A noble palace-turned-museum, the Palazzo Altemps is now a branch of the National Roman Museum and is filled with priceless Classical sculptures. Built for Girolamo Riario, the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV in the late-1480s, it passed to Cardinal Marco Sittico Altemps, who had it renovated in full Renaissance style.

The delightfully-styled palace is just a few steps from Piazza Navona. It was built over the remains of a Roman domus. The Cardinal Altemps added the altana, rooftop tower-like loggias, and the delightful inner courtyard, decked out with decorative arcades and loggias. Emblems of the Altemps and Orsini families are found among the sculptures and reliefs. A fascinating fountain is embedded with glass mosaics. The palazzo was the scene of many ceremonies and noble events, which made it popular with intellectuals, as well.

Statuary is found everywhere; the Altemps family were dedicated collectors. When the palace passed to the State, they acquired and added the prestigious Ludovisi-Boncompagni collection, making this one of the most important galleries of Classical sculpture in the world.

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