This is an extremely unique itinerary that traces the steps of court personalities, prostitutes, and women of power who lived between the 15th and 17th century. It should be emphasized that the ties between these personalities and the cardinals, princes, and popes were quite strong. Some women were thirsty for power….others were injustly accused and thus caused the episodes in history to be painted in a negative way for their successors. 


Itinerary Details:

The Farnese Palace was on of the places of residence for Alessandro Farnese, who was able to achieve the title of Cardinal thanks to his sister Giulia’s influence. Giulia’s nickname was “the beautiful” or “la bella,” as she was the young favorite of the dissolute pope Alexander the Sixth (Borgia). The Palace is a veritable treasure trove of Renaissance art and architecture, it serves as an arrival point for the long journey architectural developments took to construct the Roman noble palaces. The pilgrimage of architectural developments began in the mid 15th century with the Venetian Palace (Palazzo di Venezia).

In the Vicolo del Gallo (the Hen’s corner), there is still part of the doorway from many of the locations run in the area by Vannozza Cattanei. She was the beloved of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, with whom he had four illegitimate children, including the famous Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia - only recognized as illegitimate once the prelate ascended the Papal throne as Alexander VI.

Campo de' Fiori (the Field of Flowers) is the last place were Giovanni Borgia, Duke of Gandia, was ever seen alive.  He had a passionate encounter with a courtesan, and then was killed shortly thereafter by two assassins in Piazza Giuda (who were believed to be sent by Giovanni’s brother Cesare—and even possibly accomplices of his lover!)

The Pamphili Palace that overlooks Piazza Navona was the preferred residence of Olimpia Maidalchini, sister-in-law to the Pope Innocent X. Olimpia was the most influential woman of the age, and remained a personality quite noteworthy in all of Rome; she was known as “the Pimpaccia or the Papessa.”  In English, these titles would translate to “your highness” or the “high priestess.”  In the Palace, the cunning Olimpia took control of her affairs, including organizing loans with high interests, and she also presented the most beautiful courtesans to the cardinals and aristocrats of Rome…often asking for a percentage of their earnings in exchange for her help.

The Madama Palace was the former residence of Cardinal Del Monte, patron of many great artists including Caravaggio. The Palace, now the seat of the government senate, is most likely where the painter Caravaggio met Fillide, an extremely sought-after courtesan muse. He often depicted her, alongside his friend Anna Bianchini (nicknamed “Annuncia”) in a few of his works.

The colossal marble bust close to the basilica of Saint Mark is one of the Eternal City’s famous “Talking Statues.” Its name is derived from Lucrezia, a 15th century woman of nobility who achieved a cunning strategem to seduce the King Alfonso of Aragon.  Alfonso had become the favorite of the sovereign throughout his life, one of the few who reached such high levels of fame and wealth during his lifetime.


Duration of the Tour: 1 hour 45 min

Meeting point is in Piazza Farnese in front of the main entrance of the Palazzo Farnese. Fee to participate is 29 euros per person (19 euros for 18 years and under, 6 years and under free).

For further information and reservations please call: 0692939974; 0766840578; cell. 3281640180, or email: Payments can be made cash directly to the guide, who will hold a sign “Romulus and Remus” at the meeting point.

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