Palermo – Day 3 – Part 4 – Historic Palaces and the Chiesa di San Matteo

The Palazzo del Duca di Castrofilippo can be found on the Ruga de Alemannis.  This street is literally lined with sumptuous palaces, which were built by some of the area’s most notable families.  Today, the buildings serve many different purposes.  The Palazzo del Duca di Castrofilippo has now been divided up into residential apartments.

The Palazzo Acquaviva dates from the 18th century.

As we walked, we found ourselves in front of the restaurant where we had dinner the night before.

The Palazzo Cannitello, also known as the Palazzo Notarbartolo di Buonfornello, also dates from the 18th century.

The Palazzo Marchese dates from the 16th century, and was the home of the city’s first post office.

The Palazzo Cattolica dates from the 17th century.  On the ground floor of the building, you will find the famous Antica Focacceria San Francesco.

The Chiesa di San Matteo dates from 1633, and was most likely designed by the architect, Mariano Smeriglio.  The three niches in the upper section of the facade contain statues.  In the center, there is a statue of the Virgin, while on the left, there is one of San Matteo, and on the right, one of San Mattia Apostolo.

I find that there is something more spiritual about the churches in Europe, when you compare them to the ones in North America.   Maybe it is because, once I enter a European church and find myself surrounded by such beauty, I feel as if I am suddenly standing at the  gateway to heaven.  Obviously, the Chiesa di San Matteo affected me this way.

The ceiling of the church was frescoed in 1754, by Vito d’Anna.

The four statues against the pillars of the dome represent Hope, Charity, Faith, and Justice, and were carved by Giacomo Serpotta, to a design by Francesco Ferrigno.

The medallion on the pillar to the left of the presbytery represents the founding friar of the church, Leonardo Galici, and dates from 1742.  At the base of the medallion, there is an urn containing the friar’s remains.


Next up: We visit the crypt of the Chiesa di San Matteo, and much more!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Palermo, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!


Leave a Reply