Palazzo Lanza Tomasi in Palermo
Il Palazzo Lanza Tomasi is located in the Historic center of Palermo, in the heart of the neighborhood Kalsa, the Arab Halisa, the elected citadel of the Emirs. The palace, built at the end of the seventeenth century on the Walls of the Bad, the sixteenth-century Spanish ramparts, overlooks the splendid seafront of Palermo with the twelve windows of the façade and the lush terrace, a veritable roof garden full of Mediterranean and subtropical essences.
The palace was the last residence of the Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the famous author of the The Leopard, who spent the last years of his life, until his death in July 1957, after the destruction of his palace, Lampedusa Palace, in the allied bombings of 5 April 1943. The adoptive son Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi he reconstituted the entire property in the 1970s and lovingly restored it.
The main charm of the building lies in its position and in the play of spaces and lights. The furniture has the character of the large ones patrician palermitane residences and presents a collection of furniture and furnishings from the best Sicilian cabinetmaking.
Most of the piano nobile include the writer's house museum. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's historical library has remained intact since his death. In the ballroom all his manuscripts are on display: the complete manuscript of The Leopard, the typescript refused by two publishers before being accepted by Feltrinelli after the author's death, a draft of the fourth part of the novel including a page that the author never added to it, the manuscript of his Childhood Memories, his Lessons of English and French literature and a first draft of the short story The Siren. The furnishing of the grand staircase, the two entrance halls and the historic library includes pieces of furniture and paintings salvaged from the destroyed Palazzo Lampedusa, some come from the palazzo in Santa Margherita di Belice, the summer house of the Filangeris di Cutò , the author's maternal family, wrecked by the earthquake of the Belice valley. In the library two large Caltagirone vases , early eighteenth century, and, over the fireplace, a Saint Jerome signed by Jacopo Palma il Giovane. In the ballroom the overdoors and a few eighteenth century pieces of furniture come from Palazzo Lampedusa as well as a number of paintings, among which an interesting little painting by Domenico Provenzano featuring the family of the "Saint Duke" Giulio Tomasi di Lampedusa, Duke of Palma. Among his children are Saint Giuseppe Maria Tomasi and the Venerable Sister Maria Crocifissa (the Blessed Corbera in the novel). The remaining furnishings of the piano nobile come from Palazzo Lanza di Mazzarino. Noteworthy are a stunning sixteenth century inlaid marble table, originally at Villa Palagonia, two rare early eighteenth century Sicilian chests-of-drawers in ebony and ivory, two Rezzonico style Murano "cage"chandeliers and a central one Louis XVI style, paintings by Pietro Novelli, Antonio Catalano, Federico Barocci.
Amomg the works of modern and contemporary artists, some maquettes for opera sets by Arnaldo Pomodoro, Giulio Paolini, Mimmo Paladino, Robert Wilson, two pen-and-ink portraits by Pablo Picasso, dated XNUMX, representing the Marchioness Anita de Villa Urrutia, maternal grand-mother of Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, and a portrait of his mother Conchita by Giulio de Blas.
The third floor of the palazzo is divided into apartments that are rented out for tourist accommodation.