Key to Umbria: Perugia

Other Patrician Palaces in Perugia

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Walk I

Palazzo Capocci (1361)


Cardinal Nicolò Capocci built this palace, probably intending it for the Collegio di San Gregorio (later Sapienza Vecchia) that he established in 1361.  (The college was in fact established in Via della Cupa).  The Collegio dei Notai, which was built next to Palazzo Capocci in 1438-46, can be seen to the left in the photograph above.  [Unfortunately, the tower to the right, which was part of the palace, is cut off the photograph.]

When Cardinal Capocci died in 1370, the Palazzo Capocci passed to the Commune and in 1388 was used as the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo.  Pope Boniface IX stayed here in 1391. From the 16th century, the palace belonged to a succession of noble families (the Alfani, the della Staffa and, from 1830, the Vajani).  It is now in multiple ownership.

Take a short detour left along Via Fani and left again along Via Forno to see the external staircase at the back of the palace (illustrated above).

Palazzo Ceccoli (17th century) 

This palace, which stands on the foundations of a medieval predecessor, was built for the Ceccoli family and subsequently owned by a series of other noble families: Crispolti; della Penna; Pucci Boncambi; and Massini.  It now belongs to the Banco di Roma.

An inscription to the right of the portal in Via Baldo records the death in service of the naval commander Count Marcello Lippi Boncambi in 1944.

Palazzo Danzetta (16th century)

Angelo Leonardo Danzetta, a merchant of leather and fabrics, built this palace next to Santa Maria del Popolo at some time after 1547.  The upper two storeys, which extend over the church, were added in the 18th century.  The portico of the ex-church is visible on the right in this photograph.

The palace now houses the Agenzia di Promozione Turistica della Regione Umbria (Umbrian Tourist Board).

Palazzo Lippi-Alessandri (17th century)

The Lippi-Alessandri family built this palace, which passed to the Franceschini family (in 1851) and subsequently to the Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia (in 1909).  Dino Lilli designed the adaptation of the interior in the 1930s.

The palace was originally separated from the Palazzo dei Priori by Via dei Pentolini, which marked the boundary between the Rione di Porta Eburnea and the Rione di Porta Santa Susanna.  This street was vaulted in 1790 to support three storeys: the top two were added to the apartments of the papal governors in Palazzo dei Priori and the lowest was added to Palazzo Lippi.  The area under the vaults was subsequently also incorporated into Palazzo Lippi, and now houses an ATM.

Via Scura, to the left of the palace, was also vaulted in the late 18th century to allow the extension of the three upper storeys of Palazzo Lippi.  Its designation “scura” (dark) presumably dates to this time.

Return to Monuments of Perugia.

Return to Walk I.

Walk II

Palazzo Armellini (1524)


The Perugian Cardinal Franceso Armellini (who added "de' Medici to his surname after his patron, Pope Leo X) acquired the land for this palace from the Commune just three years before his death during the sack of Rome (1527). 

The palace was incorporated into the Ospedale della Misericordia in the 17th century.   The ground floor was rented our for the fish market until 1834. 

[The Fascist headquarters were at number 50.] 

A symbol of a fish and the trigram of the hospital can be seen on the architraves of the portals at numbers 40 and 50 Via Oberdan.

Palazzo Bianchi (1873-6)

The renowned lawyer Alessandro Bianchi built this palace in the period of rapid urban development that took place after the unification of Italy.  He purchased the site from the Municipality and commissioned the design for the palace from Guglielmo Calderini.  He used the new palace for both residential and business purposes.

The palace was recently redeveloped for residential use.

Palazzo Brutti (17th century)

The main entrance is in Via Pozzo Campana (to the right in this photograph - not shown).  Its most distinctive features are the Baroque windows on the side wall in Via Ulisse Rocchi (illustrated here).  Its far wall incorporates part of the Etruscan wall to the right of Arco Etrusco.

The palace now houses the Soprintendenza per i Beni Ambientali, Architettonici, Archeologici, Artistici e Storici dell’ Umbria.

Palazzo Crispolti (13th century)

This palace belonged to the Crispolti family of Bettona, and was partially demolished in ca. 1350 when Bettona rebelled against Perugian rule.  The surviving part of the palace passed to the Arte di Pietra e Legname (guild of stonemasons and woodworkers) until 1370, when it was returned to the Crispolti family.

The arches (13th century) on the ground floor are unnaturally tall because of the lowering of street level in 1581.  A series of original bifore windows survives in the storey above.

Palazzo Veracchi (1550)

This palace stands on the foundations of the Palazzo Papale (1371) of Fortezza di Porta Sole.  This earlier palace, like the rest of the fortress, was largely destroyed in 1376: its inner courtyard and well survive but cannot be visited.  According to tradition, this well received the bodies of two illustrious murder victims:

  1. Biordo Michelotti (1398); and

  2. Grifonetto Baglioni (1500).

The inscription over the portal of the present palace records its construction in 1550 by the jurist Ristoro Castaldi.  It subsequently passed to the Crispolti family and then, in 1887, to Ranieri Veracchi. 

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Return to Walk II.

Walk III

Portal of Palazzo Pasini (17th century)


The Baroque portal of Palazzo Pasini is attributed to Valentino Martelli, who possibly lived here.  It has two flamboyant griffins above its lintel and the Latin inscription “ AVARITIA TURBAT DOMUS” (avarice disturbs the house). 

Palazzo degli Sciri (13th century)

This palace originally belonged to the Sciri family.  All that remains of the original structure is its tower, which is over 40 meters high.  There were some 700 such towers in Perugia in the Middle Ages, but this is is one of very few that survive.

The rest of the palace had been rebuilt and has suffered periodic renovations.  Interesting surviving features include:

  1. a  window adapted from a door framed by a pointed arch;

  2. a closed door surmounted by a lintel with letters "N” and “I" divided by a  a coat of arms representing a bird's foot;

  3. a niche with a Madonna and Child and the invocation begging the Madonna’s prayers (Mater Divina Gratia, ora pro nobis);

  4. at the foot of the tower at the rear, the arms of the Sciri family and an inscribed date, 1556.

When the Sciri family became extinct in the 17th century, the palace passed to Caterina della Penna degli Oddi, who in turn gave it to Lucia Tartaglini da Cortona, a tertiary Franciscan who belonged to the Monastero delle Bartolette.  She founded an orphanage her in 1680, which was known as the Conservatorio di Suor Lucia.  The palace later passed to the Oblate Sisters (lay women) of San Fillipo Neri.

The palace is being adapted for residential use (2103).

Palazzo Vermiglioli (17th century)

This palace belonged to an ancient Perugian family that included Giovanni Battista Vermiglioli (1769-1848), an archeologist and one of the founders of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

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Return to Walk III.

Walk IV

Palazzo Baldeschi Colonna (17th century)

Cardinal Federico Baldeschi Colonna commissioned this palace (9 Via Baglioni), but it remained incomplete when died in 1691.  It owes its current appearance to the remodelling carried out in 1936 by its present owner, Banco di Napoli.

Palazzo Cesarei Rossi Leoni (17th century)

The Rossi Leoni family built this palace (11-15 Via Baglioni).  It passed by marriage to the Cesarei family: Giulio Cesarei (1744-1829) was mayor of Perugia during the Napoleonic occupation of 1809 and under the subsequent papal government. 

Palazzo Monaldi (1657)

This palace (17-29 Via Baglioni) was built by Cardinal Benedetto Monaldi Bracceschi

Palazzo Pontani [date?]

Palazzo Pontani was among a number of palaces on the right at the start of what is now Corso Cavour that were demolished in 1836, in order to link it to what is now Viale Indipendenza.  The celebrated jurist Gugliemo Pontano (1478-1555) had taught law here in the 16th century.

Some 18 frescoes (1535), which are attributed to Giovanni Battista Caporali, were detached from the Sala Maggiore of the palace before its demolition.  One of these (illustrated above), which is displayed in the Galleria Nazionale, depicts the palace [on the right?], with the campanile of San Pietro (below) in the distance.

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Return to Walk IV.

Walk V

Palazzo Ranieri (17th century) 


This palace belonged to the Ranieri family, which supplied the Imperial Podestà of Perugia under the Emperor Frederick I.  He was present at the negotiation of the Peace of Venice between Frederick I and Pope Alexander III in 1177. 

The family’s coat of arms is over the portal.  [Significance of the crown ?] 

Casa di Ranaldus Ridolfinus (16th century)

The inscription of the portal records that this house belonged to the jurist Rinaldo Ridolfino (died 1591).  However, the portal itself seems to have been rebuilt in ca. 1700.  The house belonged to the Sforza Paolucci and then the Bigazzini families in the 17th century. 

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Return to Walk VI.

Walk VII

Palazzine Biscarini (1894)

These two palaces stand on the site of the Politeama Calderini (1871), an enormous structure that Guglielmo Calderini designed to house public spectacles on a site liberated by the demolition of the southern stronghold of Rocca Paolina.  Unfortunately, it had to be pulled down almost immediately due to structural problems.

The twin palaces that were subsequently built on the site were designed by architect Nazarene Biscarini and decorated in terracotta the Fornace Angeletti-Biscarini.  They were renovated in 1940, when their original balconies and their mythological statues were removed.  [They are now in the Frontone gardens]

Palazzo Calderini (1871)


                          Facade in Piazza d’ Italia                  Semi-circular back of the palace, with

                                                                                              Palazzo della Provincia to the left

                                                                                               and Palazzo della Penna below

Guglielmo Calderini built this palace on the semi-circular foundations established by Cardinal Rivarola in his remodelling of what was then Piazza Rivarola in 1800-8.  The terracotta reliefs on the facade came from Fornace Angeletti-Biscarini.  The palace was the first condominium in Perugia. 

Palazzo Cesaroni (1897)


Palazzo Cesaroni was built for Ferdinando Cesaroni by Guglielmo Calderini.  Houses on this site that had belonged to the Monaldi family had been demolished in ca. 1540 to make way for Rocca Paolina.  The palace was never occupied by the Cesaroni family.  It served as the Palace Hotel until 1925, when it was bought by an insurance company.  It passed to the state in the 1970s and now houses the Consiglio Regionale dell' Umbria.

Frieze (1897)

The terracotta frieze of putti under the cornice under the roof came from Fornace Angeletti-Biscarini.

Decoration of Sala Brugnoli (ca. 1897)

Ferdinando Cesaroni commissioned this important fresco from Annibale Brugnoli for the ceiling of the room in his new palace that is known as Sala Brugnoli.  This fresco, which depicts the Dance of the Hours and which is painted in the so-called Liberty Style, is illustrated on the website of the Consiglio Regionale dell' Umbria.

Domenico Bruschi executed the female figures on the mirrors in this room and the fictive tapestries on the walls.

Palazzo Gnoni-Mavarelli  (1860-2)

The Cassa di Risparmio commissioned this building from Guglielmo Calderini on land released by the demolition of part of Rocca Paolina.  It was designed to house the public baths but it subsequently proved to be impossible to supply it with adequate water.

Giacomo Brufani bought the building in 1874 and opened a hotel here, in which Richard Wagner stayed in 1880.  Brufani sold the palace in 1883, when he opened Hotel Brufani nearby (see Walk VII).  It subsequently passed to the Gnoni-Mavarelli family.

The palace now houses Hotel Iris.

Palazzo Patrizi (early 18th century)

The Marchese Patrizi built this palace, which became the headquarters of the company that ran the stagecoach service from Perugia.  It soon developed into what was the first hotel in Perugia, the Locanda della Posta.  Famous guests have included Goethe (in 1786) and the Emperor Frederick III of Prussia (in 1824). 

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Return to Walk VII.