History

Valentino Palace is an old aristocratic residence, built in 1555 by Don Gilberto Bologni, Marquis of Marineo, who was a major player in the Sicilian political scene.

It later became the luxurious home of the Princes of Castelnuovo, who added exquisite frescoes and stucco work, created by the most famous artists in eighteenth century Sicily.

Over the course of the centuries, the palace has hosted well known characters like John of Austria, winner of the Battle of Lepanto. The first venue for the “Aristocratic Conversation” club, today known as the Bellini Club, was established inside the house, which was mentioned by the eminent Sicilian historian the Marquis of Villabianca because of its extraordinarily beautiful halls.

History

Valentino Palace is an old aristocratic residence, built in 1555 by Don Gilberto Bologni, Marquis of Marineo, who was a major player in the Sicilian political scene.

It later became the luxurious home of the Princes of Castelnuovo, who added exquisite frescoes and stucco work, created by the most famous artists in eighteenth century Sicily.

Over the course of the centuries, the palace has hosted well known characters like John of Austria, winner of the Battle of Lepanto. The first venue for the “Aristocratic Conversation” club, today known as the Bellini Club, was established inside the house, which was mentioned by the eminent Sicilian historian the Marquis of Villabianca because of its extraordinarily beautiful halls.

The Literary Club

About half way through the eighteenth century, instead of getting together in the squares of the city, the aristocracy decided to establish a meeting place inside a house that would be able to host them for their “conversations”.

And so, on 1 September 1769 the “Great Aristocratic Conversation” club met for the first time. In the past, it had a remarkably broad cultural role, welcoming cultured Italian gentlemen and foreigners travelling in Italy to cultivate their knowledge of classical civilization.

The Aristocratic Conversation club, which became the Bellini Club in 1864, is one of the oldest in Italy, and the Barons of Valentino still take part in it today.

The composer Puccini is among the illustrious guests who have visited Valentino Palace. A reception was organised for him on the occasion of his première at the city’s opera theatre.

Il Circolo Letterario

Arone di Valentino

In 1874, the Palace was bought by Giuseppe Arone, who passed it on to his grandson/nephew Francesco Arone, who married Lady Marianna Lanza Filangeri of the Princes of Mirto. Today the Palace belongs to their heirs Bernardo and Simona Arone di Valentino, who have always lived here and maintain it, together with their children, as a historic testimony.

The wooden coffered ceilings decorated with landscapes and flowers, and drawing rooms with beautiful frescoes of biblical scenes can still be admired. The Arone family continue to maintain this historic house as a symbol of the continuity between past and present, and a precious testimony of exceptional artistic and cultural appeal.

Gli stemmi della famiglia

The collection

Today, the Palace houses a valuable collection of Russian artefacts, Chinese porcelain and oriental prints from the beginning of the last century. Among the family heirlooms are the letters of Lady Marianna and the poems collected in her diary. A happy Palermo, upon which the sun never set, like the heirlooms of the Valentino family, who wish to keep the memory of time alive.

La collezione Arone Valentino