Villa Palagonia (Bagheria) - "The Villa of Monsters" (Villa dei Mostri)

Hall of mirrors, Villa Palagonia.

Hall of mirrors, Villa Palagonia, Bagheria.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

The construction of Villa Palagonia - famous for the statues of "monsters" that decorate its garden and its wall - began in 1715. The architect was Tommaso Napoli (and Agatino Daidone), and the building is a fine example of the so called Sicilian baroque.

The grotesque statues were created from 1749 by Francesco Ferdinando II Gravina, Prince of Palagonia.

 

Villa Palagonia, entrance

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

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Monsters on the wall at Villa Palagonia

Three of the monsters on the wall. Villa Palagonia is known all over the world as "The Villa of Monsters" (Villa dei Mostri).

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Villa Palagonia's wonderful double flight of stairs

Villa Palagonia's wonderful double flight of stairs.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Villa Palagonia: The Hercules room (Bagheria)

Villa Palagonia: The Hercules room.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Villa Palagonia

Villa Palagonia (Bagheria, Palermo)

Villa Palagonia (Bagheria, Palermo). Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad

Villa Palagonia

Many artists have been inspired by this eccentric villa, and many famous people have visited it. Here is a list of some:

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Alexandre Dumas
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Renato Guttuso
  • Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges
  • André Breton
  • Giovanni Macchia
  • Dominique Fernandez
  • Henry Swinburne
  • Patrick Brydone
  • John Soane, the Count de Borde, Jean-Pierre Houël

 

Villa Palagonia: monsters on the gate

Some of the monsters on the wall that goes around the garden.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

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Villa Palagonia garden

Relaxing in the garden.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Relief in the garden wall at Villa Palagonia

Relief in the garden wall at Villa Palagonia.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Villa Palagonia

In my mouth you can leave your light.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Villa Palagonia appears in several films:

 

 

Homepage and Facebook page

Villa Palagonia - monsters

Statues on the wall surrounding Villa Palagonia.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

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Literature

 

 

 

Villa Palagonia, painting in ceiling

Painting on the ceiling.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

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Sicily

One of the many statues on the wall surrounding Villa Palagonia.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Sicily

The "marble" walls in the Hall of Mirrors are actually only painted glass. (Detail.)

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Sicily

Painted glass looking like marble.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Palermo (main page)

The Abatellis Museum, Palermo

Palermo Cathedral

The Church of the Gesù (Casa professa)

Fontana Pretoria

La Cuba

La Zisa

La Martorana

The Monreale Cathedral

The Monreale Cloister

The Museum of the Inquisition

Norman Palace

Cappella Palatina

Ponte dell’Ammiraglio

Quattro Canti

San Cataldo

San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi

San Giovanni degli Eremiti

Santa Maria della Catena

Villa Palagonia

 

 

 

Sicily in the Movies

  • The Godfather I-III (Francis Ford Coppola)
  • L'avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  • Kaos (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani)
  • Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (International title: Cinema Paradiso), (Giuseppe Tornatore)
  • Baarìa (Giuseppe Tornatore)
  • Malèna (Giuseppe Tornatore)
  • The Star Maker (1995) "L'uomo delle stelle" (Giuseppe Tornatore)
  • La terra trema (Luchino Visconti)
  • The Big Blue (Luc Besson)