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Villa Palagonia, Bagheria

#1 of 6 in Historic Sites in Bagheria
Historic Site · Tourist Spot
The Villa Palagonia is a patrician villa in Bagheria, 15 km from Palermo, in Sicily, southern Italy. 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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Villa Palagonia reviews

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  • Driving along the coast to Cefalu, we decided to stop here and visit this villa. Built in C18th, this villa was visited by lots of famous travellers of the time for the many strange statues which...  more »
  • You should absolutely visit this fine villa when in Bagheria. It still needs a bit more restauración but the rooms we were able to visit and the garden are very impressive. It is inexpensive to visit....  more »
  • It is a beautiful circular enclave. The wild garden makes an intringuing cornice to the villa which is beautiful inside and out. Only a small section of the interior is open to the public but it is worth the trip. The ceiling of the squarish marble room is made with a mirror parchwork that is now pewter gray but, in its day, must have been sparkling at any hint of light. The sculptures perched on the garden walls survey the garden and the few tourists still are intriguing and beautiful in their own odd way.
  • It is a pity, to see such a beautiful monument in such a bad state. From the 6 EUR tickets (no reductions, even for children and students the same) at least some maintenance work could be done. Shame for the owners.
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