29th October 2019




Rising from the ashes

Asmundo Palace was built after the terrible 1693 earthquake that razed Catania and its palaces, churches and monasteries. And yet, just a few years later, private individuals, even before the government and the Church, began the reconstruction that would have made the city famous throughout the world for its black baroque, built with blocks extracted from the destructive lava and designed by the greatest architects of the time to imperita memory of the past.

"Ro Mercatu" Square

Asmundo Palace was among the first buildings to be built in what foreign travelers declared the most beautiful square in Catania: piazza San Filippo, today Mazzini. Placed as an interruption of Via Garibaldi, the square – the only “portico” of the city at the behest of the Asmundo and the Scammacca della Bruca – is enclosed by four angular bodies adorned with a peristyle of 32 Roman columns, which is the background from a verse the facade of the Duomo and on the other the Ferdinandea gate.

Prospectus of Asmundo Palace on Piazza Mazzini, photo, 1902, G. Asmundo private archive, Catania

Preparatory drawing of the “Place du Marchè a Catane” in Saint-Non, “Voyage pittoresque ou description de Royaumes de Naples et Sicile”, Paris 1785

The construction

The Palace is located on the south-east corner and its door is surmounted by a magnificent coat of arms with the emblem of the Asmundo family from Gisira.

As evidenced by the archival documents, the beginning of his work can be dated to 1704 by the famous architect Giuseppe Palazzotto and by Adamo Asmundo – Giuseppe’s nephew who assisted Giuseppe Lanza, vicar general for the reconstruction of the Val di Noto – and of his wife Maria Landolina, owner of the fiefdoms of Bonfalà and Gisira placed in Noto territory.