Palazzo Lettimi, in Via Tempio Malatestiano is an eye-catching and mysterious ruin. Once one of the most notable buildings in the city, which played host to guests including James Francis Stuart (The old pretender), and Cristina the Queen of Sweden, now it stands as a reminder of the damage inflicted on the city during World War II.
Palazzo Maschi-Marcheselli-Lettimi, more commonly referred to as Palazzo Lettimi is the picturesquely ruined building beside the popular Picnic restaurant in Via Tempio Malatestiano.
The Palazzo dates back as far as 1448 when we have records of the Maschi family buying a residence here. In the 1570s Carlo Marcheselli (Ginevra Maschi married into the Marcheselli family) commissioned a famous fresco from the artist Marco Marchetti, depicting the deeds of Scipius Africanus for the ceiling of the main reception room of the palace.
The Palazzo hosted various famous guests over the centuries - including Cristina of Sweden during her controversial flight from Sweden to the Papal States in 1654 (The Queen converted to the Catholic faith, losing her crown as a result), and the 'old pretender' to the throne James Stuart (Father of Bonnie Prince Charlie)
The Palazzo passed, in the 1770s to the Lettimi family - who themselves were involved in intrigue, with Andrea Lettimi, participating in the Carbonari movement in the 1800s.
In the 20th Century the last of the Lettimi line, Giovanni, left the building to the Comune of RImini on the condition that it be preserved and be turned into a music school - and thus it was in the 1930s the Civico Istituto Musicale
History, though, had other plans for the building, as it was severely damaged by the allied bombing and ground fighting of 1944 leading up to the liberation of Rimini. The building has remained in ruins ever since, a dramatic reminder of the horror of war. Of its past glory though there are still some traces, with seven of the eleven panels of the famous fresco saved and on display in the City Museum's Sala Scipio