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The Sora Palace was built in the 15th century by Urbano Fieschi, Count of Lavagna, and later enlarged by his brother Nicola. The original building was of three storeys and flanked by two towers, as depicted in the map by Tempesta.
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The building was sold to the Savelli family and in 1579 was purchased by Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585), a member of the Bolognese Boncompagni family, Dukes of Sora; hence the palace’s name. During the 17th century it was the hub of Roman society and intellectual life, and in the 18th century was the seat of the Quiriti Academy.
During the 19th century is was used as a cavalry barracks. It later became the property of the Italian State and in 1889, following the works carried out to open the street called Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, the main façade was demolished and then rebuilt in its original form further back along this new street. Part of the older building is still visible along Vicolo Savelli.
In 1892 the palace became the property of Rome’s City Council and was turned into a school building: firstly for the “T. Mamiani” lyceum (high school) and later for the “V. Gioberti” technical commercial institute.
The façade overlooking Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is of two storeys with a 20th century raising.
On the ground floor there is an arched portal flanked by architraves and pilasters, and ten windows with arched cornices and gratings with window openings below.
The first floor has eleven windows flanked by Doric pilasters and alternating triangular curved tympanums above. On the second floor the windows present a simple square shape and a small architrave.
The façade overlooking Via Sora partly preserves the original 15th century appearance and is of the same form as the one overlooking Corso Vittorio, with eight curved windows – the first on the left being framed as a portal – on the ground floor and nine windows on the first floor.
The inner courtyard has arches on the long sides and an arch between two rectangular apertures on the short sides.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 217, Rome
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