Sunday, June 5, 2011

Palazzo Trigona-Celestre

The Mantegnas' Palazzo Gangi gets more attention for its baroque Hall of Mirrors, where the ballroom scene of Visconti's film The Leopard was filmed. Starring Burt Lancaster and a young Claudia Cardinale, it is a memorable movie based on Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's novel about the decline of the Sicilian aristocracy after 1860.

But Palazzo Trigona-Celestre, a recently restored jewel in Palermo's Via Maqueda is a splendid aristocratic residence - now in public hands - that deserves its props. With Palazzo Butera (facing the shore in the Kalsa district), it is one of the largest such mansions built in 18th century Sicily.

Our article about the Celestre family of Santa Croce, part of our Historic Families series, explains how the Trigonas inherited both the palace and the Celestre titles - marquis of Santa Croce and baron of Alia. Frankly, the palace was probably worth more than the titles of nobility.

As you walk along Via Maqueda between the Quattro Canti and the train station, Palazzo Trigona-Celestre is hard to miss. It is sometimes open to the public for art exhibits, and worth a visit even if you're not interested in the art on display!

No comments: