Palazzo Mastai, via G. M. Mastai, 14
Maria Mastai Ferretti
(Senigallia, 1792 –
Pope Pio IX house
belongs to the curia of New York. It is currently managed by the Diocese
of Senigallia. It is part, as a specialized museum of the Museo Diffuso
project. Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti was born in this palace on 13th
The building belonged to his mother’s family since 1550. His father, the
Earl Girolamo was the Gonfalon of Senigallia. His family originated in
Crema , it then moved to Venice (1520). Because of his business
Giovanni Maria Mastai moved to Senigallia and there he received as a dowry
of his wife the palace together with some land. Giovanni Mastai Ferretti
lived there until he was 11.
His studies took him to Volterra and then to Rome. There when he was
eighteen (1810) decided to undertake a religious education. As a
consequence he took vows that led him to become Pope in 1846. Anyway he
was used to come back for short visits to Senigallia. He would stay in his
house even when he had become Pope.
building was inaugurated museum on 13th May 1892, on initiative
of one of the Pope’s descendants in occasion of the centenary of the
birth. It is structured following the Palazzo Nobile style. It was build
at the end of the fifteenth century and was on three storeys. The third
was assigned to the servants.
It has been restored and modified through the years. After the earthquake
in 1930 for safety reasons the third floor was demolished and it has never
been rebuilt again. In May 1974 the building was totally restored because
after the earthquake in 1972 the ceiling of the Piano Nobile collapsed.
The restoration, supervised by the ‘Sopraintendenza ai Monumenti delle
Marche’, ended in 1976.
The family coat of arms overlooks the main entrance. The visit to the
museum begins in the Hall. Six rooms follow, but only the Anastasi Hall
and the Chapel have kept their original function. The Museum has on
display portraits, paintings, furniture, prints, medals, coins, volumes,
autograph letters, and other mementos, all concerning the Pope’s
The main Hall Anastasi is particularly worth seeing because of the
collection of paintings by Giovanni Anastasi (1653-1704) fellow citizen of
Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti.
Together with the works of art of the local artist it is possible to see
masterpieces by Bronzino, Schiavone, Carracci, Batoni, Romanino,
Spagnoletto, Bartolomeo friar, Jacopo da Bassano, Feti, Zuccai, Podesti,
Healy, all part of the Mastai-Ferretti collection.
Visiting the museum-house of this important historical character that
holds the record for the longest Pontificato, is at the same time a
possibility to get acquainted with an artistic treasure that has made
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