Galleria Sciarra – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Rome, Italy

Galleria Sciarra

This hidden Art Nouveau courtyard is an opulent feast for the eyes. 

Located just a few steps away from the iconic Trevi Fountain and the fashionable Via del Corso is a largely unknown courtyard that transports visitors back to the height of the Art Nouveau movement. Its gorgeous frescoes and brilliant colors are a feast for the eyes and a welcome change from the pale, faded ancient Roman ruins scattered throughout the city.

The opulent courtyard was built in the late 19th century for the wealthy, influential Sciarra family. It was meant to be a shopping mall, which, had the mall come to fruition, would perhaps be one of the most beautiful shopping centers in Rome.

Every inch of the four-story walls enclosing the space is covered by colorful frescoes of women and men surrounded by elegant, curling floral designs. The women are the main focus, as the gorgeous artwork, which was painted by Giuseppe Cellini, is intended to celebrate women in the various phases of life.

The glass and iron ceiling lets sunlight spill into the courtyard, illuminating the details in the frescoes. When the sun goes down, lights turn on to bathe the courtyard in a warm yellow glow.

Know Before You Go

The courtyard is open to the public until 8 p.m.