Designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, though completed after his death by Nanni di Baccio Bigio in 1546, which is such a fantastically fun name, Palazzo Sacchetti was owned from 1648 to 2015 by the Sacchetti family, a family ennobled with a Marquisate of Castel Romano. If that isn’t a pedigree or enough of a provenance, I don’t know what to say. This storied Roman palazzo, designed by the same architect as the august Palazzo Farnese, currently serving as the French embassy in Rome, was owned by the same family for almost 400 years! Imagine growing up in a world where you presided over an ancestral Roman palazzo, a palazzo with refined tile, cornices, and frescoes, terraces, gardens, and grille work, a palazzo which spans a centrally located ancient Roman block between Via Giulia and Lungotevere dei Sangallo, thus enabling an unobstructed view of the Tiber—the Tiber!—and its sycamore (maybe London plane, still trying to figure this one out) trees, their boughs brimming with great, big green leaves. This milieu provides the perfect backdrop for the splendidly designed and maintained Palazzo Sacchetti.
Once inside the Tiber-side gates, a parterred garden, complete with primeval fruit trees, gravel paths, all centered on a fountain. From here, frescoed loggias century-old of Pompeiian mosaics with their delicately sharp lines, beckon you palazzo-ward. Likewise, the Via Giulia façade is arrestingly handsome; it demands reverence and a tip of the hat. Edith Wharton would approve without hesitance.
After being invited into the entry vestibule, and up the wide, generous stairway presided over by a niched imperial Roman of yesteryear, technicolor enfiladed rooms present themselves to you on the piano nobile, the noble floor, which is also known as the second floor—the floor with the tallest ceilings, grandest rooms, and exquisitely detailed spaces, from head to toe. The tile floors throughout are works of art, it would be a shame to cover them in fine rugs, yet I suppose it would be necessary in such large, cavernous spaces, and set a “well-heeled” tone for the rooms. The damasked, plastered, and frescoed walls of these rooms are spectacular—I can just imagine the camera of a dreamy, wonderous Fellini film sauntering around these sumptuous rooms. The ceilings in this palazzo will likewise leave you with a kink in your neck for looking up so intensely. These details provide spaces with true, definitive character and atmosphere; where are my round, vintage metal-rimmed sunglasses with green lenses, cream linen suiting, cordovan leather shoes, signet ring?
These rooms, the most lavish in the house, are an almost sensory overload, almost. Their distinct flooring patterns and materials, door surrounds, carvings, frescoes, and coffered ceilings enwrap you in a 16th century luxury love affair.
The above interiors are by Axel Vervoordt, and are representative of the easy breezy luxury I would wish to bestow on the house.
Another source of inspiration would be the set of the villa in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, with these representations coming from Architectural Digest. While I still prefer the book to the movie, Guadagnino sure did give me a world so thrillingly beautiful to look at and interact with over the course of the film. They’re just so lush and romantic—true love’s embrace!
Yet another palazzo’s interiors that intrigue me is that of Marchesa Cristina Pucci di Barsento, widow of the fashion designer, and print master, Emilio Pucci. Her home also graced the pages of Architectural Digest.
I just see a wonderful, water-colored world of long afternoons, the heavy shutters and doors thrown open, a breeze billowing the light, lacey curtains beneath the damasked drapes, matching the damasked walls. A glass of sparkling San Pellegrino with lime at your elbow as you read a book on a dark green velvet couch, walls of full, dark bookcases surround you. Multi-course at-home dinners served by caterers as you wear a shawl collared tuxedo with a white bowtie and velvet slippers. Surrounded by glittering wrists, glistening smiles, and heady conversation within generously appointed rooms.
Palazzo Sacchetti is currently listed by Diletta Giorgolo Spinola, with the price being provided upon a probably much vetted request. The palazzo encompasses roughly 32,300 square feet, including the 15 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms it houses under its expansive terra cotta tiled roof.
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