Situated on the Quirinal Hill, the highest in Rome, the Quirinal Square offers a superb view of the city and is home to a beautiful collection of prestigious buildings.
The Quirinal Hill was already occupied by a residential area in Roman times.
At the end of the 16th century, Pope Gregory XIII chose this cool, green location to build the Papal Summer Palace. The palace was not finished until the 1730s, and the greatest baroque architects worked on it (Bernini, Fontana, Maderno, etc.)
The Quirinal Palace later became the residence of the Kings of Italy when Rome became the capital in 1871. Today the Quirinal Palace is the official residence of the President of the Republic and you may have the opportunity to see the changing of the guard.
Around the square you will find other baroque buildings: the Palazzo della Consulta which now houses the Constitutional Court, the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi and the former stables which host high quality temporary exhibitions.
The square is adorned with a beautiful fountain, which owes its current shape to numerous modifications.
Originally, Pope Sixtus V had the two ancient statues of Castor and Polux holding up rearing horses, the Dioscuri, erected. These statues probably come from the baths of Constantine.
In 1783, Pope Pius VI added an obelisk from the mausoleum of Augustus (the second obelisk had been placed behind the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore).
The last addition, the granite basin, was made by Pius VII in 1818.
From the square you have a beautiful view over the roofs of the city and you can admire the dome of St. Peter in the distance.