The Palazzo della Farnesina is an Italian government building located between Monte Mario and the Tiber River in the Foro Italico area in Rome, Italy. Designed in 1935, it has housed the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since its completion in 1959. A reference to "La Farnesina" is often to be intended as a metonymy for the hosted institution, namely the Ministry itself.
The nine storey building was designed in 1935 by architects Enrico Del Debbio, Arnaldo Foschini and Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo. It was originally designated to be the headquarters of Italy's National Fascist Party. Construction was halted in 1943 and throughout World War II.
The building consists of more than 1,300 rooms, is 169 meters in width, and 51 meters tall, and has a total internal volume of approximately 720,000 cubic meters. It is comparable in size to the Caserta Palace and is one of the largest buildings in Italy.
The Palazzo della Farnesina was completed in 1959 varying only slightly from its original design. Upon completion, it consolidated the 13 separate offices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since completion of the building, the word "Farnesina" has been used synonymously to refer to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its name comes from the land on which it rises, the area between Monte Mario and the Tiber, which were called the Farnese Gardens (Orti della Farnesina) due to the ownership of Pope Paul III who was originally named Alessandro Farnese.
In 1999 the Directorate General for Promotion and Cultural Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an initiative to allow public access to the collections of the Palazzo della Farnesina. This was done by opening galleries and collections to the public via a series of exhibitions with a focus on 20th century Italian art. The Farnesina Collection  trace the history of twentieth-century Italian art through Art Nouveau, Futurism, abstract art, Arte Povera, Transavantgarde, and the New Roman School.
In 2008, the collection of Italian art of the Farnesina was augmented by a new collection consisting of the works of the most recent generations of Italian artists. The new Farnesina Experimenta Collection was inaugurated on 5 July 2008 at the time of Open Doors at the Farnesina.
On March 13, 2009 at Villa Madama in Rome, the Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, Minister for Culture, Sandro Bondi, and the Minister of Economic Development, Claudio Scajola announced a third collection entitled the Farnesina Design Collection.
Notes and references
- The Ministry’s Art Collection on Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. URL retrieved 21 May 2009.
- Maurizio Calvesi, Lorenzo Canova. Collezione Farnesina. Siena, Cambi Editore, 2007. ISBN 978-88-88482-72-9.
- Maurizio Calvesi, Lorenzo Canova. Cento anni di arte italiana alla Farnesina. Roma. Issue of the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers and Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato. 2006.
- Maurizio Calvesi, Lorenzo Canova, Marisa Vescovo, Marco Meneguzzo. Collezione Farnesina Experimenta. Roma, Gangemi Editore, 2008. ISBN 88-492-1486-3.
- 5 July 2008: Art at the Foreign Ministry on Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. 5 July 2008. URL retrieved 21 May 2009.
- Open Doors at the Foreign Ministry on Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. URL retrieved 21 May 2009.
- (in Italian) Letizia Guadagno. Presentata la Collezione Farnesina Design «Italian Network». 13 March 2009.
- (in Italian) Simona Martini. Le eccellenze del Made in Italy esposte nella Collezione Farnesina Design. «ifatti.com», 12 March 2009.
- Ciucci, Giorgio (2002). Gli architetti e il fascismo. Architettura e città 1922-1944. Turin: Einaudi. ISBN 88-06-16310-8.
- Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Collezione Farnesina The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Collection of Contemporary Italian Art.
- G8 photos