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Piazza and Palazzo Farnese

One of the most important palaces of the High Renaissance, once home to Pope Paul III and currently the French Embassy.

TravelCurious Tip

Walk around the side streets near the Palazzo and Campo de' Fiori and see how many times you can spot the Farnese name - it's everywhere!

Pope Paul's Palazzo

Just behind the bustling Campo de' Fiori is the Piazza Farnese, where you will find the enormous Palazzo of the same name. Farnese was the name of the family of Pope Paul III, who was born Alessandro Farnese before becoming a cardinal under the Borgia Papacy (and who did very well for himself indeed).

The Palazzo was built for the family in 1517 during the High Renaissance, and is considered one of the most important palaces of the era to be found in all of Italy. Alessandro ordered elaborate expansion and redesign to the palace he when became Pope in 1534. He commissioned the venerable Michelangelo, who restyled the third floor and the courtyard. The interior is full of stunning frescoed rooms depicting classical scenes, such as the Hercules room and the famous Gallery with 'The Loves of the Gods' by Annibale Carracci, an extremely important Renaissance fresco.

House of learning

Pope Paul III was a lover of classical art and myth, and stocked the palace with his vast collection of Greco-Roman sculptures. It also houses a large scholarly library. The design of the building has been copied around the world, notably by the National Building Museum of Washington DC and the Royal Palace in Stockholm. 
In 1936 it was leased to the French government for €1 a year for a period of 99 years, and today it serves as their embassy in Italy. If you visit the courtyard today you will see the magnificent façade by Michelangelo as well as two large granite fountains, which are actually basins taken from the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Rome
Piazza Navona
A lovely square on the former site of the Stadium of Domitian, boasting wonderful Baroque fountains.
Campo De' Fiori
Host to a daily fruit and vegetable market, this square is a great place to soak up the atmosphere of Rome.
Trastevere
A busy, charming and characterful district across the Tiber which has kept hold of its authenitic Roman feel.
The Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone
A beloved Baroque church set in Piazza Navona.
Villa Farnesina
A gorgeous Renaissance building, with some amazing artwork and lovely gardens.
Lungotevere
The banks of the Tiber, or the Lungotevere, offer impressive views of Rome and are lined with drooping trees.

Related Tours

Progressive Dining Evening (Group Tour)
With an expert foodie as your tour guide, you’ll sample plenty of Italy’s delicacies— more than enough food for dinner- while you enjoy the beautiful streets of Rome at dusk, away from heat and manic traffic. This is a fun and exciting way to taste many types of Italian food in one night, and do some sightseeing along the way. 

  • Taste true Roman-style pizza 
  • Enjoy pasta dishes sampling carbonara and amatriciana 
  • Sample a wine tasting with a unique variety of local meats and cheeses 
  • Finish up with an unforgettable typical Italian gelato
    
    

Our Rome Progressive Dining food tour is about indulging the senses, but our experience isn’t limited to food and wine. In between stops, enjoy an interactive city tour with your informative and entertaining tour guide. Visit Rome’s most authentic areas, such as Campo de Fiori and Jewish Ghetto. Whether you’re an intrepid novice or a serious Italian food enthusiast, you will enjoy this sophisticated but informal food adventure that takes you around Rome to celebrate its cuisine and the story behind it, feeling and eating like a true Roman. 

*The Food consumed on the tour ranges from various types of pork to cheeses of cow, sheep and goat milk.

We built this tour because Rome has the finest Italian food in the world, and so it helps to be guided in order to unravel culinary gems. 
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