The Palazzo Venezia, begun in 1451 by Cardinal Pietro Barbo, later Pope Paul II, continued under a number of architects and completed in 1491, stands next to the church of San Marco in the Piazza Venezia, one of the busiest traffic intersections in the world. The palace is now occupied by the Palazzo Venezia Museum and the National Institute of Archeology and Art History, and is also frequently used for temporary art exhibitions.
Via del Plebiscito 118, I-00186 Rome, Italy
9am-2pm; Sun: 9am-1pm; Closed: Mon
Useful tips: Special exhibitions are sometimes on display in the evening.
Transit: Metro: Colosseo (line B); Bus: 46, 57, 85, 87, 88, 90, 90b, 92, 94, 95, 716, 718, 719.
This elegant and harmoniously proportioned palace belonged between 1594 and 1797 to the Republic of Venice - hence its name - and then became the Austrian Embassy. During the Fascist period it was the official residence of Mussolini, who used to deliver his rhetorical speeches from the central balcony. Adjoining the Palazzo Venezia, with its massive facade and tower, is the smaller Palazzetto Venezia, which was moved to its present site when the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II was built. The Palazzo Venezia Museum contains a varied collection - wood and marble sculpture, weapons and textiles, tapestries and pictures, busts and terracotta models, applied arts and printed books, a map of the world in the Sala del Mappamondo, porcelain and glass - from many different periods, nations and cultures.
A large collection of Coptic textiles and portrait metals are housed in this museum.