ROMAN ITINERARIES – CAMPITELLI DISTRICT – ITINERARY 36
CAMPITELLI DISTRICT – ITINERARY 36
The Campitelli District itinerary 36 opens the doors of the most demanding District of Rome, artistically and historically speaking.
The coat of arms of the District is represented by a black dragon’s head on a white field: most probably, it recalls the legend of the dragon that in the IV Century A.D. infested the area of the Roman Forum and that was defeated by the intervention of Pope Sylvester, armed only with a crucifix. The name “Campitelli” could derive from the field of land in which the area of the Roman Forum was reduced, or from the corruption of the word Capitol.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE CAMPITELLI DISTRICT
In this District is included the whole history of Rome, from the huts of Romulus to the construction of the Roman Forum, from the Forum of Caesar to the House of Augustus: all the most important Roman Emperors passed through here, the events of Saints Peter and Paul are legendarily connected to this place, medieval churches were built here and some Popes chose to reside here, specifically on the Palatine Hill. The neighborhood is indirectly linked to the names of Cola di Rienzo, Francesco Petrarca and Michelangelo Buonarroti, who settled the Capitoline Square. After the phase of the Roman Republic and then after the annexation of Rome to Italy, it is in this District that the city decided to celebrate the King Victor Emmanuel II with the construction of one of its most solemn and most discussed monuments: the Victorian, under which they celebrated the unity of the nation and the victims of the Great War, while the old generations of Romans (now becoming increasingly rare) regret the houses and churches fallen under the demolition pickaxe.
The opening of Via dei Fori Imperiali and Via del Teatro di Marcello marked the further transformation of Rome according to the Fascist project that wanted it to be even more monumental and at the same time much more modern, crossed by large streets crossed by intense traffic, considered then a symbol of progress.
The Campitelli District, once the Roman Empire collapsed, experienced all the vicissitudes of the history of the Papacy, with the fortresses of the great rival Roman families, with the Capitol defended in 1443 by the people against the armed assault of Pope Lucius II, who died during the clash hit by a slingshot. On the Capitoline Hill ascended Charles of Anjou, King of Sicily, and after him in the district faced Guelphs and Ghibellines, reconciled by Pope Nicholas III in 1278.
On the Capitoline Hill, in 1344, Cola di Rienzo had himself appointed tribune and was always at the foot of the hill that was killed ten years later, believing himself presumptuously now to be untouchable and over the law.
In 1538, with the placing of the statue of Marcus Aurelius in the center of the Capitoline Square, the hill, even though it was the place of the city’s freedom, was adapted to the pontifical solemnity and in the following centuries it was the setting for the Roman visits of foreign sovereigns or the major papal ceremonies.
It was always on the Capitoline Hill that on February 15th 1798 the tree of freedom was erected and the Roman Republic was founded, born again in 1849, and it was always here, on October 2nd 1870, that Rome was officially reunited to Italy. On 29th November of the same year the first Mayor of the modern Rome was elected, welcoming King Victor Emmanuel II visiting Rome.
Debased during Fascism, and returned to new glory with the return of democracy and the birth of the republic, on the Capitoline Hill was born the United Europe, destined to transform the future of our continent.
Today, this hill is a must for tourists, who descend to the side of the Senatorial Palace to see under the starry sky the monumental valley of the Roman Forum with its columns and ruins illuminated by the moon (and artificial LEDs), understanding how they are visiting the most wonderful of all the beautiful cities in the world.
The Roman Forum, with its archaeological memories, hides the events that injured and devastated it in the Middle Ages and the following centuries, until the archaeological excavations brought to light the ancient abolishing the modern. In the Middle Ages, the Roman Forum, full of ruins available to any construction task, was little more than a field, with old churches and fortified towers, many of which have obviously been destroyed.
THE DEMOLITION FOR VIA DEI FORI IMPERIALI
Although in the 16th Century the purging of the Cloaca Massima, the most important sewer of Ancient Rome, gave rise to the opening of Via Alessandrina, the area was radically changed not so much by the archaeological excavations as by the opening of Via dell’Impero, later called Via dei Fori Imperiali, which made the alleys, the churches and even the Velia Hill disappear without a trace. The road was inaugurated on October 28th 1932: in ten months 4547 buildings had been demolished (with over a thousand families moved), 248,000 square meters of earth and 52,000 of tufa rock and ancient concrete had been excavated. In the first year of life of the new great road, 2,900,000 cars, 700,000 trucks, 270,000 horse-drawn cars and 6,000,000 pedestrians passed through it.
The great architect Le Corbuisier was admired, and even today, observing this very wide road, there is a struggle between the beautiful photographic perspective and a nostalgia for what was destroyed and obliterated.
CAMPITELLI DISTRICT – ITINERARY 36
The Itinerary 36 of the Campitelli District will let you discover the “invisible and disappeared” Rome, to close your stroll on the top on the Victorian, to enjoy an incredible panoramic view.
Vicolo Astalli – Via Aracoeli – Piazza Aracoeli – Via della Tribuna di Tor de’ Specchi – Piazza Margana – Via dei Delfini – Via Cavalletti – Piazza Campitelli – Via Capizucchi – Via Montanara – Via del Teatro di Marcello – Piazza Aracoeli – Vittoriano
THE ASTALLI PALACE
The Astalli Palace stands between Via Aracoeli, Via delle Botteghe Oscure, Via di San Marco and Vicolo Astalli. For a tourist, it represents a not different palace from many other buildings in Rome, but if that same tourist had come in Rome before 1930, he would have seen a completely different palace: between 1930 and 1932, indeed, following an expropriation by the Municipality of Rome, its façade was demolished and rebuilt laterally, to expand Via di San Marco. This is one of the great urban and monumental transformations that changed the appearance of Rome from 1871 to 1950, disintegrating a labyrinth of small streets suddenly replaced by the large garden adorned with tall pine trees that runs along the left side of the Victorian.
The Astalli Palace, which belonged to the homonymous family, was built at the beginning of the 16th Century and finished at the end of the 17th Century by the architect Giovanni Antonio De Rossi. The palace had three main doors, connected by a magnificent atrium that was a clever connection arrangement for those who entered and those who left the palace. The Astalli family gave the Church three cardinals: Astaldo in 1144, Camillo in 1650 and Fulvio in 1686. The family had the administration of the Sanctuary of Vallepietra, about 80 km from Rome, still very popular and known for the cult of the Holy Trinity which is depicted, on an ancient painting, with three identical figures of Christ.
The palace kept precious frescos, among which the one in the hall, with sacred scenes in the background of landscapes of Rome and Latium, inserted between games of fantastic grotesques: these decorations, saved from the demolition of a large part of the palace, have been reassembled in the Museum of Rome in the Braschi Palace.
In 1827 the palace was given to the Venerable Fabric of St. Peter’s, whose coat of arms can still be seen today on the corner of Via di San Marco and Via di Aracoeli.
THE MUTI-BASSI PALACE
In front of the Astalli Palace there is the Muti Bussi Palace, a family that became extinct in the 20th Century with its last member, the Marchioness Olimpia. The palace was built by the architect Giacomo Della Porta in the 15th Century, and then completed with deep renovations by Giovanni Antonio De Rossi.
The palace has a vaguely hexagonal shape, with six distinct façades, on the shortest of which is the main entrance, with a majestic main door decorated with the decussed clubs of the coat of arms of the Muti family and leonine protomes. A balcony supported by corbels overlooks the Aracoeli Square, designed to enjoy the view of the square with the perspective of the monumental staircase and the austere and majestic façade of the basilica.
The main staircase of the palace preserves ancient statues, reintegrated in the missing parts as was usual in Renaissance and Baroque Rome. Inside the palace are preserved various landscapes by Gaspar Dughet, while the main gallery is decorated with mythological scenes painted in the 17th Century by Giacinto Calandrucci.
THE ARACOELI SQUARE
Observe now the Aracoeli Square, whose right side no longer exists, replaced by the exedra adorned with hedges and pine trees according to the project of Corrado Ricci, who reserved only Mediterranean plants for the gardens around the Victorian. The Aracoeli Square, at the foot of the staircase and the Capitoline cordonade, was once a market square and next to it there were the Church of St. Rita, now rebuilt on what remains of Via Montanara, and the Church of St. John in Mercatello, later also dedicated to St. Venanzio, now remembered only by a street plaque.
On the square, during the Middle Ages, there were two of the many towers of Rome: the first was the so-called Market Tower, where the consuls administered justice in disputes between merchants and customers, while the second was the Chancellor’s Tower, whose remains are still visible in Via della Tribuna di Tor de’ Specchi. Remember that the market, in the medieval Rome, was not only a place of sales and purchases but also the stage of political debates, violent brawls, clashes over family feuds and tribune for the preachers, who increasingly worked to keep the customs firm and respectable within the rules of Christian morality. Thousands of people listened in the Aracoeli Square to the fiery words of St. Bernardino from Siena, which inflamed the hearts of those present and induced them to bring from the houses and inns all the playing cards, dices and any other game instruments, piling everything up in the square and setting fire to these sinful objects.
It was always in this square that St. Ignatius of Loyola opened his first school of Christian grammar and doctrine, holding his first hard spiritual exercises. And it was always in the Aracoeli Square that the blessed Rosa Venerini opened her first free school for poor girls.
THE ARACOELI SQUARE’S FOUNTAIN
There is no market without her fountain: in the Aracoeli square, infact, there is the fountain designed by architect Giacomo Della Porta and made by sculptors Andrea Brasca and Pietro Gucci. The lower basin is mistylinear, while the upper one, circular and decorated with four masks, rests on a base adorned with other masks and festoons, and supports a group of smiling cherubs pouring water from a small vase, above which stand the mountains, the heraldic symbol of Pope Alexander VII. Originally, the fountain had two steps at the base with a small channel where the water overflowed from the lower basin, to meet the hygienic needs of the nearby market.
The market in the Aracoeli Square was allowed until 1477 when it was moved, for renewed urban needs, to Navona Square from where it then moved, at the time of Pope Innocent X, to go where it still is today, to Campo dei Fiori.
THE FANI PECCI BLUNT PALACE
Among the palaces overlooking today’s Aracoeli Square, the most interesting is undoubtedly the Fani Pecci Blunt Palace, renovated by the architect Giacomo Della Porta, where in 1599 Cardinal Federico Borromeo (famous thanks to the writer Alessandro Manzoni) and in 1601 Cardinal Paolo Emilio Sfondrati came to live, who had his moment of fame in the Church of St. Cecilia in Trastevere, as we will see in the special Itinerary. In 1626 the building was sold to Giacomo Filippo Spada, who lived there with his brother, Cardinal Bernardino Spada, about whom we have already spoken abundantly in the description of the Spada Palace, in the special Itinerary. The building was then bought by the Sienese family of Ruspoli, who stayed here until 1746, when they moved to the Ruspoli Palace. In the 19th Century, the palace was acquired by Counts Pecci Blunt, who still own it today: the family is the indirect heir of Pope Leo XIII.
The palace, simple and noble in the regular scanning of the windows, is adorned with a frieze under the cornice; today it has a non-original elevation which, as unfortunately happened for many other Roman palaces, irreparably modifies its crowning.
THE MASSIMO DI RIGNANO PALACE
Attached to the Fani Pecci Blunt Palace, there is the Massimo di Rignano Colonna Palace: the most illustrious member in modern times was Mario Massimo (1808-1873), mathematician, astronomer, president of the Academy of the Lincei, Minister of Commerce in the Papal State and member of the Italian Parliament after 1870. The last member of the Massimo di Rignano family was Maria, wife of Prospero Colonna (1858-1937), who was twice mayor of Rome.
The present appearance of the palace is the one designed in the 18th Century by the architect Carlo Fontana (except for the modern elevation), with the elegant portal flanked by two columns decorated in the lower part of the stem by a leaf relief. Even the concave lintel is decorated with laurel branches and the key of the arch on the main door is decorated with a pinecone. Here there was an additional cut for the opening of Via del Teatro di Marcello, so that the palace lost part of the façade in 1939.
On the attic stands a small crenellated tower on which can be read the inscription “Maxima”, alluding as much to the height of the tower on the panorama of Rome as to Duke Mario Massimo, who had his astronomical observatory here.
THE MARGANA SQUARE
Take now Via della Tribuna di Tor de’ Specchi, on the corner with the Pecci Blunt Palace. Next to number 3 you can see the few remains of a medieval tower, believed to be the Tower of the Chancellor of which we have already spoken, marked by two doors, one of which is decorated with marble jambs. It follows the side of the Monastery of Tor de’ Specchi, which at the corner meets the apse of the Church of Holy Annunciation.
Then enter the Margana Square, named after the Margani family who had their houses here and who, in the 14th Century, passionately supported the tribune Cola di Rienzo. This square has been for centuries one of the most harmonious places in Rome, enriched by good restaurants and craft stores. In Margana Square, thanks to a donation of Princess Giulia Colonna, there was in the 16th Century the Monastery of the Holy Annunciation, linked to the order of the Augustinian Preachers, who moved a century later to the ancient convent of the Basilians at the Forum of Augustus.
THE PALACES OF MARGANA SQUARE
At number 8 of the square there is the Velli Cardelli Palace, with beautiful arched portals and windows framed by peperino, on one of which remains a trace of the name of the ancient owner Andreas Vellius, who died in 1603: entering the courtyard, you can see a characteristic Roman fountain carved from an ancient sarcophagus decorated with the representation of Apollo and the Muses.
At number 19 is the 17th Century Maccarani Odescalchi Palace, whose courtyard preserves a collection of ancient inscriptions and at the back, in a large aedicula balcony adorned with two ancient marble busts, a lionine protome that throws water into a fountain. The portal of the number 21 is adorned by a coat of arms representing the right arm holding some arrows inside a crown, allusive to the veneration of St. Sebastian, while at number 34 there is the Albertoni Palace, a family of which the blessed Ludovica was part, represented by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in a splendid marble sculpture in the Church of St. Francis in Ripa, which we will discuss during the Trastevere Itinerary.
THE CAMPITELLI SQUARE
Now take Via dei Delfini, a name derived from the family that lived there, in whose coat of arms there were two gold dolphins on a blue field, with their tails crossed around a golden rose. After taking a quick look at the 15th Century houses, devoid of great interest, turn into Via Cavalletti, named after an ancient Roman family, and exit onto the elegant Campitelli Square, adorned with a beautiful fountain. Although it may seem incredible to you, the monumental Church of St. Mary in Campitelli, is part of the adjacent St. Angel District, and therefore does not belong to this Itinerary.
The name of the square, which obviously recalls that of the whole District, should derive from Capitolium, although another tradition makes it derive from the numerous capitals found in the nearby Octavia’s Portico and another one, very curious and suggestive, connects it to a military rite that took place here, the campus teli, where a consul threw a spear against the war column, symbol of the enemy people that the Roman army was about to face.
THE FOUNTAIN OF CAMPITELLI SQUARE
The fountain, placed today on one side of the square, was until 1679 in the center of it: it was designed by Giacomo Della Porta, and shows a mystiline lower basin with the coats of arms of important families of the district, such as the Albertoni and Capizucchi, while above there is another circular marble basin called “portasanta” decorated with large masks of faun. The fountain was moved by the will of Pope Innocent XI because coachmen, servants and maids, who were waiting for their masters outside the church, often gathered around the fountain and made such a noise that they disturbed the sacred services in the church.
THE PALACES OF CAMPITELLI SQUARE
The two families with their coats of arms decorating the fountain also had their palaces in this square. At number 2, for example, stands the Albertoni Palace, a family that gave Rome several magistrates and cardinals: here lived, among others, the Cardinal Pacca, author of one of the first laws to protect works of art. The building, on whose portal and ledge you can see the Albertoni’s heraldic lions, is attributed to Giacomo Della Porta, even if it was completed by Girolamo Rainaldi. Observe the characteristic clappers, with pairs of dragon-headed harpies.
The Capizucchi Palace, built by Giacomo Della Porta on the oldest houses of this family that gave cardinals and senators in Rome, is at number 3: the portal is adorned with lilies, and the elegant façade is completed by a rich cornice adorned with rose windows.
THE MONTANARA SQUARE
Relax for a moment entering the Caffè del Sor Ernesto, a historical café in Rome, and maybe ask the owners to take a look at the rich documentation and period photographs of the lost Montanara Square.
Before the demolitions, Montanara Square went from Via della Bocca della Verità to Via Montanara and was named after the Montanari family, who lived in the area at the end of the 15th Century. The square occupied the area of the ancient Foro Olitorio and was also known as “ad elephantum“, which made us think of the memory of an ancient painting depicting an elephant decorating a house, while some archaeologist wants to see the memory of an ancient triumphal arch adorned on top with a quadriga of elephants.
In the square there was that elegant fountain that today is located in the St. Simeone ai Coronari Square, after having been temporarily placed on the Aventine in the gardens of St. Sabine.
The Montanara Square was one of the most picturesque places in Rome: in every corner there were street vendors, a public scribe for the illiterate, many peasants who came to the city and the famous “barber of the meluccia“, who used to put a small apple in his customers’ mouths: he always used the same one, to stretch the cheeks to shave, and the last of the customers had the right to eat it.
Among the civil and religious buildings lost due to the opening of Via del Teatro di Marcello and the isolation of the theater itself, we should mention:
- The chapel of St. Mary of the Sun, built in 1460 to worship a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary fished out of the Tiber.
- The Church of St. Andrew in Vincis, which belonged to the Brotherhood of Marble Workers and had a graceful 18th Century façade with a fresco above the portal. From here comes a canvas depicting the “Four Crowned Saints“, protectors of all stone cutters and marble workers, preserved at the Museum of Rome in the Braschi Palace.
- The Hospice of the Catechumens of the Three Fountains, which later became Vitelleschi Palace, had a suggestive nymphaeum in the porticoed courtyard, still partially visible today on the slopes of the Capitoline cliff next to a large cage, in which during the Fascist regime an eagle, symbol of Imperial Rome, was locked.
- Near the Via delle Tre Pile stood the so-called House of Michelangelo, not to be confused with the house in Via dei Fornari, where the great artist died in 1564. The courtyard of Michelangelo’s House was replicated by the architect Domenico Iannetti in the prospect of a modern house at the beginning of Via delle Tre Pile, but also this building was demolished in the 20th Century relocating the façade along the promenade leading to the Janiculum Hill.
- The house inhabited by Giulio Romano, Raphael’s most famous pupil, stood right near the Aracoeli Square. Close to it were also the house of the great architect Pietro da Cortona, literally leaning against the slopes of the Capitol, and that of his colleague Filippo Barigioni.
…AND THE DISCOVERIES
Near these last houses there was also the Church of St. Rita from Cascia, built in the 18th Century on an older church dedicated to St. Blaise and then demolished and rebuilt in 1938 at the entrance of via Montanara. Thanks to this demolition, came to light the remains of a small Romanesque bell tower of the 11th Century and the archosolium of a Boccabella family tomb adorned with a 14th Century fresco representing the “Deposition of Christ between the mourning of the Madonna and St. John“, both linked to the Church of St. Blaise.
The most interesting discovery, however, was the discovery of the remains of a large Roman Insula, a massive condominium of at least four floors, whose ground floor is about nine meters below the current street level, with its stores and windows with the attack of the balconies on the road.
THE LOST TOWER OF PAUL III
Here also stood the famous Tower of Paul III, which an elevated corridor on arches joined the Venice Little Palace. Among the many buildings that were lost due to modern demolitions, this is certainly the biggest regret: built in the 16th Century by the architect Iacopo Meleghino, it initially served as a summer residence for the Pontiff, before being entrusted to the Franciscans of St. Mary in Aracoeli. It had a characteristic massive structure of roughly cubic shape, looming on the square below: inside it there were originally rich decorations, largely lost, while the few survivors can be attributed to the painters of the School of Raphael.
Stop now in front of the monument that, without any doubt, represents the most contrasting point of view of the visitors. On the one hand, the Victorian leaves the tourists ecstatic, admiring its immense size and looking for the best place to take a picture; on the other hand, many Romans despise it, ignominiously nicknaming it “the wedding cake” or “the typewriter“.
Without wanting in any way to side with one or the other faction, it is necessary to affirm that a monument is first of all the expression of the society that invented it. The artists and architects who worked at the Victorian expressed the will of a government that wanted to give, a few years after a laboriously achieved unity, the material and visual sense of the greatness of an ancient tradition, such as to perceive that if the political unity was recent, much older was the cultural, linguistic, artistic and spiritual one.
Also if the Victorian is not included in the traditionals Tours of Rome, you can visit it with us just contacting the Association Rome Guides, asking for it.
THE VICTORIAN AS A SYMBOL
After two public contests, much discussed and controversial, the architect Giuseppe Sacconi was chosen as director of the works: the aim was to raise a gigantic altar, full of allegorical statues and symbolic friezes, dominated at the top by a huge and in the center by the bronze equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel II, father of the Country.
A few years later, the monument was chosen to preserve the remains of the Unknown Soldier, an anonymous soldier who died like many others during the First World War, in obedience to the law of duty and love of the Homeland. A joking anecdote recalls how, during the imposing funeral of the Unknown Soldier, an immense crowd flocked around the barriers, beyond which stood the army and the authorities. Many insisted on asking the guards to pass, but the army blocked the passage. At a certain point a man approached and asked the guards if he could pass, and when they asked him who he was, he replied with great nerve: “I am a relative!“.
The monument is definitely huge, with a height of 81 meters. The criticism against it comes from the fact that, in order to build it, it was necessary to proceed with the demolition of the houses leaning against the Capitol and the enlargement of Venice Square, thus demolishing precious historical memories and disintegrating the original Renaissance harmony of the square.
THE DECORATIONS OF THE VICTORIAN
At the bottom of the staircase, on the façade of the Victorian, are groups of gilded bronze sculptures, representing the “Thought” (work by Monteverde) and the “Action” (work by Jerace), of ancient Mazzinian inspiration. In the middle of it are placed two lions, work of Tonnini, and on the top two winged Victories on rostrums, made by Rubino and De Albertis. On the external sides you can admire two large fountains, with the figures of the Tyrrhenian Sea with the wolf and the siren Partenope, made by Canonica, and the Adriatic Sea with the lion of St. Mark by Quadrelli: in this way the monument symbol of Italy has on its sides, like the peninsula itself, the two major seas.
Observe then the other four sculptural groups, this time in marble, symbol of the virtues that make a nation firm: the “Strength” by Rivalta, the “Concordia” by Pogliaghi, the “Sacrifice” by Bistolfi and the “Law” by Ximenes.
At the top of the staircase stands a large statue of the Personification of Rome by Zanelli, to signify how in the ideals of the Risorgimento one could not imagine Italy united without Rome as the capital. Towards Rome converge majestic high reliefs, work of Zanelli himself, representing the Processions of Work and Love of the Country, to symbolize the industriousness of the nation.
THE EQUESTRIAN STATUE
The stairs continue to climb until they meet under the gigantic bronze equestrian statue by Enrico Chiaradia. The statue is actually much more gigantic than it appears from a great distance: a famous vintage picture, which is attached to this article, shows a banquet for about thirty people, who ate inside the bronze horse. The base of the statue is decorated with personifications of Italian cities, by Maccagnani: Mantua, Ravenna, Bologna, Milan, Genoa, Ferrara, Amalfi, Pisa, Palermo, Venice, Turin, Florence, Naples and Urbino.
THE TOP OF THE VICTORIAN
On the median foreparts, above the portals, are the representations, from the left, of “Politics“, “Philosophy“, “Revolution” and “War“, to signify the tools of thought and action useful for the freedom of the Homeland.
Then follows the high portico with two entrances, which has underneath eight altars reminiscent of the cities liberated in the First World War: the portico, 72 meters long, has a slightly concave front of sixteen columns, with the entablature adorned with personifications of the Italian regions. Inside the portico there are depictions of the “Sciences“, alternating with war trophies: from the left, there are the “Geography“, the “Astronomy“, the “Medicine“, the “Mechanics“, the “Mineralogy“, the “Physics“, the “Chemistry” and the “Geometry“.
On the top of the Victorian stand two bronze groups depicting quadrigae led by winged Victories, symbolizing Unity and Freedom. Going up to the top of the monument, through the elevators accessible at the back of the monument, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Rome.
Inside the monument there are the Institute for the History of the Italian Risorgimento, the Shrine of the Flags of the Navy, which houses the MAS with which Luigi Rizzo and his comrades went to sink in Premuda in 1918 the Austrian battleship Santo Stefano, the crypt where the Unknown Soldier is buried and especially the Central Museum of the Risorgimento.
THE CENTRAL MUSEUM OF THE RISORGIMENTO
The Museum is accessible both from inside and from outside the Victorian: it was designed by the architect Armando Brasini and opens right next to the steep staircase of the Capitoline Arx, on the left of the Victorian.
The Central Museum of the Risorgimento exploits some of the internal rooms of the Victorian and collects documents, sculptures, prints and paintings of the history of Italy from the end of the 18th Century to the First World War. Among the most interesting pieces are the relics of the Spielberg prison, the humorous newspaper “Don Pirlone“, a series of personal objects belonging to Giuseppe Garibaldi, testimonies of the First and Second War of Independence, as well as a large amount of propaganda material distributed during the First World War.