History of Rome

QUIRINAL PALACE… COMING SOON!

QUIRINAL PALACE… COMING SOON!

The largest palace in Rome, former abode of Popes and kings and since 1946 dwelling place of the President of the Italian Republic,will be soon open to public every day. We are referring to the Quirinal Palace, a gem in the heart of Rome which hosts artistic treasures of immense value insiede its 1,200 rooms.
The newly elected President Sergio Mattarella disposed indeed its opening on a daily base to make it the home of all Italians and of those wishing to get deeper into the history of our country. Spreading on a surface of more than 110,000 m², the Quirinal Palace is actually one of the largest building in the world, and the widest residence of a head of state. It stands on the highest hill in Rome (the namasake Quirinal Hill), which ensures a wonderful view on the Eternal City’s center.
Until the new arrangement becomes effective, it is currently open on Sundays only from 8:30 am to 12 pm. For the remaining part of 2015, it will be closed on 5 April – 31 May – 1 November – 20, 27 December and during summer time (28 June – 6 September).
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THE SWISS GUARD TURNS 509 YEARS!

THE SWISS GUARD TURNS 509 YEARS!

The Swiss Guard of the Pope turned 509 years last week.
On 22 January fell indeed the anniversary of their hiring at the Holy Seat: it was 1506 when Pope Julius II recruited a guarnison of soldiers from today’s Switzerland for his own safeguard in the Vatican. Since then they kept serving him with loyalty until today, linked to him by an oath which includes life sacrifice and which they didn’t hesitate to respect many times: in 1527, for instance, on occasion of the so called “Sack of Rome”, when out of 189 soldiers, only 42 survived to protect the then Pope. Coming closer to our times, the Swiss Guard mantained its loyalty to the Holy Seat even when the Papal State was deprived of its political and territorial powers by the new born Italian State, in 1861.
A little folkloric note: the Swiss Guard’s old fashioned uniform is not as ancient as we might think, being the fruit of a design which dates back to 1914, when the corp underwent major reforms. The new outfit was inspired to Raffaello’s drawings though, from which thing it derives its clear Renaissance looking.
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