Chiesa di San Giuseppe dei Teatini
In the southwestern corner of the Quattro Canti is the 17th-century Chiesa di San Giuseppe dei Teatini, topped by an elegant cupola...
Fringed by imposing churches and buildings, Piazza Pretoria is dominated by the over-the-top Fontana Pretoria, one of Palermo's major...
Flanking the southern edge of its namesake square, Palazzo Pretorio (also known as Palazzo delle Aquile) was built between 1470 and...
Frescoed walls, exposed ceiling beams and reasonably priced, lip-smacking appetisers, primi and secondi greet diners at this swinging,...
Quattro Canti information
Officially titled Piazza Vigliena, the elegant intersection of Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda is better known as the Quattro Canti. Marking the epicentre of the old city, the junction is framed by a perfect circle of curvi-linear facades that disappear up to the blue vault of the sky in a clever display of perspective. Each facade lights up in turn throughout the course of the day, landing it the nickname Il Teatro del Sole (Theatre of the Sun).
Echoing the style of late-Renaissance Rome and constructed in the early 17th century, the Quattro Canti's four symmetrical facades are the work of royal architect Giulio Lasso. Each corner is divided in three classical orders: Doric at the bottom, Ionic in the middle and Composite at the top. The decorative elements were left in the capable hands of architect Mariano Smiriglio, whose other projects in town include the baroque reworking of the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Valverde . Statues adorn each of the three tiers, representing the seasons at the bottom, Spanish sovereigns in the middle, and female Palermitan saints at the top.