LITTLE GEM FOR FREE – VILLA FLORIO

Il Villino Florio all’Olivuzza is a building, with adjoining garden, located near the Zisa in Palermo, in Viale Regina Margherita at number 38.

The villa, encompassed by a beautiful garden and now surrounded by tall new buildings, was commissioned by the wealthy Florio family to the architect Ernesto Basile (1857-1932) and built between 1899 and 1902.

It is one of the first architectural works in the Liberty style of Italy and is also considered one of the masterpieces of European Art Nouveau. Vincenzo Florio was a man of cosmopolitan attitude and very dedicated to travel. Basile in this work seems to want to recreate all the steps touched by the rich bourgeois, inserting various elements into the structure. The curved baroque surfaces, typically northern trusses , cylindrical turrets that refer to the French castles, Romanesque columns and Renaissance bugnati are all elements cleverly mixed to create a masterpiece of eclecticism and originality. After the golden age of the family, the villa fell into disuse and in November 1962 suffered a violent fire, which seems to have been of malicious origin. The fire devastated, above all, the interiors with the precious furnishings designed by the same Arch. Basile. The paintings and wall frescoes by Ettore De Maria Bergler (1850-1938) and Giuseppe Enea (1853-1906) also suffered severe damage.

After the restoration, it has hosted the offices of the Regional Department for Architecture and Contemporary Art and is one of the representative offices of the Sicilian Region. Its rooms, from time to time, are opened to the city with cultural events and exhibitions.

Free Entry, open from Tuesday to Saturday 9:00-13:00 and the first Sunday of each month.
da Martedi a Sabato e la prima domenica del mese dalle 9alle 13

Florio Family

This was a most important family during the late 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century. They were also instrumental in starting the Targa Florio sports car races and Marsala wines.

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