Rome - Palazzo Barberini

Too tired to walk far in Rome? need a "no crowds" destination near the hotel? try the Pallazzo Barberini just a few steps away from Piazza Barberini. To get there from Piazza Barberini, make a left on Via Del Le Quattro Fontane, the street that runs right in front of Pepe's coffee shop.

The Palazzo, is just a few feet away on your left, easily identified by it's iron fence lined up with enormous male bearded sculptures. Enter the gates and walk past a water fountain on your left. The entrance to the museum is on the right side, on the right wing. Go up the spiral stairs to a second floor and push open the huge, wooden carved doors to enter.

At first, it will seem as if you have already entered the museum, for you will find an exhibit of small paintings. You have not entered the museum proper yet, this is just an entrance hall. Walk straight past the gift shop and you will find the ticket desk. Here is where the entrance to the collection officially begins.

The entry fee is 5 Euros (cash) and if you want a recorded tour in English, that will cost you an additional 2.5 Euros. I rented the recorded tour and I recommend it. It will help you understand the amazing ceiling frescoes, the impressive renaissance paintings and amazing sculptures in the collection. The recording also gives you valuable information on the artists that created each piece. The collection, is impressive. There are works by famous artists like Caravaggio, Raphael, Holbein and El Greco .

The best part of it all, the place is an oasis of silence and calm. I visited the Palazzo in August, as the streets of Rome were swarming with summer tourists in every historical site. Here, at the Palazzo Barberini, there were only 4 or 5 visitors in view, while I wandered leisurely through the palace. It felt as if I was the only one there. What a pleasure.

If you wish to only visit the Palace Gardens, you don't have to enter the museum/collection section. Just walk past the buildings to the rear of the property and enjoy the peaceful green areas for free. As you wander around the property, you will notice sculpted and painted bees. It is the Barberini's family symbol repeated through out the whole property. Just look over the doors, in some paintings and frescoes and on various outside walls. See if you can spot them.

I hope you enjoy the palace like I did, as a nice,quiet escape from the crowds in the heat of the summer in Rome.

For more on the history of Palazzo Barberini, go to this address:


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