Fabrics and clothing from the 17th to the 20th century belonging to the Chigis, one of Italy’s most powerful aristocratic family, will be for the first time on show in Ariccia, a lovely town 15 miles away from Rome, also known for porchetta, a savory boneless pork roast.
“Beauty and Luxury” will run until November 30 in Palazzo Chigi, a unique example of a baroque palace which has remained virtually unchanged in its environment and with its original furnishings, and is a testament to the great wealth of one of the most important Italian papal lines: the Chigi family. The family also owned Rome’s Chigi palace which today houses the offices of Italy’s Prime Minister.
Amongst the fabrics on display are precious silks, damasks and some altar frontal pieces from the 17th century with Chigi – Borghese symbols woven into the pattern – of remarkable interest.
The clothes on show are servants’ liveries of the 18th and 19th centuries, cardinals’ robes from the 18th to the 20th century as well as the uniform of the Great Master of the Military Monarch Order of Malta, Prince Don Ludwig Chigi. The expostion will also feature original tapestries, children Carneval costumes and the painting portraits of the owners of these items.
After your eyes’ delight with such inspiring views, it will be your stomach’s turn! Ariccia is, indeed, Romans’ most beloved out-of-town food destination for its fraschette, very informal inns with fresh and genuine food, such as porchetta, fragrant bread, delicious biscuits and the “Castelli” white wine.
The Chigi Palace and the exhibition are open from 10am to 1pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday.
You can get to Ariccia in about 50 minutes by public regional buses, the blue “Cotral” ones, departing from the underground line A terminus of Anagnina. Timetable available here on page 14.