Ferdinand IV used to love hunting in the Favorita, his royal park. It was here where Villa delle Campanelle, owned by Benedetto Lombardo e Lucchesi, was located.
The name of this small Chinese-style house derived from the metal bells (campanelle) that decorated it and tinkled every time there was a breeze. The King, in voluntary exile in Palermo, was very taken by this unusual house and bought it wanting to transform it into the most luxurious of his country residences. The project was entrusted to Giuseppe Venanzio Marvuglia who also designed the big garden. 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.