Italy Magazine: Seven Of The Best Secret Palaces In Sicily
Palaces built by Sicily’s nobles were meant to showcase their wealth and appreciation for the finest architectural styles and decorative arts of the day. Because they took decades to build, the palazzi often incorporated a range of design elements as tastes changed during construction periods that frequently spanned decades. It’s common to see splendid examples of baroque, rococo and neoclassical styles mixed on a piano nobile, or even in one room. With land abundant, many of these dwellings were enormous, housing not only lavish reception rooms and ballrooms, but sizable living quarters for a noble and his extended family. Many descendants of the families who owned the palazzi centuries ago continue to live in their ancestral homes, while others have donated their properties to the state or church to make them available to the public. Some of the palazzi have regular visiting hours; for others you need to request an appointment to visit.
Palazzo Alliata of Pietratagliata. While five centuries of architectural and decorative periods are represented in this palace, many of the rooms beautifully showcase the Sicilian rococo style. The owners of the palazzo today, Prince Biagio Licata Baucina and his wife Princess Signoretta Alliata di Pietratagliata, are the 26th-generation descendants of the original families who built the structure in 1473.
The grand ballroom here is very grand indeed, housing the Murano Ca’ Rezzonico chandelier, considered the largest in Europe. The palazzo is a favorite stop among visiting dignitaries, who have included the Queen of the Netherlands and maestro Riccardo Muti. Via Bandiera 14; palazzoalliata.it. For information about visits (with a minimum of 20 guests) write to: firstname.lastname@example.org