Palazzo Baldassini

Commissioned by Neapolitan jurist Melchiorre Baldassini, Palazzo Baldassini was designed by architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, assistant to Bramante at the Vatican, and built between 1515 and 1518.

Over the centuries following Baldassini’s death in 1525, the building passed through the hands of a series of different tenants and owners before finally becoming the headquarters of Istituto Luigi Sturzo in 1956.

The Baldassini Palace indeed owes its current appearance to the restoration work carried out following its purchase, in 1951, by a group of Luigi Sturzo’s friends, who felt it would be the ideal setting for his library and collection of writings.

Antonio da Sangallo’s palace is a building that, in terms of social prestige and urban décor, reflects the requirements of Rome’s XVI century intellectual élite.

Set on a rectangular lot with its smaller sides overlooking streets, this three-storey building is entered through a barrel-vaulted doorway.

Its façade anticipates that of Palazzo Farnese: devoid of a definite architectural style, it stands out as an austere wall set between rusticated corners.

The courtyard is enclosed on three sides, while the counterfaçade opens into an airy loggia on the first floor. A frieze featuring triglyph and metope motifs and symbols chosen to reflect Baldassini’s personality, runs along the Doric entablature of the first row of arches.