I came to Sicily expecting to see a lot of Palazzi. Still, this Chinese Palace kind of took me by surprise. The idea of a Chinese-inspired 19th century palace intrigued me, and it was kind of on the way to Mondello, so we took our chances, not knowing if this would be horribly kitsch, or worse: closed (and Italian classic, ha!).
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly modern, but it’s refined and delicate…like a box of exotic-fantasy-candies. Plus, the fact that there’s barely any furniture makes the rooms look like tidy miniatures, with the floor to ceiling decor blurring the perspective in a surprising way. It has been renovated very recently, so everything is looking pretty brand new, as if the China-smitten owners were ready to move in. Each little room with its whimsical decor, painted frescoes, geometric borders and crystal chandeliers._______________ Palazzina Cinese, Viale Duca degli Abruzzi, Palermo The villa is in the middle of the Parco della Favorita, right above Palermo. You’ll need a car to get there and it might be a good idea to combine this visit with Mondello, just a few kilometers further north. The entrance was free when we went there, this looked weird for a freshly renovated museum but this helped compensate the taxi fare! There is a garden and a museum next door that looked interesting, alas they were closed on that day (you know, Italy).