In the past it was more simple, divided into two squares by a smaller palace, Palazzetto Venezia. The square in front of Palazzo Venezia linked the Via Papalis, from the Vatican to the Lateran, to the Via Lata, which led to the centre of the city from Porta Flaminia (Flaminian Gate).
On the square, where the Palazzo delle Assicurazioni stands today, faced Michelangelo’s workshop. The decision to built on the flanks of the Capitoline hill the monument to Victor Emanuel II caused the destruction of the papal square in order to give life to a new political-moral centre of the new country.
The modern aspect of the square, after a process of demolition and reconstruction, reflects the ideology of grandeur and the wish to create the myth of the Third Rome on the ruins of the imperial and papal ones. On the other side of Palazzo Venezia was built the Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali in imitation of the most famous palace.
Situated at the beginningof the Via del Corso is the Palazzo Bonaparte. It dates to 1660 and takes its name from Napoleon’s mother, who after the fall of the Emperor lived here till her death in 1836.
The roof-loggia is perfectly preserved and remind us of those days in which that old lady could observe the passerby without being seen. On Christmans in the middle of the square rises a colourful Christmas tree which is a pendant to the one in St.Peter square and which gives a special flavor to the already splendid flowered lawn.