Palazzo Mirto © Sebastian Fischer
The excessive opulence of the Baroque period is nowhere better demonstrated than in the magnificent Palazzo Mirto, one of the few aristocratic homes of Palermo that is open to the public, offering visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle of Sicily's noble 19th-century families. The palace was the residence of the Lanza Filangeri family, whose last heir left the estate to the Ministry of Cultural Assets in 1982. Most of the princely rooms and salons are furnished with original items that once belonged to the family. Apart from the luxurious rooms and many antiques visitors can see the old stables and wagons used by the family. Unfortunately, all the signs and information given are in Italian, and as a result some personal research into what you are seeing may be necessary for enthusiasts, but the real joy of this attraction is the feeling that you are wandering around somebody's home and the lack of information won't bother many visitors. There are guided tours available. The feeling of visiting a home is amplified by the fact that the palace is not thronged by tourists, many of whom don't know it exists. Opening hours seem to be irregular, with some recent visitors complaining as much, so it is best to check whether it is open in advance. Photography is not allowed.
Address: Via Merlo 2, Palermo (off the Piazza Marina)