The business area (secondary navigation)

Go straight to the content of the page

The Senate buildings - Palazzo Giustiniani


The original core of Palazzo Giustiniani was built at the end of the 16th century by Monsignor Francesco Vento. On 4th July 1590, the building was sold to Giuseppe Giustiniani, a member of one of richest and most powerful families in Genoa.

The Giustiniani family, former governors of their native island of Chios on behalf of Genoa, was forced to abandon the island because of the Turkish aggression of 1566. They moved to Via della Dogana, in the financial and administrative heart of papal Rome. In 1590, they bought the building, which took their name, and purchased other adjacent buildings in the following years. It would actually be more exact to talk in terms of a kind of "Giustiniani block" that was so created near the Pantheon.

The family's art collection was housed in this building, which was sometimes fully or partially rented to prelates and other eminent figures seeking prestigious accommodation.

In the course of later extension works, the main façade overlooking Via della Dogana Vecchia was completed and the interior of the building renovated. The Giustiniani family line died out at the end of the 19th century and, consequently, the huge art collection broke up. In the early 20th century, the Ministry of Education took action to stop the dispersion by transferring the most valuable pieces to the State. In that period, part of the collection was acquired by the Savings Bank of Rome and part was rented to the Grand Orient of Italy.

In the first months of 1926, Mussolini accepted the request by Senate President Tommaso Tittoni to use Palazzo Giustiniani for the Senate of the Kingdom, and only in 1988 did the Senate become the owner of almost the whole building.

In this very building, and, to be more precise, in its Library, Interim President of the Republic Enrico De Nicola signed the Constitution of the Italian Republic.

Palazzo Giustiniani houses, in addition to the Senate President's official residence, the Zuccari Hall, Life Senators' and former Senate Presidents' offices, as well as some offices and departments of the Senate Administration.

Additional informations