Rome in the pot: Aperitif in the centre of Rome? The ancient winehouse in Palazzo del Grillo is waiting for you!
Everybody knows Rome is the Eternal City, its rich history and several relevant characters made each one of its streets, squares, and stones an evidence of a great past. A few steps from Hotel Cosmopolita, Palazzo Del Grillo is a 1600 building where many important, fun and peculiar people have passed, by the time. This building is famous for its beloved resident, who lived there kidding rich and powerful people, interpreted by the great Alberto Sordi: the Marchese Del Grillo.
Abandoning yourself in the history of this building will be wonderful, to experience the achievements of the most important Renaissance characters of Rome, and to appreciate the incredible architecture. If you want to taste a good wine, the ancient wine house in Palazzo Del Grillo is waiting for you! You can admire the archaeology of the building and relax yourself tasting a great wine, enjoying the landscape.
The history of Palazzo del Grillo
Located in the square with the same in the historical centre of Rome, Palazzo del Grillo is a picturesque dwelling built in 1600. The structure is made of a wide facade, enclosed by two lateral parts. The left part is connected to the main facade by a footbridge with the shape of an arch, called Arco dei Conti. It is about two floors high, with the ancient medieval tower, entirely preserved. On the right, the arch stands on three floors. This tower is commonly called Miliziola, so you can distinguish it by the larger and close Torre delle Milizie, built in 1223. At the beginning, it was a property of Carboni's family, then of Conti's, until the Del Grillo family bought it in 1675, making several changes, adding the brackets, as the commemorative epigraph says: Ex Marchione De Grillis.
The architecture of the Palazzo Del Grillo: what to see?
Both the sections have decorations with friezies and spirals, but also lion heads and shells, giving the structure a very elegant and serious appearance.
The Baroque portal imposes itself thanks to its magnificence. Is at number 5 in the square and it has numerous decorations such as a double shell, dominated by a lion protome. From there, you can access to a little vestibule and to a long stairs, leading to a very welcoming garden, rich in stucco nymphaeums and fountains.
The fountain near the wall has a niche with the shape of a shell, representing two hermas keeping two vases of fruit. This work dates to 1676, and it belongs to Balthasar Permoser. Making a walk in the garden, you discover the splendid portal with its four columns, the statues of Mercury and Minerva, and - on the broken tympanum - there are a woman and a cupid keeping a low relief.
The interior is very wonderful, with several rooms decorated by frescoes on the ceilings, a gallery hosting stuccoes and a chapel, among which you can make the typical tour of the building. In the 19th century, the family Nicolis de Robilant got it until the second post-war, when it became the office of the famous painter Renato Guttuso .
Cinema and popular legends: the Marchese del Grillo has really existed?
Despite the building has changed several residents, it is still connected with the Roman culture, thanks to the famous Marchese Del Grillo, whose story was told by the famous Alberto Sordi, in the movie with the same name, symbol of the cinema. There are no precise information about him, as the stories we know have been told by the generations, without a precise name, date of birth or period. Despite the Marchese del Grillo still is a mysterious character, we surely know he used to disturb the quite life of the Renaissance Rome, enjoying himself insulting important and Jewish people, according to the legendary antipathy he had for the "li giudei" - the Jewish people - as he used to call them to insult them.
This controversial character, who used to take advantage of his richness to make very ironical jokes, has really existed? Or is it just a legend?
According to Bertini's stories about the Roman families and the information found in the Archivio Capitolino - the city archive -, we know two Del Grillo families lived there during the 19th and 17th centuries. We know the tomb of the family is situated in the church of S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini. All the information we have come from written evidences by the reporters of the time. Giovagnoli has a very interesting point of view - and also reliable -, telling - despite of the unknown date of birth - evidences say he was an historical character of the Roman culture, really existed. Moreover, the jokes told by the legends, refer exactly to the period they really took place.
To admire this wonderful building and discover the legends of the famous Marchese Del Grillo, you just have to stay at Cosmopolita Hotel, a few steps from the building, in the heart of Rome, near the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. You will be able to walk along Fori Imperiali, and visit the palace, without forgetting to taste great wines by the ancient wine house.
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