The Barberini Palace hosts part of the important National Gallery of Ancient Art and the Italian Numismatics Institute. It is located in downtown Rome, about 200 meters from Piazza Barberini.
In 1623 Cardinal Maffeo Barberini became pope, bearing the name Urban VIII, and his powerful family wanted to build a magnificent aristocratic residence. The construction works began in 1627 under the guidance of Carlo Maderno. Upon the latter's death Bernini took over the direction of the construction site. Collaborating with Francesco Borromini, he introduced structural and decorative details such as the elegant helical staircase in the building's west wing.
After World War II, the palace was acquired by the Italian State. The building and the garden are now under restoration to create a true National Gallery, with works displayed in chronological order, but also with the possibility of inserting purchases and additions over time.