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Castles in Rome

Among the many historic monuments of Rome, two castles play an important role. They are listed as two of the most beautiful and amazing castles of the world. The first, Saint Angelos Castle, used to be the Mausoleum of Hadrian and later a strong fortress where many popes took refuge during political strife. Its inner walls between the Medieval bastions are original as is the entrance, which is no longer in use. Today, it is home to countless works of art as well as the museum of military relics. Another popular castle, not exactly in the city but about 30 kilometres from Rome, is Castel Gandolfo, which is the official summer residence of the Pope. It provides spectacular views over a beautiful lake and is a peaceful haven ideal for spending a few relaxing hours.


Castel Sant D'Angelo
Castel Sant D'Angelo, by Greg Fulton
 
Castel Sant D'Angelo
Address: Lungotevere Castello 50
  Phone: +39 06 681 91 11
 
Price: 0 - 5 EUR  
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Having passed Sant' Angelo Bridge, one is immediately confronted with the mighty structure of Castel Sant'Angelo. This fortress was started by Hadrian and was designed to serve as his family tomb. It was not until the Medieval period that this tomb received several additional structures, including the present-day ramparts and tower. Thus, the castle acquired a distinctly Medieval feel. Thoroughly transformed into a citadel, Castel Sant'Angelo is, however, organised around the old tomb of Hadrian, with the innermost walls being perfectly preserved and the Medieval bastions having remained intact. There are also several entrances remaining of the initial construction, as well as the original tower from Hadrian's era. The marble coating and the sumptuous sculptures, however, belong to a more recent epoque.
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Palazzo Sforza Cesarini
Palazzo Sforza Cesarini, by Anthony Majanlahti
 
Palazzo Sforza Cesarini
Address: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 141
  Phone: +39 06 9395 3134
 
Website: http://www.lasforzesca.it/ilpalazzo_en.asp  
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Palazzo Sforza Cesarini, a structure commissioned by Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, future Pope Alexander VI, was completed in 1492. The event coincided with the appointment of the Cardinal as Chancellor. The palazzo's facade, overlooking Via dei Banchi Vecchi, was entirely reconstructed in the 18th Century, receiving further additions in the 19th Century, thus being altered beyond recognition. It was also in the late 19th Century that the structure was partially demolished to be erected anew, in line with the plan for the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which was conceived to be one of Rome's major streets. Still, upon entering the spacious courtyard, one is immediately confronted with purely Renaissance features, revealing the palazzo's true origins.
The National Museum of Rome (Palazzo Altemps)
The National Museum of Rome (Palazzo Altemps), by @@@@@
 
Palazzo Altemps
Address: Piazza San Apollinare 48
  Phone: +39 06 3996 7700
 
Price: 0 - 7 EUR  
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Palazzo Altemps, the official home of Museo Nazionale Romano, is the site most tightly related to the life of Cardinal Altemps, the infamous nephew of Pope Pius IV. As legend has it, Cardinal Altemps received news that Pope Sixtus V had imposed a death sentence upon his son, and grieving, had thrown himself at the Pope's mercy. Still, the execution took place and the mournful father erected the well-known chapel in the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere to commemorate the event. Palazzo Altemps, apart from being witness to the tragic scene, represents a vivid testimony of the excessive splendour in which the Cardinal lived. Here one can also admire the Altemps coat of arms, as well as the symbols of Pope Pius IV and Pope Leo XI. The mighty structure is brimming with fine art, the highlights being the the sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Alessandro Algardi.
Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini, by James Rye
 
Palazzo Corsini
Address: Via della Lungara 10
  Phone: +39 06 6880 2323
 
Website: http://www.palazzocorsini.it/  
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This palazzo, erected by Cardinal Domenico Riario, a relative of Pope Sixtus IV, was the dwelling place of Queen Christina of Sweden. Sitting on an ambient square which opens up into the garden of Corsini, the palace was where the Queen moved after her conversion into Catholicism in the late 17th Century. The name Corsini is derived from its first proprietor, the nephew of Pope Clemens XII, Neri Corsini, who received the property as a gift from the Pope. The early 18th Century saw the structure entirely renovated by architect Ferdinando Fuga, who received wide approval for the implementation of strict proportions. Several traces of Baroque architecture can also still be observed, for example the characteristic pillars. Palazzo Corsini is now the home of Accademia dei Lincei and hosts regular picture exhibitions.
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Castello Scandeluzza
Address: Via Scandeluzza 10
 
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Scandeluzza Castle, an awe-inspiring structure of the early 18th Century, once belonged to the noble Pellegrini family. Set in the vicinity of Rome's historic centre, this Medieval structure is still inhabited by its rightful proprietors, and displays to its visitors exuberant interiors in the eclectic style, rich marble structures, lavish staircases and ultimate royal splendour. The site resembles a collectors' museum, being literally crammed with pieces of art. Conceived as a manor house, it now has been partially converted into a high-end hotel. Its owner, Prince Filippo Maria, gladly takes visitors along for a stroll through the vast corridors and spacious halls. Thus, this history-laden castello exhibits frescoed walls, valuable marble statues, 18th-century marble fireplaces and a lush garden, where torches are lit during the night. A section of the building is being used for various functions, meetings and ceremonies.
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Castelli Romani
Website: http://www.castelliromaniweb.it/  

Castelli Romani, literally meaning Roman Castles, refers to a set of hill-towns in the vicinity of Rome, characterised by important Medieval structures. In Roman times, this was a frequent retreat for the patrician population of Rome, and thus, thanks to its fresher air, the area received a good collection of Roman villas. During the Middle Ages the popes followed the trend, erecting a bulk of summer residences, most notably the fort at Castel Gandolfo. The noble families which ruled in the castelli, featuring the Orsini, Colonna, Chigi, Aldobrandini and Ruspoli families, have left an array of artifacts for the visitors to admire. Thus, the vicinity was freckled with the villas of Domitian Cicero, Vitellius and Pompeus Magnum, meanwhile receiving a temple dedicated to Jupiter Laziale, a shrine to Diana, Christian catacombs, etc. The hillside group of towns is enclosed by a chain of scenic lakes, most notably the Lake Albano. Excluding Castelgandolfo, the centrepiece of the area, other Castelli Romani towns feature Nemi, Frascati, Grottaferrata and Ariccia, brimming with patrician residences and wineries.
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Castello Della Castelluccia
Address: Via Carlo Cavina
 
Website: http://www.lacastelluccia.com/  
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Erected between the 12th and 13th Centuries, Castello Della Castelluccia is the Medieval continuation of an ancient Roman villa. It is also among the few distnictly Medieval structures to be found in proximity to the city's historic centre. The site is relatively isolated, occypying a green hill and surrounded by a garden. The Vatican with its papal splendour is set some 10 kilometres away, while the historic centre of Rome is 15 kilometres from the spot. Castello Della Castelluccia enjoys an evocative landscape, causing many artists to flock here with their easels and admire the dramatic outline of the stone structure against the woodlands and the lush greenery. As the site has been partially converted into a hotel, one can frequently see guests lounging outside and sunbathing. You can also try out horse-riding, strolling or contemplating the vistas of the wooded hills. The castle's lavish rooms include richly decorated rooms with furniture belonging to different periods, marble sculptures and busts, frescoed walls, ornate floors and an array of antique objects.
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Castel di Decima
Address: Via Clarice Tartufari 81
  Phone: +39 06 699 12 43
 
Website: http://www.casteldidecima.it/home_eng.htm  
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Castel Di Decima, set in the very vicinity of Rome, soars in the sky nearby the old Roman road to Naples. Thanks to its location at the tenth milestone, it earned its illustrious name (decima meaning ten). The citadel turret and the on-site chiesa (church) are older structures, mostly comprised of ancient walls and featuring an intricate set of underground passages as well as a Roman pool. Owing to its long and tumultuous history, the castle has played host to a number of famous figures, including Cardinal Luigi Torriggiani, who owned the castle in the late 18th Century, and initiated the thorough restructuring of the site during that period. Towards the turn of the 20th Century, the site was passed over to the Pallavicini family, while in 1938 Count Romolo Vaselli purchased the property, restoring a large portion of it to its present appearance. Castel Di Decima maintains a tight relation to its past, meanwhile offering a pleasant retreat from the core of Rome, with splendid pine forests and wooded hills. The interiors are invariably rich, equipped with high ceilings, period furniture and exquisite decorations. The site has been largely modernised over the recent years, with the installation of three conference halls seating up to 100 people, and is widely used for various celebrations such as wedding receptions.
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