In the heart of the old town in Florence, just a short walk away from Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, stands Palazzo Borghese – one of the Tuscan capital’s finest examples of neoclassic architecture.
The beauty and magnificence of this building are truly dazzling.
Here Camillo Borghese lived for part of his short marriage with Paolina Bonaparte.
After the fall of the French Empire, Prince Camillo returned finally to Florence, where he was asked by the Grand-duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand II, to commission the renovation of the old Palazzo Salviati. Thanks to the taste and careful attention to detail with which the works were carried out, the new Palazzo Borghese took on the splendor and magnificence that characterise the building today.
The Palazzo was inaugurated on 31 January 1822.
In 1843, several years after the death of Prince Camillo Borghese, his younger brother and successor decided to donate the first floor of the Palazzo to be transformed into the Florence Casino, marking the beginning of the history of the private and exclusive club known as the Circolo Borghese, which still exists to this day.
Today the most prestigious areas of Palazzo Borghese, after it was restored again in 1994, are used for receptions, conferences and events.
The main entrance hall, decorated with large Egyptian-style statues in niches, opens onto to a glazed loggia leading to the hall of the staircase, flanked by Corinthian columns, statues and memorial plaques.
On the first floor the monumental rooms are characterised by extreme grandeur and opulence, with their profusion of gilded stuccoes, marble statues, columns, carved giltwood chandeliers and paintings.
The Room of Mirrors takes its name from the huge mirrors that line its walls. The gilded stuccoes featuring musical instruments, the long divans along the side walls and the upper level suggest that it was originally a music room or ballroom.
The so-called ‘Council Room’ boasts a remarkable fireplace in Empire style, on either side of which stands a caryatid;
Other rooms with decorated ceilings are the Red Room, the Pink Room, the Middle Room, the Yellow Room and the Green Room.
The most spectacular part of the Palazzo is the magnificent Monumental Gallery, which is almost 35 metres long and around 7 metres wide. It was originally used for parties.
Most of the mirrors, chandeliers, console tables and furniture that still decorate the Palazzo today were made in the best craftsmen’s workshops of the period. Palazzo Borghese has maintained its original splendour intact. During the last decade it was fitted with all the comforts necessary to make it a prestigious venue for meetings and conferences. The five rooms can hold up to 40 people, The Room of Mirrors up to 100 and the Gallery can seat as many as 300.
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