Nestled on Via del Corso, the Doria Pamphilj Gallery houses in an exceptional setting one of Rome’s finest private art collections. Among the gallery’s treasures, visitors can admire paintings by Raphael, Velázquez, Caravaggio and even Titian… In short, heaven on earth for art lovers!
💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Want to know more about the history of Rome? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city (in English). It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!
Are you looking for a hotel in Rome? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Rome? Advice & recommendations
Are you planning your stay in Rome? Check out Captain Ulysses’ detailed article on the best things to do in the city: A Guide to Rome
Brief history of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj and the Doria Pamphilj Gallery
Built at the beginning of the 16th century for Cardinal Fazio Santoro, the Palazzio Pamphilj subsequently became the property of the Della Rovere family before being acquired by the Aldobrandini family in the 17th century.
In the middle of the 17th century, Olimpia Aldobrandini, widow of Paolo Borghese, married Camillo Pamphilj, nephew of Pope Innocent X, and gave him the palace as a dowry. The Palazzo has remained in the hands of the Pamphilj family sicne that time, and later became known as the Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj following the Pamphilijs’ union with the Doria family.
The Aldobrandini and Pamphilj families were great art lovers, and pretty much converted their palace in a stunning gallery meant to display their vast collections. The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj inherited the vast majority of its collections from Olimpia Aldobrandini, whose inheritance was divided between her two sons: Gianbattista Pamphilj (his half of the inheritance is exhibited at the Doria-Pamphilj Gallery) and Gianbattista Borghese (his half of the inheritance is on display at the Borghese Gallery).
Visiting the Doria Pamphilj Gallery
Ready to go back in time? Far from the modern museums with their sober and stripped down museography, the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj invites visitors to immerse in the world of 17th and 18th century Roman aristocracy.
The layout of the gallery is similar to the hanging plan designed in the 18th century. The walls of the vast galleries are covered with paintings from floor to ceiling! Very few explanatory labels are to be found in the gallery: the names of the artists appear directly on the frames of the paintings as was the tradition in the 18th century.
So as not to get lost in this somewhat chaotic abundance of paintings, Captain Ulysses warmly recommends that you opt for the excellent audio guide (free of charge), narrated by Jonathan Pamphilj, heir to the Palazzo.
Among the hundreds of paintings in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, be sure to have a look at:
- The portrait of Innocent X painted by Diego Velzaquez. The painting created a major controversy at the time as it was deemed by some too realistic. The artists then were in the habit of representing their models in their best light, even if it meant embellishing reality!
- Three paintings by Caravaggio: The Rest on the Flight into Egypt , the Penitent Magdalene and Saint John the Baptist
- Salome with the head of St John the Baptist by Titian
- The Portrait of Andrea Navagero and Agostino Beazzano by Raphael
- The Naval Battle in the Gulf of Naples by Pieter Brueghel the Elder
- The bust of Innocent X by Bernini
The Doria-Pamphilj Gallery also exhibits works by Parmesan, Guercino, Giorgi Vasari and Claude Lorrain.
The Doria Pamphilj Gallery, one of Rome’s top museums?
If you are an art lover, Captain Ulysses can only recommend taking some time to explore the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. It’s one of his favourites in Rome!
But if you are not a fan of museums or if you’re only staying in the capital for a very short time, the visit of the Doria Pamphilj Gallery is not a priority. The Captain recommends prioritizing the Borghese Gallery and the Vatican Museum.
Getting to the Musée du Quai Branly
As for public transport, the easiest way is to take the bus to Piazza Venezia.
Admission tickets to the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj are €12 full price, €8 reduced price. The audio guide is free.
The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (the ticket office closes at 6 p.m.).
Unlimited access to public transport is included in the Omnia Card. More info here.
Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all the Captain’s suggestions!
🎟️ Activities: as for booking visits and tourist activities, Captain Ulysses recommends three websites: GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Civitatis. Guided tours, cruises, skip-the-line tickets, tourist activities… there’s plenty to choose from!
🎫 Citypass: if you are staying in Rome for several days, it may be worth investing in the Roma Pass or the Omnia Card . As well as entry to some of the capital’s most iconic sites, these passes include access to public transport.
🚐 Transfers: if you want to arrive in Rome serenely, you can book your transfer from the airport to the city centre in advance. A car will be waiting to take you to your accommodation in the city. Find out more: transfers in Rome.
🚌 Local transport: Rome has a comprehensive public transport system: metro, bus and tram. Access to public transport is included in the Roma Pass and the Omnia Card. If you wish, you can also opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour which stops at all the top tourist attractions in Rome (audio guide included).
✈️ Flights and trains: to book your flights to Rome, Captain Ulysses warmly recommends Skyscanner. You’ll be able to compare countless offers to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible.
As for trains, the Captain recommends Trainline to book your tickets.