In 1625, Alessandro Brugiotti from Vetralla, bought a palace on Via Farnesiana, before he bought the palace it belonged to Rosio Archilegi and further back to the Pico family. In 1651, Pietro Brugiotti, son of Alessandro, acquired the building adjacent to the palace which twenty years before his father’s cousins Carlo De Angeli, Felice and Monaldo Messini had inherited from his grandfather Cosimo Musacchi. The purchase of the building Musacchi, identified as the building now at street number 67, and in that same period the mansion Respoglio with the large surrounding estate was not far from the capital in the direction towards Bagnaia attest to the growing success of the Brugiotti’s in Viterbo. In 1647 Alessandro, son of Pietro, had finally managed to get the post of curator of the City and consequently his family became part of the city patriziato. A year later, he managed to marry Artemisia Mansanti, thanks to the mediation of the bishop Brancaccio. Artemisia was a girl of good family from Tuscania who brought with herself a rich dowry. It is probably because of the young couple that Pietro, a shrewd “real estate investor” that in 1651 sold his old building and moved to the newly purchased. It underwent renovations, then continued, after his father’s death (1658), by Alessandro. In later years Pietro and his descendants continued to buy small buildings and other sites on the same block. This enabled them, in the second half of the eighteenth century, to build a new wing of the building and to expand and beautify the garden. Between 1766 and 1778 the building underwent major developmental work, this enabled the initiative of Count Giuseppe, who added to his residence a whole body of the building which was still perfectly recognizable from the building façade organized on two floors and refined by three small wrought iron balconies, 3-7 street numbers of Via Annio, still attached to the palace. The renovation of the building continued with his son Alexander, affecting mainly the garden. Alessandro worked as Vicario Vescovile but he was also a Knight of Malta and an important figure in the cultural movement of the Arcadia Academy. Thanks to his cultural background, he extended the building and transformed the garden of the palace. Based on the principles of symmetry and regularity, the garden was decorated with large vases of flowers, fountains as well as fish ponds. There are very little remains left of these gardens. After the death of Earl Alessandro, in 1795, the last direct heir of the Brugiotti family, the palace passed to Filippo, the eldest son of Vittoria Brugiotti and Count Gaspare Carpegna. In the past century, many vicissitudes and rearrangements have affected the building, altering the interior of the subdivision. In 1995, the Savings Bank of Viterbo purchased a major portion of the building. The ground floor now houses the Museum of Ceramics, while the main floor houses the Foundation Carivit.
The complex history of the construction of the building have left traces in the doors, windows, railings, showing influences from the sixteenth century, typical of sangallesco and vignolesco, as well as the late sixteenth century and pre-baroque. The plant “L” building, is marked in its corner with the crests of the Cardinal Farnese, the Cardinal Scipione Cobelluzzi and Brugiotti family, is influenced by the two paths on which it overlooks. The front of the building overlooking Via Cavour is divided into three tiers. Located at the bottom, there is the big entrance gate on the right, it is off-centered and surmounted by a balcony with stone balustrade. At the sides there are some shops. The second order of the front coincides with the floor of the palace. The four windows surmounted by its many mezzanines are distinguished by the lintels with scrolls of peperino stone, except the French windows made with travertine and peperino as the balconies and shelves underneath. The short Latin phrases invite the passer-by, moderation and caution. The arches of the windows on the main floor are divided into three parts: two end nuts, adorn the center of an egg, with five triangular teeth in the lower half and a scroll on which is engraved a moralizing motto, decorated with sides of two cords that support a plume. Above the arch, the frame is interrupted by large scrolls that frame the family arms of Brugiotti: a ram with two stars and three bars. Above the Brugiotti family arms, is the Farnese fleur de lis. The last order of the façade, smaller than the lower ones, is instead characterized by four simple windows. The elevation of the building overlooking Via Annio is similar in structure to the main façade. The only differences are the entrance, this time off-center on the left and flanked by four windows on shelves and a smaller one, the absence of the balcony, the layout and number of windows on the upper floors, six for each. Finally it should be noted that the same elements present in the coat of arms Musacchi – stars, hemispheres, and comets – are repeated at the corners of some windows along the sides of the building and the courtyard on the first floor, and the summit cornice.
The exterior of the building and its main internal space, as well as the architectural and decorative devices still refer to a skilled direction leading to the courtyard of the main floor through the deep inlet and double flight of stairs. Crossing the threshold of the Brugiotti Palace from the courtyard, where the statue of Moses in the act of presenting the Tablets of the Law, you will find the heart of the house. The design of little flat doors and windows that overlook the courtyard are very simple and they contrast with those that have rich decoration. Along the path that leads from the main entrance to the garden you will find a fountain in a niche, with oval bowl-shaped lyre support. The keystone is decorated with a star in relief and the union has the shape of a ram, which refers to the Brugiotti family crest. In the garden, there remain only a few decorative elements. The heart of the house is the hall of the main floor. At the center of the vault full of decorations, stands the painting of Venus and Aeneas, attributed to the Viterbese painter, Anton Angelo Bonifazi (1627 c.-1699), an artist close to Pietro da Cortona, and particularly related to the family Brugiotti. It ‘s very likely that the canvas was placed in the vault at the conclusion of the work completed between the years 1651-1658 by Giovanni Angelo di S. Timoteo, an architect of the Carmelite Order (a Catholic religious order perhaps founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel). Several other works of art adorn the collection of the Foundation Carivit: The Rest in Egypt by Anton Angelo Bonifazi dating back to the seventies of the seventeenth century, the painting of the mid-seventeenth century by Giovan Francesco Romanelli depicting Tobias and the Angel, a beautiful portrait of Cardinal Giovanni Andrea Archetti executed between 1784-85 by Domenico Corvi, as well as the two drawings that depict nudes of young people. Recently, the Foundation has accepted the invitation of the Ordine degli Avvocati di Viterbo for the restoration of the two large paintings by Giovan Ventura Borghesi, respectively (1640-1708), depicting S. Ivo, advocate for the poor (dated 1683) and Ludovico Mazzanti (1686-1775), depicting the Vision of S. Ignazio, which is now deposited in the Brugiotti Palace.
Palazzo Brugiotti in Viterbo , Edizioni Sette Città, Viterbo 2005.