The Palazzo Spada is an interesting building in Rome, and, if you get the chance to visit it, you should! Located in the Piazza Capo di Ferro, the Palazzo Spada is not far from the Palazzo Farnese and just a couple of blocks north of the Ponte Sisto. It has a beautiful garden that faces the Tiber River. The palazzo is a leftover from the Renaissance in Rome and was purchased by Cardinal Bernardino Spada in 1632. The palazzo is noted for the statuary in the niches that include Trajan, Pompey, Fabius Maximus, Romulus, Numa, Marcellus, Julius Caesar and Augustus). There are tributes on plaques to each leader on the top floor.
Spada commissioned Francesco Borromini, famed architect and rival of Bernini, to perform renovations and changes to the building. It is here that Borromini created his “forced perspective” trick (you can see the trick in the video above and below) in the arcaded courtyard.
Cardinal Spada, like many cardinals and nobility in Rome, was considered a patron of the arts in Rome and amassed a wonderful collection of art, and much of it can be seen today in the Palazzo. The Palazzo Spada is open from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM Tuesday through Sunday (remember that ticket offices cease selling tickets an hour before closing time!). It is closed on Mondays, Christmas and New Years Day. Tickets are 5 euro and allow admission to the courtyard (where you can see Borromini’s “forced perspective” in action) and the four rooms which house the paintings.