MONDAY 28 MARCH – 19.30 – 22.00

The Welcome Reception will take place at the Palazzo del Marchese di Santa Croce e Trigona di Sant’Elia, an art gallery in the centre of the city which is home to some amazing works of art. It will provide an informal setting for meeting up with friends & colleagues old and new and enjoying the delights of Sicilian food & wine.

It was built using the pre-existing Casa Magna, probably created around the sixteenth or seventeenth century. It assumed the current configuration after 1756 following the decision of Giovanbattista Celestri e Grimaldi di Santa Croce to extend it with a view to ‘New Street’, the present Via Maqueda. In 1759 Giovanbattista Cascione assumed the direction of the yard; under his guidance, the building became one of the most important of Palermo. Subject to repeated changes of destination (it was the Seat of Senate), it was damaged by the violent earthquake in 1823. In 1829 the Senate was succeeded by the Royal Institute for Agricultural Encouragement, arts and manufactures and it later became the seat of the Administration of Railways. In 1984 the Provincial Administration bought it from the Lima brothers. The long-awaited restoration works have allowed life to be given to a treasure that has been hidden for years. In February 2013 the Foundation was granted use of it which then made it accessible to the great public.

TUESDAY 29 MARCH – 20.00 – 23.00
(HISTORICAL TOUR 18.00 – 19.30)

Norman Palace and Palatin Chapel Tour – 18.00 – 19.30

Before the Gala dinner, there will be a dedicated visit of the prestigious Norman Palace known also as the Royal Palace, the jewel of Arab-Norman architecture (11th-12th century). In 2015 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is currently the seat of the Sicilian Regional Parliament. You can also enjoy an exclusive visit of Palermo’s top tourist attraction, the Palatin Chapel (built by  Roger II in 1130) and described by Guy de Maupassant as the most beautiful religious jewel ever dreamed by human thought. It boasts precious Byzantine art mosaics (among all the Christ Pantocrator), decorated marble floors and a wooden “muqarnas” decorated ceiling, an incomparable example of Islamic art. PLEASE BOOK THIS TOUR IN ADVANCE WHEN YOU REGISTER.

Gala Dinner – 20.00 – 23.00

The Gala Dinner will take part in the heart of the city in Palazzo Sclafani. Formerly the residence of the noble Sclafani family, having been built in 1330, it is now the site of the Southern Military Region Command of Esercito Italiano. The Palazzo will provide a wonderful setting for this evening’s event.

Residence of the noble Sclafani family, of Norman descent, the palace was built by Matteo Sclafani in 1330 and represents one of the most conspicuous examples of civil architecture from the 1300s. It was developed on a square around a portico and courtyard. The famous ‘Triumph of Death’ exhibited at Palazzo Abatellis, comes from the courtyard of Palazzo Sclafani.

In 1435 it was transformed into a hospital which was in operation until 1852 when it became a military residence. Strongly damaged during the last world war, the building was completely restored between 1994 and 1996 which brought the western façade, part of the northern façade and the parts of the courtyard from the 1300s back to their original form. It is currently the site of the Southern Military Region Command of Esercito Italiano.