Chiaramonte Palace, known as “Steri”, is one of the most iconic place in the city of Palermo. It holds seven centuries of art and history of Sicily and it is the first example of the new architectural style that appeared in Sicily at the beginning of 14th century, the style called precisely “chiaramontano”. The palace, elegant and solemn, is enriched by splendid colonnades and beautiful bifora and trifora windows.
Dating back to 1320, it was the home of Manfredi I Chiaramonte, count of the extended and powerful feud of Modica. Between 1468 and 1517, it hosted the Spanish viceroys, and between 1601 and 1782 it was the seat of the Inquisition Court, a period in which the palace was adapted to its new purpose, with the construction of prisons and torture cells on the lower level.
After having been the site of the Court and Customs, it lived a long period of neglect and abuse; it was restored in the seventies by the architects Carlo Scarpa and Roberto Calandra, and now is head-office of the Rectorate of the University of Palermo.
The "Sala terrana” or "Sala delle Armi", one of the gems of the Palace, is one of the main room of the original chiaramontana residence, probably at the time destined to public hearings. Its transformation started when the original entrance was hidden by the big staircase of the 16th century.
Further and heavily reworked at the time of the Holy Office (when were realized small cells distributed on three levels), it was intended as Inquisition prison. The parietal paintings still visible, are traces of that period, still today.
The return to the original arrangement is due to the restoration of 1970, again on a project by Calandra and Scarpa architects.
On the upper floors, there are two big rooms: on the first floor is the "Sala Magna" or "Sala dei Baroni", decorated with a precious wooden ceiling that represents, with its decorations, a fantastic sequence of scenes depicted in the wooden beams that, in their succession, constitute a continuous narrative cycle, a real essay on medieval history. The room, by the will of the author himself, houses the famous painting by Renato Guttuso, "La Vucciria”. On the second floor, recently restored, is the "Sala delle Capriate", whose prestigious space was designated for ceremonies. It is marked by the splendid parietal trifora windows, and currently houses some 18th century paintings, from the Interdisciplinary Regional Gallery of Sicily, in Abatellis Palace (Palazzo Abatellis).
Monumental complex of the Steri
Piazza Marina, 59 - Palermo
Accessible to visitors with reduced mobility
Opening hours | Monday: closed. From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm (last admission 06:00 pm).
Full ticket: 8,00€
Reduced ticket: 5,00€ for groups from 10 persons, over 65, children 10 to 17 years of age, architects, qualified guides, teachers, University students
Reduced ticket: 3,00€ for employees of the Regione Siciliana e MIBACT, authorities, journalists, employees of the University of Palermo
Free ticket: for people with disabilities, law enforcement, children under 10 years of age.
for information and reservations:
+39 091 23893788