Palermo – Day 4 – Part 1 – La Cuba

We awoke to another beautiful day in Palermo.  Not wanting to waste a second of it, after a quick breakfast, we headed back out into the streets.

Walking up Via Vittorio Emanuele, we passed a large palazzo that houses the Archivio Storico Diocesano di Palermo, or the Diocesan Historical Archive of Palermo.

The Porta Nuova was built in the 15th century, to celebrate Charles V’s conquest of Tunis, and his visit to the city of Palermo.  Originally named the “Porta dell’Aquila”, the people of the city kept referring to it as the Porta Nuova, and the name stuck, so this is the name that the gate is currently known by.  The four male figures that stand on one side of the gate depict the Moors who were defeated by Charles V.

The Real Albergo dei Poveri was founded in 1733, as a welcoming spot for the city’s disabled, crippled, and young vagabonds and orphans.  The building we see today is the work of the architects Orazio Furetto, Giuseppe Venanzio Marvuglia, and Nicolò Puglia.  Construction began in 1746, and continued until 1772.  In 1898, the services that were offered became available only for women, and the building took on its current name.  Plans are now in the works to open the building up to the public as a museum, and I, for one, am looking forward to that day.

A plaque on a nearby building honors Lajos Tukory, a Hungarian patriot who joined Garibaldi’s forces.

At Corso Calatafimi, #100, you will find La Cuba.  The palace, now in ruins, was built in 1180, by William II of Sicily, as his personal recreational pavilion.  During the reign of the Bourbons, it was turned into barracks.  Later, in the 16th century, it housed a leper colony.  Today, little is left, except for the outer walls of the structure, but one can still get a feel for what the palace might have been like, by looking at the model that is housed in the little exhibition room, at the back of the property.

Diagonally across the street, at Corso Calatafimi, #327, you will find the Parrocchia Cuore Eucaristico di Gesù.


Next up: We explore a bit of the neighborhood that surrounds the Capuchin Catacombs!


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!


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