Mirto Palace House Museum (Palazzo Mirto Casa Museo)
Palazzo Mirto was built in the late 18th century by the Lanza Filangieri family, princes of the nearby town of Mirto. The family resided in the palace until 1982, when they bequeathed the property to the region of Sicily. Today, visitors can tour the public halls and private apartments on multiple stories of this sumptuous “house museum.” Interior highlights include precious antiques, Murano glass chandeliers, paintings and tapestries, a smoking room with a leather floor, and a dazzling “Chinese Salon” with silk wallpaper and black lacquer furniture.
A visit to Palazzo Mirto can easily be combined with a guided walking tour or shore excursion through Palermo’s historic center. Nearby highlights include the Pretoria Fountain, Royal Palace, Cathedral, and Massimo Theater. Gourmands can sample Palermo’s traditional street food while sightseeing on a food tour. Alternatively, you can explore the city’s top sights independently with a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Things to know before you go
- Architecture enthusiasts will be fascinated by this noble palace’s jumble of styles and elements.
- The palace is not accessible to wheelchairs.
- Comfortable shoes are a must for exploring the palace and historic center on foot.
How to get there
Palazzo Mirto is located in the Kalsa quarter of Palermo’s old town. It’s easy to reach on foot by walking down the Via Merlo from the port and station, where ferries and trains from Italy’s mainland arrive.
When to get there
The palace is closed on Mondays and Sunday afternoons, and weekends get the largest crowds of visitors. Visit in the middle of the day to escape the soaring temperatures of this Sicilian city.
Palermo’s Kalsa District
One of the most storied areas of Palermo, Kalsa gets its name from the Arabic al Khalesa, meaning “the chosen”; it is also known as Mandamento Tribunali, meaning "district of courts," as the Inquisition courts were once located in the quarter’s Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri. Today, area highlights include the Renaissance art in the 15th-century Palazzo Abatellis, the Byzantine mosaics in the 12th-century Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, and the monumental Fontana Pretoria in Piazza Pretoria.
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- Chiaramonte-Steri Palace (Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri)
- Piazza & Fontana Pretoria
- Vucciria Market (La Vucciria)
- Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù)
- Ballarò Market (Mercato Ballarò)
- Branciforte Palace (Palazzo Branciforte)
- Opera Dei Pupi (Rod Marionette Theatre)
- Massimo Opera House (Teatro Massimo)
- Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)
- Palermo Cruise Port (Terminal Crociere di Palermo)
- Capo Market (Mercato di Capo)
- Palatine Chapel (Capella Palatina)
- Four Corners (Quattro Canti)
- Politeama Garibaldi Theater (Teatro Politeama Garibaldi)