Since 1961 Palazzo Chigi has been the official residence of Italy's prime minister.
The palace was begun in the 16th century and enlarged in the following century, when it was acquired by the Chigi family, rich bankers from Siena. In 1655 the family hit the jackpot when Cardinal Fabio Chigi was elected pope, taking the name Alexander VII (r. 1655-67).
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 walking tours of Rome.
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