Monday, December 5, 2016

A visit to the Palazzo Mattei di Giove

Last summer in Rome John and I were passing the "turtle fountain" in Piazza Mattei in the Ghetto. 
We were exploring the area looking for undiscovered treasures and we found one -- at the corner of Via Caetani and Via dei Funari -- the portal into the fabulous Palazzo Mattei di Giove beckoned.
The palace was built in 1598 and now houses several scholarly libraries. The courtyard is lined in ancient bas-reliefs, busts and statues.
The far doorway
leads into the rear garden courtyard
with its fountain made up of a grotesque mask and a Roman sarcophagus.
Back in the main courtyard
we marvelled at the elegant decorations
and emblems of the Mattei family.
We were drawn to the second floor loggia
and meeting no resistance we climbed a marble stairwell lined with bas-reliefs 
and alcoves for sculpture.
The loggia was shut by a grill gate but one could see into the wonderful space.
We slipped back down the stairs to the street and continued exploring.