Palazzo del Grillo

The site of a classic film, this landmark, 17th-century palace features a preserved, medieval tower. The Palazzo del Grillo, located in the square of the same name, is a picturesque seventeenth-century residence consisting of a façade and two lateral antepartments: the one on the left, connected to the façade via an arched overpass called “dei Conti”, has five floors and incorporates the ancient medieval tower, entirely preserved, while the one on the right has three floors. The windows of both bodies have both decorations with volutes and friezes, both lion heads and shells. The entire plan of the building is rather irregular given the slope of the area, the project of which was brilliantly solved by an architect who remained unknown.

The tower, also called “Torre della Miliziola” to distinguish it from the nearby and larger Torre delle Milizie, was built in 1223 as the property of the Carboni family, then, in the seventeenth century, it passed to the Counts until in 1675 it was purchased by the Marquises del Grillo who renovated it in the context of the palace, adding the original corbeled crowning, as indicated by the commemorative epigraph “EX MARCHIONE DE GRILLIS”.

A magnificent baroque portal , located at number 5 of the square, is decorated with a double shell surmounted by a lion protome, from which two festoons depart: from here you enter a short vestibule and then a staircase leading to a small garden full of stucco fountains and nymphaeums. In particular, here is located, against the wall, a fountain consisting of a shell niche and two herms supporting vases of fruit, a work by Balthasar Permoser from 1676. In the garden there is also a splendid portal with four columns flanked by statues of Minerva and Mercury, while on the broken tympanum a putto and a female figure are depicted holding a bas-relief. The interior has numerous rooms with frescoed ceilings, a chapel and a gallery decorated with stucco. In the 19th century the palace became the property of the Nicolis de Robilant family, who provided for the addition. Between 1965 and 1987 “the great painter Renato Guttuso lived and painted here” (as the plaque next to the portal states).

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