Although the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) never visited Rome, his family's name is emblazoned for all to see on the altana of a palazzo in the heart of the city.
The 17th century palazzo was originally built for Giuseppe e Benedetto d'Aste (whose family's name also appears on the altana). In 1770 it passed to Folco Rinuccini and fifty years later it was bought by Maria Letizia Ramolino, Napoloen's mother, who lived there from 1818 until her death in 1836.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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