Fodor's Expert Review Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne
Following the shape of Emperor Domitian's Odeon arena, a curving, columned portico identifies this otherwise inconspicuous palace on a traffic-swept bend of Corso Vittorio Emanuele. In the 1530s, Renaissance architect Baldassare Peruzzi built this new palace for the Massimo family, after their previous dwelling had been destroyed during the Sack of Rome. (High in the papal aristocracy, they claimed an ancestor who had been responsible for the defeat of Hannibal.) If you visit on March 16, you'll be able to go upstairs to visit the family chapel in commemoration of a miracle performed here in 1583 by St. Philip Neri, who is said to have recalled a young member of the family, one Paolo Massimo, from the dead (expect a line). Any other day of the year, though, you'll only be able to view the building from the outside. The palazzo's name comes from the columns of the ancient Odeon; one is still visible in the square at the back of the palazzo.