Palazzo della Cancelleria

Centro Storico

One of Rome's most imposing Renaissance buildings, this huge palazzo was built for Cardinal Raffaele Riario between 1483 and 1513. It was later acquired by the Vatican and became the seat of the Papal Chancellery. It is still Vatican property and nowadays houses various Church offices, including the Roman Rota, the Holy See’s highest ecclesiastical court.

The palazzo also provides the grand setting for a long-standing exhibition dedicated to machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci. If that doesn't appeal, it's still worth nipping through to the courtyard to take a peek at Bramante’s glorious double loggia.

Incorporated into the palazzo, the 4th-century Basilica di San Lorenzo in Damaso is one of Rome’s oldest churches.