Piazza Farnese is named for the Farnese family, an important Roman family during the Renaissance period. Alessandro Farnese, who became Pope Paul III in 1534, commissioned the construction of Palazzo Farnese in 1517.
Home to the French Embassy since 1874, it was closed to the public, except for prebooked tours in French and Italian, until last spring. Tours in English are now being offered on Wednesdays, but you must book a week in advance.
Why go to Palazzo Farnese? Here’s one good reason – Palazzo Farnese houses what is considered one of the finest fresco cycles, comparable only to the Sistine Chapel! The frescoes which can be seen in the Carracci Gallery, are described as blending the transition from Mannerism to Baroque. Definitely on my list of things to see next time in Rome, along with Bernini’s angels on the Ponte San’Angelo.
More information on booking a tour can be found here.