Historical building, old residence of the Farnese family, Lords of Parma and Piacenza duchy.
Its origins date back to the beginning of the 16th century, when Pierluigi Farnese’s son, Ottavio, and his wife Margherita ordered the royal palace to be built, pulling down Visconti castle. Works started in 1558 on a project by Francesco Paciotti, which continued from 1564 under the direction of the famous Jacopo Barozzi, called Vignola, official architect of the Farnese. The huge complex was never finished, and what we see today is only the half of the originary project. It is an imposing three-storey unfinished building with a wide basement. On ground and first floor two elegant loggias face the inner ward, with niches and exedras.
The precious wrought iron gate dates back to the 17th century and is decorated with Farnese lilies and a ducal coronet. An octagonal stuccoed ducal chapel was made by Bernardino Panizzari from Piacenza, known as Caramosino,and is characterized by an elegant internal covering and a small presbitery with two balconies facing it. The winding staicase connecting the basement to the roof is very remarkable.
The palace hosts the Civic Museums, the Art gallery, the Carriage Museum and the Risorgimento Museum.