon of Hercules, which has an overpowering replica of the ancient Farnese Hercules, front and center. The French Embassy, which occupies the palace, offers tours (in English) on Wednesday; book at least eight days in advance through the website, and bring photo ID.

Read More
  • Soccer, Palazzo Farnese, Rome, Italy

    © Zach Nelson / Fodors Travel

Sight Information


French Embassy, Servizio Culturale, Piazza Farnese 67, Rome, Latium, 00186, Italy

Map It



Sight Details:

  • €9
  • Closed Thurs.–Tues.

Published 06/20/2007


Book A Trip



  • CARS

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Rome

Subscribe to Newsletter
Sign up for Travel Tips & News
I want emails from Fodor's Travel with travel information and promotions. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails.

Thank you for your interest!

Look out for our newsletters with travel tips and special offers.