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Discovering Palazzo della Cancelleria

Guided tour for journalists among the beauties of the majestic Renaissance building

Vatican City, 8 September 2023 - A precious opportunity to be enraptured by the little-known wonders of Palazzo della Cancelleria. On Tuesday 12 September, at 11:30 a.m., the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) invites interested journalists to take part in a guided tour of the rooms of one of Rome's most prestigious palaces. Those who wish to take part will be welcomed in the Sala Vasari, where the President of APSA, Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, will give an introductory speech, followed by a greeting from the Director of Editorial Management of the Dicastery for Communication, Andrea Tornielli. Also present will be architect Maria Mari, professor of History of Architecture at the Faculty of Engineering of Rome Tor Vergata Claudia Conforti, and engineer Mauro Tomassini. The latter were involved in the recent restoration work on the exterior of the Renaissance building.

The imposing palace, between Campo de' Fiori and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, was built at the behest of Cardinal Raffaele Riario, nephew of Sixtus IV, on an earlier architectural core dating back to the time of Pope Damasus. The building, with its main façade in travertine, was the seat of the Apostolic Chancellery, before housing, in our time, the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Apostolic Signatura and the Roman Rota.

Through the main door, added in the sixteenth century by Domenico Fontana, one arrives at the large rectangular courtyard with three orders, attributed to Bramante. An imposing staircase leads to the main floor of the palace, inside which are sumptuously decorated rooms for residence, ceremonial and liturgy, such as the “Hundred Days” room frescoed by Giorgio Vasari. In the hypogeum of the building, accessible through the rooms on the ground floor, is preserved the Roman sepulchre of Consul Aulio Irzio, completely submerged in the water of the artificial canal, still visible today, the Euripus, built in Roman times to drain the waters from the Baths of Agrippa to the river Tiber.


Journalists and media workers who wish to participate must apply, by 24 hours before the event, via the Holy See Press Office online accreditation system, at: press.vatican.va/accreditamenti