Palazzo Biscari, Catania

4.5
#5 of 17 in Historic Sites in Catania
Palazzo Biscari is a private palace in Catania, Sicily, southern Italy.It was built by will of the Paternò Castello family, the princes of Biscari, starting from the late 17th century, lasting for much of the following century, after the devastations of the 11 January 1693 earthquake. The new palace was built directly against the city walls (Charles V's walls), which had partially withstood the earthquake.The oldest section was built under Ignazio, third prince of Biscari, who entrusted the project to architect Alonzo Di Benedetto. Ignazio's son, Vincenzo, commissioned the decoration of the seven large windows facing the seaside, by the Messinese sculptor Antonino Amato. Later the palace was modified under the fourth Prince, Ignazio Paternò Castello, who had it enlarged eastwards under design by Giuseppe Palazzotto and, later, by Francesco Battaglia. The building was finished in 1763 and inaugurated with big celebrations.The palace is accessed through a large portal facing via Museo Biscari, leading to the inner courtyard, which features a large double staircase. In the interior is the "Feasts Hall", in Roccoco style, with a complex decoration of mirrors, stuccoes and frescoes painted by Matteo Desiderato and Sebastiano Lo Monaco. The small dome, destined to the orchestra, has a frescoe depicting the glories of the Paternò Castello di Biscari family. It is accessed through a staircase decorated in stucco within the gallery facing the sea.Among the other rooms are the "Fief Room", featuring large canvasses of the Biscari feudataries; the "Princess Apartments", built by Ignazio V of Biscari for his wife, with pavements of ancient Roman marbles; the "Birds Gallery" and the "Don Quixote Room". There is also a museum, once housing the collection of Ignazio V, most of the material of which is now in the Castello Ursino in Catania.
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Palazzo Biscari Reviews
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316 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We arrived at the Palace around 17 hours. We were a group of french of 15 people on site at this moment. Also, the owner greeted us with humor and charming way. He explained to us the history of this Palace, its construction and the choices made by his ancestors. Visit rich and yet free thanks to the explanations of the sculptures, paintings, floors, of the Ballroom where he brought classical music to help us travel in the past, hidden rooms (living room, bedroom, bathroom) that he we opened. A big thank you to the owner who is still living the Palace in 2017.
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  • Dana described him when he said that the Sicilian nobles had no interest in art and history, each generation destroyed what was done by the previous and built new parts without any consistency with the other. If you go to Milan or Florence States that for the nobility of those cities was must respect the family harmony and style of the buildings, the obligation to keep the style. Palazzo Biscari is the opposite, made up of many parts, designed by the masters and built by Masons. Starting with an account that has no public schedule. There is Palazzo Strozzi in Florence or Borromeo in Milan, which are expressions of power but outward and "enjoyed" by the public. No, Palazzo Biscari contains her beautiful room, but according to the idea of luxury reserved for a circle; doesn't have a "profile" exterior accessible per se. Expression of a culture, not of architecture.
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  • Intrigued by the reviews on palazzo Biscari I try Googling the opening hours: every day at certain times. Others are by reservation. We start at a time of 10 civic and the caretaker tells us that it is closed and visits can be made the next day. I think it's a shame but remember that in a review a traveller has made contacts directly with the owner and try to call. He answers himself Prince Ruggero Moncada which by their availability for the next day. Reluctantly I have to decline the offer because alas the next day I'd be game for Syracuse. Much to the amazement I from the immediate availability and gives directions to find it. In 5 minutes, my husband and I have been catapulted into the building. Short visit, but they couldn't expect more, where the owner has delighted us with stories about the history of the building and of his ancestors. Stories and amusing anecdotes and at the same time full of history and charm. We were pleasantly surprised by the willingness and humility of the Prince who has opened her home to two tourists like we were family. After the visit we wanted to compensate your time today but the Great Lord and Prince refused telling us that for him it was a pleasure. Thank you and congratulations ... not everyone!
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Google
  • Very nice place to visite, especialy with the owner of the place for his delightfull story about the history of his family. Visite available in French, Italiant, English... Don't forget to call the place before going in order to know the next available visiting slots.
  • spectacular event space, old aristocratic palace in the heart of the historical catania
  • It was built by will of the Paternò Castello family, the princes of Biscari, starting from the late 17th century, lasting for much of the following century, after the devastations of the 11 January 1693 earthquake. The new palace was built directly against the city walls (Charles V's walls), which had partially withstood the earthquake.
  • Really beautiful space for events.
  • Nice old sicilian building. Also used as convention place.

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Where to stay in Catania

Experience the charms of Sicily at your own pace by booking your stay at a private cottage or luxury villa in Catania. Family-owned cottages offer easy access to some of Sicily's finest beaches, while Catania's self-catering villas often feature sprawling yards and private swimming pools. To experience Sicilian nature and authentic way of life, consider staying at a working farm just outside Catania's city limits. A low-cost alternative, farms and B&Bs spread around the countryside offer comfortable rooms and excellent local food, just a short drive from the busy city center.
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