Regular readers will be aware of my interest in monuments of ancient Rome which were visible, and drawn, during the renaissance, but have since vanished. Among these was a colossal temple on the Quirinal hill, often thought to be Aurelian’s temple of Sol Invictus, but today mainly thought to be a temple of Serapis. Much of this is now vanished; but some remains, I believe, are still to be seen. In particular there are said to be blocks from the temple in the “Colonna gardens”.
Today I came across an interesting page at milestonerome.com, here, which described how to visit the Colonna palace in Rome.
The historic Palazzo Colonna near the central piazza Venezia, a noble palace still belonging to one of the most important families in the history of Rome, shields a rare princely collection of invaluable art still in its original location.
Since the Middle Ages and over the centuries, various buildings belonging to the Colonna family developed in the area on the slopes of the Quirinal Hill, until an ambitious architectural project in the 17th century brought to the building of an imposing palace composed of several structures, designed by renowned architects …
The last time that I was in Rome, on a very hot August day, I walked around the Quirinal Hill, looking for some way into the Colonna Palace, or the gardens. I was out of luck. But the page indicates that access is possible to the “Galleria Colonna” by request, or … much better …every Saturday from 9:00-13:15. There is also a website here.
Whether you can get into the gardens I don’t know, but a tour would surely be worth taking. There ought to be drawings and paintings of the palace itself, perhaps with pictures of the vanished temple remains?