Villa Malfitano


A showcase of Liberty architecture, set in a 9-hectare (22-acre) formal garden planted with rare and exotic species, this villa is most notable for its whimsical interior decoration, which includes a 'Summer Room' with walls painted to resemble a conservatory, and a music room draped with 15th-century tapestries illustrating the Aeneid. It's a 20-minute walk west from Piazza Castelnuovo.

The villa was built in 1886 by Joseph Whitaker, a member of the entrepreneurial English business dynasty that made a fortune in the Marsala trade in Sicily in the 19th century. Joseph and his wife Tina were leading figures in Palermo's high society and entertained their belle-époque buddies here in lavish style, even hosting King Edward VII in 1907 and George V in 1925.

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