Palazzo Farnese is a popular attraction in Rome and one of the most impressive early examples of sixteenth-century architecture. Indeed, the Roman Palace was commissioned from the top and designed by some of the greatest practitioners of the age. Now, when you visit Palazzo Farnese in Rome, you will have to walk through what is now the French Embassy, but at one time, the magnificent palace had been the residence of a would-be pope and contained pieces of art by some of the most important artists of the day. Still, when you take Palazzo Farnese tours, you will be able to see breathtaking, frescoed walls, and the intricacies of the building itself.
Palazzo Farnese tours generally need to be booked months in advance. With the embassy security and the function of the building as a French governmental outpost, Palazzo Farnese tours are not as common or available as many of the other attractions in the city. This definitely should not keep you from at least visiting the Roman Palace, even if you decide not to set up an actual tour.
The Palazzo Farnese was an absolute architectural wonder for the early 16th century. It was commissioned by Alessandro Farnese and designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, who happened to have been an assistant to Bramante in the design of the Cathedral of St. Peter’s. Alessandro Farnese had been appointed a Cardinal in 1493 at the youthful age of 25 thanks to a fortunate association. His sister was Pope Alexander VI’s mistress. It is not surprising then that Cardinal Alessandro Farnese was well positioned to take his post as Pope Paul III in 1534. Around this time, Michelangelo was called in to complete the unfinished third floor and generally expand the luxurious palace. The additions that were to be made to the Palazzo Farnese were meant to reflect the change in status of not only the Papal leader but also of the Farnese family. Michelangelo added elaborate features including the ornate cornice that shadows the third floor of the building and made changes to increase the visual appeal of the courtyard that faced the public opening of the palace.
The sixteenth century also saw the addition to the two impressive fountains that face the public square of the Palazzo Farnese. The giant granite basins taken from the Baths of Caracala provided the basis for the formidable fountains. In a city where it is possible to do nothing but sightsee for a full week and still not take in even half the sites, it can be extremely difficult to choose exactly what to do and what to see. If you are interested in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Roman history, including its artists, designers, and architects, then you may want to consider paying a visit to this impressive Roman Palace. It is certainly one of the finest examples of sixteenth-century architecture in the city of Rome is perfectly preserved. It may not be necessary to take of the tour of the interior, as you can also drop by the square and explore the palace exterior while you're checking out the many other great things to do in Rome.