In the day of Charles V, Palazzo Marescotti was far away from its splendour of today, which it acquired in the late 17th century (1680). The Marescotti family, lard makers, originally kept shop next to their houses, at the corner of Via Barberia and Via Collegio di Spagna. The palazzo was a complex of smaller buildings in the early 16th century. The current lay-out of the monumental spaces, which today cover 5,200 square metres, is mainly attributed to the last of the line of Marescotti senators, the ambitious and cultivated Raniero (1640-1690), who commissioned the building of the beautiful halls decorated with stuccoes and frescoes, and a monumental baroque staircase, Gian Giacomo Monti's masterpiece. The architectural complex has recently undergone several alterations. After the family died out, the palazzo was purchased by the Italian Communist Party (PCI) in 1947. After incisively restoring it, the party set up the Provincial Federation of the PCI, the Gramsci Institute and the editorial office of the daily newspaper 'Unità' there. In 1997, the palazzo went to the Alma Mater Studiorum, which commenced restoration works in 2003 that were completed in 2007.