Hidden Palermo: Stanze del Genio House-Museum

The House-Museum Stanze al Genio is a private house inside Palazzo Torre-Piraino and represents one of the most fascinating collections of Sicilian majolica. The palace was built between 1500 and 1600 and belonged to the Fernandez family of Valdes; in 1700 the property was acquired by the Princes of Torre and Benso.

A recent restoration has given a new light to some of the original features, from the period flooring to the frescoes of the late 18th century.

Inside the museum, it is possible to admire a collection composed of almost 5000 ancient Sicilian and Neapolitan tiles, vintage toys, labels and advertising posters, stationery and writing materials dating back to the first sixty years of the twentieth century.

House-Museum Stanze del Genio

The house museum is divided into four rooms: the entrance hall, the neoclassical hall (for the eighteenth-century ceiling decorations), the Flower room (for the early nineteenth-century ceiling decorations) and the Kitchen room. The exhibition of majolica is divided by age and origins (Naples and Sicily). The museum house houses a workshop for the restoration of old majolica tiles.

The impact when you enter the apartment is very strong, you immediately want to steal some ideas and decor at least one corner of your home with these tiles.

Le Stanze del Genio is also a B&B with four charming rooms located in the historic district of Kalsa. It's named after the nearby Fountain of the Genius, depicting a crowned elder and a snake feeding on his chest, located in Piazza Rivoluzione. 

The House-Museum "Stanze al Genio" was opened in March 2008 by the collector Pio Mellina with the aim to show a Sicilian cultural heritage, acquired by various collectors, through permanent exhibitions, events and collateral activities.

What is it like living in a house that is so strongly characterized? "It is the dream of every collector to live surrounded by the objects he loves". And having to always open one's home to strangers, does it ever bother you? «No, seeing that people are passionate is very nice. The visit is personalized and generally lasts 40 minutes. Interesting chats always arise». Only one unexpected event is possible: "Every once in a while, my cat manages to open the bedroom door where I close it, the only one not accessible to the public, and it jumps into my arms while I'm with the visitors. But he is a good cat - he hastens to point out -, his name is Mour Mour because he always purrs».

House-Museum Stanze del Genio

House-Museum Stanze del Genio

House-Museum Stanze del Genio