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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Centro Storico attractions

1. Basilica di San Lorenzo in Damaso

0.02 MILES

This echoing 4th-century basilica, incorporated into Palazzo della Cancelleria, is one of Rome’s oldest churches. Much altered over the centuries – both…

2. Arco degli Acetari

0.03 MILES

For one of Rome’s most picture-perfect scenes, head to this dark archway just off Campo de’ Fiori. The arch in itself isn’t especially memorable...

3. Museo Barracco di Scultura Antica

0.04 MILES

This little-known museum, one of the few in Rome that's free to enter, boasts a small but interesting collection of early Mediterranean art. Exhibits…

4. Campo de' Fiori

0.07 MILES

Il Campo is a major focus of Roman life: by day it hosts one of the city's best-known markets; by night, people come for its lively bars and restaurants.

5. Museo di Roma

0.08 MILES

The baroque Palazzo Braschi houses the Museo di Roma’s eclectic collection of paintings, photographs, etchings, clothes and furniture, charting the…

6. Pasquino

0.09 MILES

This battered, armless figure is Rome’s most famous ‘talking statue’. During the 16th century, when there were no safe outlets for dissent, a Vatican…

7. Via del Governo Vecchio

0.11 MILES

Striking off west from Piazza Pasquino, Via del Governo Vecchio is an atmospheric cobbled lane full of boutiques, lively restaurants and vintage clothes…

8. Palazzo Pamphilj

0.12 MILES

Commissioned by Giovanni Battista Pamphilj to celebrate his election as Pope Innocent X in 1644, this elegant baroque palazzo (1650) has been home to the…