House of Fiammetta
Roaming the shadowy maze of streets in the vicinity of Via dei Coronari
a rare jewel belonging to Renaissance can be met, a precious trove in Baroque Rome:
the original house of Fiammetta, the most beautiful courtesan of her day and the lover of Cesare Borgia.
As you enter Piazza Fiammetta coming from Via dei Coronari, you perceive that a different Rome is still preserved in this area less frequented by the tourists. A charming small building stands in a prominent position on Via degli Acquasparta. A graceful loggia juts out elegantly from the fifteenth-century fašade of the palace that once belonged to Cardinal Ammannati Piccolomini, who bequeathed it to his mistress, the young and gorgeous Fiammetta Michaelis, together with all his earthly possessions.
Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI and the brother of Lucrezia, was not indifferent to her appeal: Fiammetta became the lover of the condottiero for many years. She was a learned and charming courtesan as many others in her time, whose patrons were the most affluent cardinals and noblemen of the day. A piece of history that still lingers by the shadow of this small, refined building.
Fiammetta was part of that charmed circle to which Castiglione, Sadoleto, Bembo, and Raphael belonged. On warm summer nights this privileged group enjoyed dining out, perhaps occasionally under the trees in front of Fiammetta's house. They entertained themselves by reading verses that were in the spirit of the Renaissance, an extraordinary mixture of paganism and Christianity. Fiammetta composed verses, studied the classical authors, cultivated the art of conversation, and surrounded herself with illustrious men. She was a very active and prominent figure in Rome.
Words from a contemporary Grand Tour
Anya M. Shetterly, "Romewalks", 2014
Visitor information
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in the vicinity of Piazza Navona
Via degli Acquasparta, 16 - Rome
The building is a private house
No admission allowed to the general public
Enjoy picturesque Rome by getting to Fiammetta's house from Via dei Coronari and then through the narrow alleys of Via dei Tre Archi e Via di St. Trifone