10Entrance Hall And Marcus Curtius Leaping Into Chasm

In the beautiful welcome area of the palace, you’ll find ancient Roman mosaics roped off on the floors. They are believed to have come from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. You’ll also see an amazing rococo-style vaulted ceiling, depicting different pagan scenes. If you stand with your back to the door and look up to where the wall meets the ceiling, you’ll see a wonderful relief sculpture by Pietro Bernini, father of the great Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

It is much more than a simple relief: This sculpture shows Marcus Curtius famously throwing himself into a chasm. An earthquake in the fourth century B.C. is responsible for creating the chasm. As the story goes, the pagans, who believed nothing happened by chance, searched for a reason why this earthquake would form such a deep chasm right in the center of Rome.