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Rear Window: Palazzo del Gallo di Roccagiovine

Piazza Farnese discloses like a majestic flower at the end of the narrow Via dei Baullari, in the very heart of ‘Regola’ district, and is dominated by the imposing size of the beautiful Palazzo Farnese – now the French embassy – built by Antonio da Sangallo, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Vignola and Giacomo della Porta. Here, in front of the ancient residence of Cardinal Farnese, the Palazzo del Gallo of Roccagiovine – also known as Palazzo Fusconi Pighini – rises, more modest but equally proud, built on a project by Baldassarre Peruzzi in 1520. The main door of the building , unfortunately, is almost always closed, but don’t be discouraged: if one reaches Piazza Campo de ‘Fiori and asks the kind owners of the “Nolano” restaurant to use the toilet, a small window protected by a heavy railing will reveal the treasure enclosed in the courtyard of this Renaissance building. In the inner cloister there is a magnificent and spectacular grand staircase with three orders of columns and pilasters, slightly oblique and embellished by a balustrade decorated with marble and stucco. It was molded by the talent of the architect Tomano Alessandro Specchi, who must have had a weakness as well as a real talent for stairways: in a few years (we are in 1720) he would have delivered to the city his most famous scale, the world-renown Spanish Steps of Piazza di Spagna.

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