Piazza Venezia marks the physical center of Rome as well as being a square buzzing with activity and history. On the north end, where Piazza Venezia meets Via del Corso, is the building where Napoleon I’s mother Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte lived: Palazzo Bonaparte. The building was built in 1660 by Giovanni Antonio De Rossi for Marquis Giuseppe Benedetto. After Napoleon was forced in to exile, Letizia was granted asylum in Rome by Pope Pius VII in 1815. It is said she loved to sit on the covered balcony, hidden from view, and watch the city unfold below her. Once she lost her sight her lady in waiting described the comings and goings to her. Letizia lived at Palazzo Bonaparte until her death in 1836. The building became the property of Italian insurance company Assitalia in 1972, but the name Bonaparte remains on the rooftop.