Passions & Places

Mastai Ferretti's house

Palazzo Mastai
Senigallia, Palazzo Mastai, via G. M. Mastai, 14
Papa Pio IX Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti
(Senigallia, 1792 – Roma,1878)

pe 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 May 1792. 

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.

The 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 life. 

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 Senigallia renowned.

2005 Liberation Ventures Ltd.


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