Beautiful and damned, Palermo is a fascinating and complex city, with a thousand souls. Its beauties are related to the mixing of different cultures over the centuries.
Here the best 3 unknown things to tourists absolutely to see.
La Palazzina Cinese
Although far from the center, the Chinese Building is one of the points of
interest of the city not to be missed. It is in fact one of the most beautiful
residences in Palermo, a small jewel of art and architecture.
It was built by the architect Venanzio Marvuglia in 1799, commissioned by King Ferdinand III of Bourbon, as his residence, in Oriental style as it was fashionable at that time.
It is located within the Favorita Park and its style, neoclassicism mixed to romanticism, recalls the Orient influences in the history of Palermo architecture.
If the exterior resembles a coloured pagoda, with its columned portico and spiral staircases, within there is a real celebration of Chinese, Pompeian and Turkish influences. On the lower floor there is a large Louis XVI style ballroom, the kitchens as well as a small exit.
This takes you along a marble staircase to the king’s bathroom where there is a huge marble bathtub set in the floor. On the upper floor there is the gallery set aside for royal audiences and receiving guests. It is decorated with pictures, lovely upholstery, rugs, tapestries, porcelain and furnishings. The king’s four poster bed had a canopy supported by eight white marble columns. The upper floor was for Queen Carolina, above which there was a large terrace.
The Capuchin Catacombs
They are located in the basement of the Capuchin Convent and represent one of the gloomiest and fascinating places in Palermo.
Its construction occurred at the end of 500. The galleries were a veritable rectangular cemetery with the bodies of bourgeois, traders, young virgin women, army officers in uniform, friars of the Order of the Capuchin.
Mummies of people belonging to the upper classes since the embalation process was very expensive.
One of the most famous bodies that is curious is that of Rosalia Lombardo, a little girl born in 1918 and died in 1920.
The face of Little Rosalia, defined as the Sleeping Beauty of Palermo, appears still intact. Despite the process of mummification, however, small states of decomposition of the child’s body were formed.
Therefore his body was placed in a case of steel and hermetic glass that maintains constant temperature and humidity levels.
The Lighthouse of Capo Gallo
It all started when a hermit turned a lighthouse, located in Capo Gallo Natural Reserve, into an authentic work of art and he began to live there in 1997.
Isvraele, thanks to his knowledge on construction field, restructured the lighthouse, saving it from neglect and absolute degradation.
Wonderful: he has covered the interior with extraordinary mosaics with an incredible visual impact. The Lighthouse is reachable from the Tower of Mondello and a path leads straight to Capo Gallo.
If you want to know more, download the free app!