The site where Palazzo Barberini is located is the former wine vineyard of the Sforza family. A palazzetto was built here in 1549 by the Sforza’s. In 1625,Cardinal Alessandro Sforza had some financial difficulties and sold the property to Maffeo Barberini, of the Barberini family. At the same time, Maffeo became Pope known as Pope Urban VIII.
The new Palazzo was the work of three very important architects. One of them was Carlo Maderno who was currently working on Saint Peters in Vatican City. Maderno was tasked with enclosing the old Sforza villa and creating a new suburban type villa with a semi enclosed garden.
When Maderno passed away in 1629, the project was a awarded to a young prodigy and soon to be legend Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini finished working on this project in the year 1633.
When Pope Urban VIII died and after the wars of Castro the Villa changed hands. The palace was seized and confiscated by Pamphili Pope Innocent X and was returned to Barberini in the year 1653.
Also located at Palazzo Barberini is Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. The Galleria is home to one of the most important painting collections in all of Italy. Many masters can be found here such as works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio, Giovanni Baglione, Hans Holbein, Perugino, Giulio Romano, Raphael,Nicolas Poussin, Carlo Saraceni Tiepolo, Tiziano and Tintoretto.