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The Quirinal Hill is today identified with the Palazzo del
Quirinale, the official residence of the President of the Italian
Republic and one of the symbols of the State. Before the abolition
of the Italian monarchy in 1946, it was the residence of the king
of Italy, and before 1871 it was, as originally, the residence of
the Pope.The healthy cool air of the Quirinal attracted aristocrats
and papal families that built villas where the gardens of Sallust
had been in antiquity.
A visit to the villa of Cardinal Luigi
d'Este in 1573 convinced Pope Gregory XIII to start the building of
a summer residence the following year, in an area considered
healthier than the Vatican Hill or Lateran: his architects were
Flaminio Ponzioand Ottaviano Nonni, called Mascherino; under Pope
Sixtus V works were continued by Domenico Fontana (the main facade
on the Piazza) and Carlo Maderno, and by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for
Pope Clement XII.