Among the noble palaces that surround Piazza Vittorio and its surroundings there was Villa Palambara originally of the Sforza family. When the Marquis Palombara came into possession of it, he gave it its name. Naturally the villa was surrounded by a splendid garden and in the photo we see its entrance door. The curiosity linked to this only surviving part of the villa is the engraving of numerous symbols on the pediment, the jambs, the threshold, the architrave and the step. Legend has it that one day the marquis received a visit from a mysterious character who, in exchange for a modest loan and a suitable environment, promised him the formula for the philosopher’s stone. After various searches this man as he had arrived, disappeared leaving behind some gold and the secret formula. After many unsuccessful attempts, the nobleman decided to engrave the formula on the door in the hope that some passerby could decipher its meaning. The statues on either side of the door come from the excavations of the Quirinal hill where in ancient times there was a temple dedicated to the two Egyptian divinities Isis and Serapis.

  • Year: 1949
  • Photographer: Herbert List
  • Location: Vittorio Emanuele II square
  • Source: Internet

Use the central handle to move the curtain and see the two superimposed images. If it should not be totally visible, it is possible to put it in full screen with the button at the top right of the image.