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A spectacular optical illusion near Campo de 'Fiori
Borromini and the Perspective Gallery of Palazzo Spada
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Saturday, May 9

Our capital is perhaps the most beautiful city in the world, with an archaeological and artistic heritage without equal, and the most we think we know its secrets, its hidden alleyways or the oldest stories that have made it so fascinating, the more we discover it still retains many mysteries.

One of them is hidden in Palazzo Spada, near Piazza Farnese and Campo de 'Fiori, where Francesco Borromini, the archenemy architect of Bernini, , created between 1652 and 1653 the Perspective Gallery. In this gallery it was filmed a scene from "The Great Beauty", Oscar winner in 2014.

The Palazzo Spada is extremely interesting not only because you can see the private collection of Cardinal Bernardino Spada including paintings, ancient sculptures, furniture and antique furniture, but also for the incredible optical illusion created by Borromini in full Baroque period.

We know that in this period the artists feel the need to undermine the rules established by the Renaissance, they need to impress, trespassing and confusing viewers.

Well, the very special hall of Palazzo Spada is made in order to create a truly spectacular optical effect due to some architectural elements that within three steps make the person walking toward us in the gallery, a real giant.

The corridor, in fact, is about 8 m long, but seems to reach up to 30 thanks to the floor slightly uphill and once sloping downwards; more columns help to converge the eye to the center, where  a statue of Mars is,  just 60 cm high, but apparently larger.

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