Step inside the lavish palazzo of one of most historic and notable noble families in Rome on our exclusive Private Colonna Palace Tour. With privileged access to the Galleria Colonna art collection with its frescoed walls and swirling marble with the Princess Isabelle apartments, you’ll leave with a truly unique experience of what’s behind Rome’s closed doors at a palace that rivals Versailles.
At a Glance Why You’ll Love It
|Gain exclusive access at one of the Eternal City’s most ornate and sumptuous private palaces belonging to the Colonna family for over 800 years. This is truly a rare privilege to see what’s behind Rome’s closed doors.
|A private guide will escort you through the Colonna Palace with tales of the family’s illustrious past, a look at Colonna Gallery’s incredible art and architecture, as well as the intimacy of the opulent Princess Isabelle Apartments.
|This is a completely private tour reserved for special openings to a very select few. Your loved ones will be treated to an experience like no other available at Rome’s other highly trafficked attractions.
Tour Summary Get in the Know
An Exclusive Opening at Colonna Palace Reserved for You
The Eternal City offers a swirl of awe-inspiring sights to visitors, but after the Vatican Museums, Colosseum, Major Basilicas, important churches, grand piazzas, and Borghese Gallery, you may well feel there’s something you’ve missed. It’s no secret, as you walk Rome’s cobbled streets, the doors of the amazing palazzos that make them so beautiful are almost always closed, hiding another rarely glimpsed side of the city. Now’s your chance to take advantage of a private invitation to enter one you’ll never forget, and see how the Roman nobility really lived.
Our Private Colonna Palace Tour takes you inside what has been hailed as Rome’s Versailles. Home to the influential Colonna family for over 800 years, the building symbolizes the trials and tribulations of both its owners and the city of Rome from the late Medieval period to the 20th century. Its richly decorated halls are also home to the dazzling Galleria Colonna, which rivals the great royal residences of Europe, gathering one of Rome’s largest private art collections, and the intimate elegance of the Princess Isabelle Apartments.
The History of the Colonna Family & Their Roman Abode
The Colonna sit among Rome’s most powerful and distinguished noble families, together with names like the Orsini and Barberini. With 23 cardinals, a pope, a victorious military commander at the battle of Lepanto in 1571, as well as various diplomats and aesthetes, the 31 generations of this bloodline both adapted to and defined the times they lived in. Perhaps no other motto sums up the values they embody than “Sempre Immota”, Latin for “always unchanged”, which you will see engraved on the column at the center of the palace courtyard.
Perhaps the first illustrious family member was Oddone Colonna who was elected Pope Martin V in 1417. Among his most noteworthy accomplishments was returning the Papacy to Rome after some 100 years in Avignon, France, as well as establishing the Colonna Palace as the seat of the Papacy in the Eternal City until his death in 1431. For the next 300 years the palace would be consolidated and renovated with contributions from the greatest artistic minds from the Renaissance to the Baroque to create the envy of Italy’s noble dwellings.
The Galleria Colonna & Princess Isabelle Apartments
The jewels in the crown of the Colonna Palace interior are without doubt the Colonna Gallery and the private apartments of Princess Isabelle. As the floor plan of this princely residence evolved, rooms were continuously embellished to mark the highest artistic standards, as well as repurposed to suit the changing needs of the patrons. The main gallery was inaugurated in 1703 with contributions from the great architects of the High Baroque, including del Grande, Bernini, and Carlo Fontana of St. Peter’s Basilica fame. As if this pedigree weren’t enough, the collection features masterpieces by Carracci, Bronzino, Tintoretto, and Perugino.
The Princess Isabelle Apartments on the otherhand reflect the extension of important Colonna women into the 20th century. This tradition began with the likes of Vittoria Colonna, the famous Italian poetessa who was contemporary and muse to Michelangelo, and Maria Mancini who brought French customs to Rome at the height of the Counter-Reformation. Princess Isabelle came to Rome from Lebanon as the wife of Marcantonio Colonna in 1909. Known as the “Queen” of Roman society, she was known to host Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie Kennedy, and others in her elegant salons, as well as opening Colonna Palace to external visitors.
What you’ll See Along the Way
- Gain VIP Access into Palazzo Colonna at Your Time of Choice
- Private Viewing of the Colonna Gallery
- Observe Countless Artistic Masterpieces
- Tour the Untouched Apartments of Princess Isabelle
- Discover the Famous Works in the Hall of Apotheosis
- Private opening of Palazzo Colonna
- Expert English-speaking guide
- Exclusive access to Galleria Colonna
- Exclusive access to Princess Isabelle’s Apartment