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Off the typical tourist path, Galleria Spada is a gem of a museum in a tiny package. With masterpieces from the 16th and 17th century, ancient marbles scattered throughout, and an optical illusion created by Borromini, Galleria Spada is a worthwhile stop in Rome.


The palazzo was originally built in 1540 for Cardinal Girolamo Capodiferro and then purchased by Cardinal Spada (hence the name!) in 1632. Spada commissioned the Baroque superstar Borromini to modify it for him. With the new addition, Borromini used a mathematical equation and a series of slightly smaller columns in order to achieve a forced perspective in his famous façade. When visiting, be sure not to miss this area of the so-called “Secret Garden” to check it out!

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