Palazzo Mirto


Just off Piazza Marina, this palazzo is one of the few in Palermo open to the public. Dating back to the 17th century, the building served as the Palermo residence of the Filangeri family for four centuries, and offers visitors a glimpse of the lavish, lost world of the Sicilian nobility. English-language booklets provide information for visitors.

The walls of its 21 rooms are covered in acres of silk and velvet wallpaper, with vast embroidered wall hangings, frescoed ceilings, chandeliers and floors paved in coloured marbles, majolica tiles and mosaics. Memorable rooms include the tiny but extravagant Salottino Cinese (Chinese Salon) full of black lacquer, silken wallpaper and a rather conceited ceiling painting of European aristos viewing the room from above. It also features a leather-walled Fumoir (Smoking Salon), with walls of colourfully dyed Cordovan leather, and the Salottino di Diana (Lounge of Diana), with a swivelling statue of Apollo that leads to a secret passageway.

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