Key to Umbria: Amelia

Palaces of the Geraldini Family

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Palazzo Geraldini del Borgo (originally 15th century)


According to the “Vita Angeli Geraldini”, the biography of Angelo Geraldini written by his nephew Antonio in ca. 1470, Angelo rebuilt the family palace in the Borgo at great expense.  This palace probably stood on the site of the later one at number 66-8 Via della Repubblica: an inscription here records that Pope Sixtus IV stayed as a guest of Angelo Geraldini in “DOMUM HANC GERALDINAM” (in the house of the Geraldini) for 20 days in 1476.  (This was probably the occasion on which Sixtus IV met the young Pier Matteo d' Amelia and commissioned him to decorate the vault of the Sistine Chapel).

This palace and the one to the right of it (see below) stand on the site of a Roman cistern.

Palace of Pace Busitani ? (originally 15th century)


An inscription (1926) in the facade of the palace at number 80-2 Via della Repubblica records that Alessandro Geraldini, the son of Angelo’s sister Graziosa and Pace Busitani) was born here in 1455).  Assuming that the inscription is on the correct palace, it presumably belonged to Pace Busitani. 

Alessandro’s palace passed to his nephew Onofrio Geraldini (the son of his sister, Tullia and their distant relation, Valerio Geraldini), who had travelled to Santo Domingo as Alessandro’s representative in 1517 and returned with considerable wealth.  This experience might be reflected in the inscription on the architrave of the portal, which is taken from Psalm 66:12: “we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance”.  Onofrio began the restoration of the palace after his return to Amelia from the New World in ca. 1526 and his heirs continued the programme after his death (in 1550). 

The last documented restoration of the palace was undertaken in 1582 by Onofrio’s hers and by Pomponio, Ottavio, Tullio and Alfonso Geraldini, who then owned the palace of Angelo Geraldini (above).  The programme involved the incorporation of a “casalino” (small ruined house) that connected them.

[According to Emilio Lucci (referenced below), the inscription relating to Alessandro’s place of birth was placed on the wrong palace in 1926.  He believes that Alessandro was actually born in a palace was next to Palazzo Nacchi, near Santa Caterina.  An inscription on the portal of this palace reads “...US GERALDINUS”, followed by the date 1508, albeit that the portal itself seems to have been remodelled in the late 17th century.  Professor Lucci suggests that the missing Christian name belonged to Antonio, the brother of Onofrio.  I have yet to find this palace.  The information of the 1582 restoration of the palace at 80 Via della Repubblica is from Professor Lucci’s paper.  I am grateful to Christian Corvi for the photograph above and for his insights into the history of the palaces of Angelo and Alessandro Geraldini.].

Palazzo Battista Geraldini (1470s)


Battista Geraldini  built this palace (at 19 Via del Duomo) on Roman foundations that can still be seen to the east.  His arms can be seen on the facade.  The palace remains in the Geraldini family.  This website on the Geraldini family includes images of the frescoes (16th century) in its five main rooms.

Read more:

E. Lucci, “La Famiglia Geraldini e l' Eredità del Vescovo Alessandro” (2011): this paper is reproduced in the website (linked at the bottom of the page on Alessandro Geraldini)

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