POINTS OF INTEREST
Centerpiece of the eponymous piazza, this palace was originally built for Venetian cardinal Pietro Barbo, who became Pope Paul II. It was also the backdrop used by Mussolini to harangue crowds with dreams of empire from the balcony over the main portal. Lights were left on through the night during his reign to suggest that the Fascist leader worked without pause. The palace shows a mixture of Early Renaissance grace and heavy Late Medieval lines; rooms include frescoes by Giorgio Vasari and an Algardi sculpture of Pope Innocent X. The loggia has a pleasant view over the tranquil garden courtyard, a million miles away from the chaos of Piazza Venezia on the other side of the building. The ticket price includes an audio guide.