A twist in the tale of the Italian Quirinale Palace

The office where it all happens

Here we are. The moment has come to hop into the President’s office (no pictures with flash, please!) and uncover all the details that he works next to as he performs his duties, attends functions, and receives foreign guests and members of Parliament. Few know that, originally, when the Quirinale Palace was the seat of the Vatican, the lavishing room was the Pope’s summer bedroom. During the Napoleonic restyling, it was used as the emperor’s dining room and at the end of the 19th century, King Umberto I turned it into an office that linked to the bedroom in the adjoining Sala di Druso (Room of Drusus the Elder).

They’re only human

It was an eclectic group of people who lived — and live — in this Palace over the years. Here is one such example: the Savoy family, and other former habitants, used the Great Hall of the Cuirassiers, the largest of the rooms, as an indoor tennis court. At a point in time, it was also used as a skating rink for the entertainment of the Savoy princes. Which explains why, during some recent restorations, a tennis ball was found behind the tympanum (decorative arch) that tops the access portal of the Pauline Chapel, a space dedicated to Pope Paul V, who commissioned this and other large rooms at the South of the Palace.

A love for nature and its fruits

Last but not least, you will arrive at the beautiful outdoor gardens which you can also see through the Street View technology on Google Arts & Culture. You can also see the Porta Giardini, a nineteenth-century gate entering the Viale delle Palmen, bordered on both sides by twelve geometric flower beds with a rare and rich collection of tree species.

Your trip to the Quirinale Palace doesn’t end here! Browse over 1000 images, photoshoots of 13 artworks through Art Camera and more than 100 km of Street View digitizations in the Palace and President’s summer location in the woods, Castelporziano Residence.

Visit g.co/quirinale, or download Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app to continue learning and having fun. And if this exhibition got you in the mood to see more of Italy and its beauties, embark on our other online experiences, such as a trip to Parma Capital of Culture 2020+21 .

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