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


4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tina Mercer (11 months ago)
Visited this museum in Bagheria. Very beautiful and interesting past.
Patrick Farrugia (13 months ago)
A very beautiful Palace with old paintings and lovely architecture, however it stands in very bad shape.
Angela Allyn (14 months 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.
Alberto Del Lungo (16 months ago)
Simply, I don't know. Although, the site was officially opened untill 13.00, at 12.35, the very un-polite receptionist did not allow me to enter and he didn't even allow me to step into the front garden to take a picture. I discourage people to go and visit it, untill the administration will continue to hire such unprofessional people! This not the way to sell the Italian beauties and heritages to tourists!
Giulio Luzzardi (18 months ago)
Sunday is good as there is mass at 10:30 in the little chapel and the villa is more accessable. Beautiful and interesting.Great location for a movie.
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