Welcome to the Temple of Apollo
We are in the first room of the main floor of the Palace, inside the Great Reception Hall, also known as the Temple of Apollo.
The feeling of vertigo caused by the grandeur of the environment amazes us today, as it once amazed the guests of the Count. Giani and Antolini, while creating this marvelous hall, try to satisfy the needs of the Count who wants to show the importance of his family.
Antolini and Francesco both belong to the Freemasonry. The architect, reworking the square space in the form of an octagon, designs a hall that becomes full of references and allusions to their common faith. For Freemasons, the octagon is an astral symbol of rebirth and perfection. The Count obtains a sacred and grandiose environment, a real pagan temple in line with his ambitions.
The choice of Apollo, god of the Sun, as the protagonist of the ceiling is also a clear reference to Masonic doctrine. Apollo is considered the ruler and regulator of the universe and leads the Freemasons brothers in their fight against the conservative nature of the Ancient Regime.
Antonio Trentanove and the Ballanti Graziani brothers in the bas-reliefs depict Phaethon in the mad attempt to drive the chariot of his father Apollo. The enterprise ends with his fall in the Eridanus, the current river Po.
At the time, the Count is influenced by the exploits of the young general Napoleon Bonaparte, seeing in him the same strength and security as the Sun god. However, history has shown that the pro-French are more like Phaethon, and, with the fall of Napoleon, they also fall.
Like Phaethon, Count Milzetti commits the sin of arrogance, he loses everything and shatters his most grand dreams. The price the Count pays to be able to live a life of passion and ambition is to lose everything he has.