For the fanatics of monuments and spaces of excellence, the 2019 edition of the “Le Vie dei Tesori” festival has extended the list of places to visit in Palermo: the new sites to be discovered are 33 among churches, ancient kilns, libraries and gardens.
At the top of the list is the Casa di San Francesco, the former convent of the Capuchin Friars Minor of the seventeenth century and now the second seat of “Cotti in Fragranza”, the social cooperative set up inside the Malaspina prison inaugurated in these days inside the cloister . A convent hidden in the ancient silence of the alleys close to the Cassaro and behind the splendor of the ancient noble palaces.
After almost three years of closure the tower reopens to the public which dominates from above the entire district of the Loggia and the teeming Vucciria market: the Tower of Saint Anthony the Abbot, in Via Roma, built in 1302 for devotion to Saint Anthony Abbot of the Chiaramonte family.
A dive into the past to discover places that are symbolic of the city’s industrial archeology, saved from abandonment, is offered by a visit to the ancient Fornaci Martonara in the Borgata dell’Acquasanta, where workers and “carusi” dug the stone in extreme conditions, breaking into the limestone blows from which to obtain the lime.
Inside the itinerary “churches and convents” make their debut: the Chapel of Maria Santissima della Soledad in Piazza della Vittoria, built at the end of the sixteenth century in the church of San Demetrio della SS.Trinità. The bombings of 1943 destroyed the church of San Demetrio but the chapel, although damaged, remained standing and in 1957 it was restored at the expense of the Kingdom of Spain, to which it belongs. In memory of a medieval Palermo is the church of San Giovanni Decollato on the homonymous square, and instead among the first of the Norman constructions built in the city is the church of San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi.
And again the church of Sant’Antonio da Padova, the Evangelical Valdese church, the Convent of Sant’Antonino, frescoed Portico, the Convent and the church of Santa Maria di Gesù on the hill that rises to the south east entrance of the city and the former Convent of Schiavuzzo. Finally, after a brief three-year restoration, the church of the Three Kings returns in via del Celso, built in 1578 by some confreres of the Compagnia dei Tre Re from which it took its name.
After six years of closure, it will be possible to see the Cala from the former orphanage in Via Vittorio Emanuele. It is the loggia of San Bartolomeo, returned to the city last May strong of a synergy between private and public.
Also some scholastic institutes that are found in monumental buildings open the doors to the path of this 2019 edition: the Castelnuovo Agricultural Institute, the Filippo Parlatore Institute and the Maria Adelaide State Building.
Among the new discoveries the Hotel de France, the building that was born in the eighteenth century as a palace of the Marquises of Sant’Onofrio del Castillo. In the early twentieth century it hosted illustrious figures from history, politics, culture and international aristocracy. The father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud (who sent many letters from these rooms) and Joe Petrosino, the Italian-American policeman killed by the mafia right in front of the hotel door on March 12, 1909, slept there.
Among the places that were never opened, the former disinfectant became a reception center, better known as “Mission of Biagio Conte” in Via Archirafi and in Via Decollati where Pope Francis had lunch during his last visit to Palermo.
Among the palaces, the villas and the annexed gardens we note: Villa De Cordova, in via Tommaso Natale, the residence where the nobility of Palermo toasted, one of the most imposing residences of the Piana dei Colli, Garden of Villa Naples and small Cuba, Provveditorato delle opere public, Villa Pantelleria Park, the Prefecture of Villa Whitaker, the Prefect’s seat at Villa Pajno and the open yard of Villino Favaloro, built in 1889 by Giovan Battista Filippo Basile and completed by Ernesto Basile in 1914.
Among the museums we find Palazzo Abatellis in via Alloro, the Vincenzo Ragusa Museum and Otama Kiyohara.
Among the libraries the juridical circle of the library of the former Faculty of Law in via Maqueda and among the notes the music books and the scores instead the Conservatorio di musica Alessandro Scarlatti.
The tunnels that saved the lives of the Vittorio Emanuele II high school students during the bombings of the Second World War will also be open to the public, this is the bomb shelter of the Alberto Bombace Library, formerly the Collegio Massimo dei Gesuiti in Via Vittorio Emanuele. Added to this is another type of refuge, that of the casamate alla Cala.
Among the twentieth-century architecture there is a rare example of Palermo of great symmetry between the two wars: the house of the Mutilate in via Scarlatti, inaugurated on 21 May 1939. It currently houses the penal section of the Giudice di Pace, as well as other municipal offices.
Among the “places of justice”, instead, Villa Bonanno, the headquarters of the DIA (Direction for Anti-Mafia Investigation) at Villa Arhens in Via San Lorenzo and the Malaspina juvenile complex in Via Palagonia will be open to the Palermo Police Headquarters.
And finally, the unexpected point of the icerberg of this new edition is the unexpected puppet collection hidden in the eighteenth-century palace of the Travel Agency Conca d’Oro, in Piazza Indipendenza.
Also this weekend, being the first Sunday of the month all the museums and places of art will remain open to the public, a unique occasion in Palermo, to observe all its architectural and artistic works, as well as its history.
If you want to spend this weekend in October in Palermo, do not hesitate, contact us now and book your room at our bed and breakfast in Palermo.