The opening of Palazzo Branciforte of Palermo in May 2012, took place thanks to the Fondazione Sicilia, chaired by Professor Giovanni Puglisi.
The restoration works began in 2007 under the guidance of the famous architect Gae Aulenti and have made the entire complex functional and modern, maintaining and respecting the evidence of the past as well as influences of modern design. Today in Palazzo Branciforte, the past, present and future are combined with art in all its aspects, including the culinary arts. In fact, in the Palace Museum was born the fourth Città del Gusto del Gambero Rosso, (town of the tasting), a meeting place with prestigious chefs for cooking classes dedicated to professionals and not. Near the school, in a wonderful architectural feature there is the prestigious restaurant Branciforte In the heart of Palermo, spread over 5,650 square meters, Palazzo Branciforte offers big space and usability to some prestigious collections of the Fondazione Sicilia.
On the ground floor there is the archaeological collections and majolica, the first floor houses the philatelic, numismatic and sculptures, along with the historical library that contains about 50 thousand volumes of the Foundation. From this level you can access the evocative atmosphere of the Monte de Santa Rosalia, a rare example of architectural wooden composition, a place destined for temporary art exhibitions. The Branciforte Auditorium equipped with the latest technologies can host conferences and cultural events, and provides a space to those who want to use the building for their meetings.
The Emporio Branciforte offers the public a selected range of editorial products and gift items related to art and gastronomy. The management and coordination of all activities as well as the promotion are entrusted to Civita Sicily. History: The history of Palazzo Branciforte has a close connection with that of the city of Palermo since, in the seventeenth century, there lived the family of Nicholas Placido Branciforte Lanza, Count Raccuja. Built in the late sixteenth century, the heirs of the Earl of Raccuja, around the middle of the seventeenth century, began the work of extension and obtained by the Senate of Palermo to incorporate the front road. Completed the work that had almost doubled the surface, the old Palazzo Raccuja, also called with the names of Pietraperzia or Butera, was one of the most luxurious aristocratic houses of the city, and one of the few not to have allocated part of its space to open workshops for commercial purposes.
In 1801, the Government proposed to the Branciforte family to hire the entire building, for an annual fee of about 400 ounces, in order to make the new home of "Mount of Mercy " as at the beginning of the nineteenth century the Senate of palermo needed larger areas to keep the amount of pledges, due to the difficult economic situation. In homage to the patron saint of the city, the branch was called "Monte di Santa Rosalia" even though the majority of Palermo was familiarly known under the name of "old clothes", in reference to its content. Because of the bomb blast in 1848, it was necessary to make radical changes to the internal systems. The collapsed floors were not restored so they created significant heights where all loan services were reactivated.
In 1929, the structure was absorbed by the Cassa Centrale di Risparmio "Vittorio Emanuele". During the Second World War, the building suffered extensive damage caused by the bombings but continued to practice as a credit on non-precious metals until the beginning of the 80s when it became the headquarters of the Foundation Chiazzese, the Historical Archives and the Library of Savings Bank. At the end of the nineties, the Savings Bank was acquired by Banco di Sicilia SpA and Palazzo Branciforte became the seat of the Training Centre for bank staff. On 30 December 2005, Palazzo Branciforte was finally acquired by the Fondazione Banco di Sicilia.
Another famous palace in Palermo, Palazzo Ganci in a picture from the film The Leopard by Luchino Visconti
Branciforte Palace is included in our walking tour or by car or minivan with driver/guide