Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi

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The palace on Piazza Croce dei Vespri
The ballroom of the Palazzo Gangi

Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi is the large ancestral townhouse first of the Princes Valguarnera and then of the Princes Gangi, situated in the Piazza Croce dei Vespri, Palermo, Sicily. The house was constructed in several phases during the 18th century and completed in circa 1780.

The palace is designed in the Baroque style, although its ornamentation is of a more severe form In respect of what is generally accepted as Sicilian Baroque. The tall windows of the piano nobile are decorated with alternating pointed and segmented pediments, while the windows of the lower and upper floors are much smaller, almost cell like, indicating a more modest function of the rooms they belong. In this way the architecture could be said to be more Renaissance than Baroque.

In 1750 the interior was created in true Sicilian Baroque style by Marianna Valguarnera, with special furniture in the very ornate style, created by local craftsmen. The creation of the house took so long that the Baroque style passed out of fashion in favour of the neoclassical style, and it was during this era that the large circular and domed dining room was created with its painted panels on the dome by Giuseppe Velasco.

In 1963 the palazzo, and most memorably its ballroom, were the setting for Luchino Visconti's film' Il Gattopardo (The Leopard).

Today, while the famous ballroom may be hired for events, the rest of the house is still used as a private residence.

References[edit]

  • Gefen, Gérard (2001). Sicily, Land of the Leopard Princes. Tauris Parke.

Coordinates: 38°06′54″N 13°21′58″E / 38.1151°N 13.366°E / 38.1151; 13.366