Roman Soroptimists had the privilege of visiting rooms in Rome that are normally closed to the
public. Christina Höfferer cultural journalist in Rome and Soroptimist from Vienna reports back for the SoroptiVoice
The Colonna family is one of the oldest
Roman noble families. In the middle ages their members adapted the grave of the
antique emperor Augustus as their dwelling, before one Colonna was elected pope
and built a big palazzo in the heart of Rome.
Fulvia Strano renowned art
historian and sister of Emma Strano, president of the Soroptimist Club Roma
Tre, made it possible for Soroptimists to visit the splendid rooms of the
palazzo, that are normally closed to the public. Fulvia Strano has recently
published her third book “L´ombra delle stagioni” (The Shadow of the Seasons),
where she writes about her views on art and life. Like in many Roman palazzos
the facade is fairly plain and one would hardly expect the splendor of the
rooms. All the walls and ceilings are totally covered with frescoes, one room
is equipped with a throne for the Colonna princes.
The rooms are known as the apartment of
Isabelle Colonna, a wealthy woman from a family of bankers in the Lebanon. Isabelle Sursock, who married a
Colonna prince at the beginning of the 20th century, played a
notorious role in the informal politics of Rome, she was close to popes and
royalty and was called the “alternate queen” of Italy. Although she died in 1984, at 96
years, the rooms still ooze the spirit of Isabelle, a woman that certainly has
left her traces in the eternal city.