The building of Palazzo del Quirinale (Quirinal Palace) was begun during the reign of Pope Gregory XIII (r. 1572-85), who intended to use it as a summer residence. The Pope commissioned the architect Ottaviano Mascherino (1536-1606) to build the palace.
Palazzo del Quirinale, the tenth largest palace in the world, was completed during the reign of Pope Paul V (r. 1605-21).
The palazzo was used as the location for papal conclaves in 1823, 1829, 1831, and 1846.
When Rome became the capital of Italy in 1871, Palazzo del Quirinale became the official royal residence of the Kings of Italy. The monarchy was abolished in 1946 and the palazzo duly became the official residence of the Presidents of the Italian Republic.
The beautiful enclosed gardens of the Palazzo del Quirinale extend over 4 hectares (10 acres).
Statues of St Peter and St Paul crown the entrance