Villa Palagonia

Bagheria, Italy

The Villa Palagonia is a patrician villa in Bagheria, 15 km from Palermo. The villa itself, built from 1715 by the architect Tommaso Napoli with the help of Agatino Daidone, is one of the earliest examples of Sicilian Baroque. However, its popularity comes mainly from the statues of monsters with human faces that decorate its garden and its wall, and earned it the nickname of 'The Villa of Monsters' (Villa dei Mostri).

This series of grotesques, created from 1749 by Francesco Ferdinando II Gravina, Prince of Palagonia, aroused the curiosity of the travellers of the Grand Tour during the 18th and 19th centuries, for instance Henry Swinburne, Patrick Brydone, John Soane, Goethe, the Count de Borde, the artist Jean-Pierre Houël or Alexandre Dumas, prior to fascinate surrealists like André Breton or contemporary authors such as Giovanni Macchia and Dominique Fernandez, or the painter Renato Guttuso.

In 1885, the villa was bought by private individuals, who are still in its possession, and is partially open to the public.

Villa Palagonia has been one of the venues for music concerts held within the framework of the Concert Season of Bagheria (Stagione Concertistica Città di Bagheria) initiative since 2017, with free entrance.

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Founded: 1715
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marianna Stavinga (15 months ago)
Beatifully preserved building with statues, wall paintings, nice garden. I went in April and had the whole place for myself.
Justina Klybaitė (16 months ago)
Great experience. Very beautiful palace. Really worth to visit.
Tina Mercer (2 years ago)
Visited this museum in Bagheria. Very beautiful and interesting past.
Patrick Farrugia (3 years ago)
A very beautiful Palace with old paintings and lovely architecture, however it stands in very bad shape.
Angela Allyn (3 years ago)
Worth a visit if you're in Bagheria. I only wish more of the rooms of the villa were open for viewing. As it is the highlight are the wonderful and unique statues in the garden. It doesn't take long to see everything, I'd say half an hour. So 6€ seems expensive compared to other sites in Italy. However, I'm glad I went.
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