The Palazzo Sclafani is located in the Piazza della Vittoria in the center of Palermo. It was built in 1330 by the man for whom it is still named, Matteo Sclàfani. Today it is the seat of an army department.
Palazzo Sclàfani Palermo opening times and tickets
Opening times: Except during special occasions, the palace can only be visited with the permission of the Comando Militare dell’Esercito.
History and description
The Palazzo Sclàfani is characterized by a square floor plan and a large central atrium. The windows on the first floor were added in the 19th century. Originally, the only light in the building used to enter through the courtyard windows. The portal is crowned by an aedicula with two cranes (the symbol of the family). The inlay work on the arches that adorn the second floor are made of black lava stone. When the Sclàfani family died out, the building came into the hands of the Spanish rulers. In 1435 it was converted into a civil hospital.
Triumph of death
For what was once its greatest attraction, one must now visit the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia. In the 15th century, the atrium was painted with a fresco cycle. The most famous of these paintings is “The Triumph of Death,” which was transferred to the museum after World War II.
Tradition has it that in 1330 Matteo Sclàfani was invited by his brother-in-law Manfredi Chiaramonte to a feast in his magnificent palace. Matteo, who was a bit jealous, boasted that he would be able to build an even more beautiful palace within a year. Although doubtful whether he managed to achieve his goal within a year, he did have a magnificent building constructed. The two would later, whether because of this bet or not, find themselves on enemy lines.