Palazzo Biscari is a historic building in the heart of Catania. It is considered one of the most important examples of baroque architecture in Italy.
The palace was built in the 18th century by the Biscari family on the site of a previous medieval structure. It was enlarged and renovated over the centuries to achieve its current monumental appearance. The facade is characterized by a triple order of balconies, with decorations in baroque style.
After the earthquake in 1693 that almost completely destroyed the city of Catania, Ignazio Paternò Castello III Prince of Biscari obtained permission from the Lieutenant General Giuseppe Lanza (Duke of Camastra) to build a new palace on the embankment of the 16th-century walls of Charles V.
From the beginning of the 18th century, the building had a trapezoidal shape where the access was through a large portal on Via Museo Biscari, leading into the central courtyard, adorned with a large double-ramp. The interior part includes the Rococo-style banquet hall with its complex decoration of mirrors, stuccoes and frescoes painted by Matteo Desiderato and Sebastiano Lo Monaco.
Palazzo Biscari was opened to the public in the 1960s, thanks to the Biscari family’s desire to share the beauty and history of their palace with the city. Today, it is possible to visit the palace and its splendid rooms, which also host temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
Furthermore, the palace has been used as a film set for several movies and TV series, including Francis Ford Coppola’s famous film “The Godfather – Part II”.