Rome in the dish: Aperitif in the heart of Rome? Discover the winehouse of Palazzo Del Grillo!
Rome, the Eternal City, is a living canvas woven from epic stories and ancient deeds. Every square, every street and every stone hides an archaeological treasure of past events. And just a short walk from the Cosmopolitan Hotel, stands with grandeur Palazzo Del Grillo, an architectural complex that has spanned the centuries since 1600, embarking on a journey through the meanders of Roman history, with the company of celebrities of the aristocracy, bizarre protagonists and artists of international fame.
This Palace is famous for having hosted a very beloved tenant, who challenged the power and the privileged class, an eternal icon interpreted by the legendary Alberto Sordi: I’m talking about the Marquis Del Grillo. Diving into the events of this building is a real pleasure, an opportunity to relive the exploits of the great characters of the Roman Renaissance and to admire the incredible architecture, rich in details and finely worked in every aspect.
If you want to complete this experience with a glass of fine wine, the ancient winehouse of Palazzo Del Grillo awaits you! You can explore the archeology of the palace and enjoy a moment of relaxation with an excellent glass, while admiring the magnificent panorama that surrounds you. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of this place, where the past and the present come together in a harmonious symphony of beauty and history.
Palazzo del Grillo: Chronicles of an Elegant History
Located in the square of the same name, in the heart of the historic center of Rome, stands Palazzo del Grillo, a charming residence that sees its birth in the seventeenth century. This charming property is characterized by a spacious facade, flanked by two separate side bodies. The left wing joins the main facade through an arch-shaped overpass, known as the Arch of the Counts, which rises for about two floors, giving an imposing impression while embracing the ancient medieval tower, carefully preserved. On the other side, the arch extends over three floors.
This tower is also known as the Torre della Miliziola, distinguishing it from the larger and nearby Torre delle Milizie, built in 1223. Initially, this tower was owned by the Carboni family, then passed into the hands of the Conti family, until 1675 when it was bought by the Del Grillo family. The latter made significant changes, renovating the palace with the addition of a distinctive crowning with corbels, as evidenced by the commemorative epigraph: "Ex Marchione De Grillis".
Discovering the Architecture of Palazzo Del Grillo: The Wonders to Explore
The windows of both architectural bodies are adorned with refined ornaments, including friezes, volutes, lion heads and shells, creating a sober but remarkable stylistic elegance. The majestic baroque portal stands out with its grandeur, constituting an entrance of great importance. This imposing portal is located at number 5 of the square and is enriched by numerous decorations, including a double shell dominated by a lion protome. From here, you access two festoons through a small vestibule, which then leads to a larger staircase, leading to a cozy garden but rich in stucco sculptures and fountains.
The fountain adjacent to the wall is located in a shell-shaped niche, with two hermes depicting fruit pots. This work of art dates back to 1676 and is attributed to Balthasar Permoser. While exploring the garden, you can admire a majestic portal surmounted by four columns, as well as statues of Mercury and Minerva. On the broken tympanum, a female figure and a putto hold a bas-relief. The interior of the palace is equally impressive, with numerous rooms adorned with frescoes on the ceilings, a gallery with elaborate stuccoes and a chapel, which represent the ideal itinerary to discover the wonders of this extraordinary residence.
In the nineteenth century, the palace became the property of the Nicolis de Robilant family until the second post-war period, when it was transformed into the work studio of the great artist Renato Guttuso, famous painter of the twentieth century.
Cinema and Myths: The Marquis of Grillo, Historical Character or Legend?
Although the palace has changed hands between different owners and tenants over the centuries, it remains an icon in Roman culture thanks to the famous Marquis Del Grillo, whose story was immortalized by Alberto Sordi in the famous film of the same name, a masterpiece of Italian cinema. However, the information available to us about his figure is not so precise, since it has been handed down over time without providing details such as his full name, date of birth or the exact period in which he lived.
The Marquis del Grillo is a character wrapped in an aura of mystery, almost like a legendary or mystical figure. We know for certain that he loved to stir the calm waters of Renaissance Rome with his mockery of the powerful, the arrogant and the privileged, but also of the Jews, the object of his playful provocations, as evidenced by his notorious dislike of them.
The question remains: did the Marquis del Grillo really exist or is it a simple legend? By consulting the book "History of Roman Families" by Bertini and studying the archives of the Capitol, traces emerge of two Del Grillo families who lived between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries in Rome. We can safely say that their family tomb is located in the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, thanks to written evidence left by chroniclers of the time.
The author Giovagnoli offers a very interesting and reliable view of this issue. Although it was not possible to establish the precise date of birth of the Marquis, the chroniclers' accounts and the accounts of his descendants confirm that he is a historical figure belonging to Roman culture, and not just a legendary figure. His extravagant adventures and bizarre jokes, an integral part of popular legend, are also documented in the chronicles of the period in which he lived.
To discover this fascinating Palace and immerse yourself in the legends of the famous Marquis Del Grillo, you can stay at "Rome with view", the apartments located a few steps from the palace, in the heart of Rome, near the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. You can walk among the Imperial Forums and visit the Palace, without forgetting to taste the excellent wines of the ancient wine shop.