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Palazzo Biscari, a baroque dream

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Jan 282020Palazzo Biscari, a baroque dream If you have the opportunity to visit Sicily, don't miss to go to Catania. Here you will find Palazzo Biscari, the most sumptuous baroque palace in Catania
Tagstourism, travel, art, experience

If you have the opportunity to visit Sicily, don't miss to go to Catania. Here you will find Palazzo Biscari, the most sumptuous baroque palace in Catania, unique for its structure, plan and decorations.


 After the earthquake that almost entirely destroyed the city in 1693, Ignazio Paternò Castello III Prince of Biscari, obtained permission to build the new palace that could command respect. Upon his death, his son Vincenzo IV, prince of Biscari, started building it for more than a century, thus becoming the dream of the affable and courteous Ignazio Paternò Castello, fifth prince of Biscari.

His house, in imperious Baroque style, founded on the sixteenth-century walls of Catania, occupies an entire block of the city and is preserved as the most beautiful Baroque palace in Catania. Just like Prince Ignatius dreamed of: an exemplary wonderful home, which would honor the city of Catania, and which could be visited by everyone.
The first construction works are from 1702, following the catastrophic earthquake of 1693, which razed half Sicily.




Palazzo Biscari has 600 rooms. The central courtyard, adorned by a large pincer staircase, gives access to the entrance of the structure, where several rooms wind, including the painting room.
 Among all, a visit to the party hall, completed in 1766, and richly frescoed by the painter Sebastiano Lo Monaco is a must. It is a guitar-shaped room, at the time served as a ballroom.
 The lounge is decorated in Rococo style, enriched with stuccos, decorations and frescoes. The central dome, used as a chamber for the orchestra, is covered by a fresco depicting the glory of the Paternò Castello di Biscari family where a majestic figure of the God Vulcan is visible in the middle.
 The same hall was used as a "tennis court" by the English occupiers during the Second World War, as evidenced by a ball-shaped hole on the side of Princess Anna’s portrait.
One of the most amazing elements of the castle, as well as the result of meticulous architectural work, is the spiral wave staircase, built around the second half of the 1700s and located in the “Bird Gallery”, once known as the “Porcelain Gallery”.
The Biscari Museum was established in 1758, inside the Palace, at the behest of the famous scholar and archaeologist Prince Ignazio Paternò Castello. The Museum, with its numerous archaeological collection, was a destination for the most important cultural personalities among the Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The British also appreciated its style and architecture. During World War II, in fact, the occupants wanted to make it a defense post, but as soon as they understood the historical and architectural value of the building, they decided to settle there.
Over the centuries, Palazzo Biscari has opened its doors to illustrious guests: from Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who visited the palace during his trip to Italy in 1787 and celebrated its beauty in his "Journey to Italy", to the Duchess of Alba. In 2008, the entrance to the building was the backdrop for Coldplay's Violet Hill video clip.
The museum now houses the MF (Museum & Fashion) which combines culture and fashion in an original duo, not to be missed.
The palace is still largely inhabited by the descendants of the Biscari family, and its main halls are often used for social and cultural events.
 In our collection of selected luxury villas in Sicily, you will find Bagolaro, the nearest villa to Catania.






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