Sicilia - Places to Visit - Bagheria
This is a densely populated agro-industrial centre on the southern slopes of Mount Catalfano, which here extend to the sea, forming the eastern boundary of the Gulf of Palermo.
The town, which is situated in an area of large citrus grows, became important in the seventeenth century, when the nobility of Palermo chose to reside there because of the favourable climate.
Thus in a brief time many villas and residences were built and the nobles escaped there from the summer heat.
The town grew up in the shadow of the house of Branciforti of Butera, and developed considerably between the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century when a number of opulent houses were built.
The Vila Gravina di Palagonia is from the first half of the eighteenth century and is marked by an elliptical plan. The facade has classical features, while some of the sculptural decorations are fantastic or monstrous.
The villa Gravina di Valguarnera, which was built in the early eighteenth century, recalls in the rich articulation of its faade and its architectural layout in general the architecture of the Renaissance.
The carvings which adorn the faade are the work of Marabitti. The villa Bonani di Cattolica is also from the first half of the eighteenth century; its rooms have been used to house a Gallery of modern and Contemporary Art with works by Guttuso, who was born in this town, and other artists of our times.
The Villa Branciforti di Butera, built in the second half of the seventeenth century, stands out among the other noble houses.