Valguarnera Villa in Bagheria
Villa Valguarnera , one of the most impressive villas in Bagheria, stands at the foot of a small hill known as Montagnola.
It was built starting in 1781, based on a project by the architect Sucameli, at the behest of the Princess Maria Anna of Gravina, married on her first marriage to Prince Emanuele Valguarnera and secondly to Giuseppe del Bosco, Prince of Cattolica, whose initials are now visible on the gates of the villa.
The Villa is located in the middle of a park enclosed by terraces and balustrades and is preceded by a large square with a double exedra and by a beautiful facade that was concave in the middle to accommodate the pincer staircase. The rear facade, facing the sea, is instead rectilinear. The courtyard in front of the building, in Corinthian style, is surrounded by small houses dominated by two long terraces on a portico supported by thirty-six columns. The houses were the rooms where the servants stayed. Above the central balcony, there is a medallion depicting the prince of Valguarnera Don Emanuele. Another medallion, on the opposite side, depicts Princess Marianna. The various stucco cherubs by Marabitti are beautiful and adorn the attic with the family crest.
The large oval hall decorated with frescoes and paintings by illustrious ancestors of the Valguarnera family is of considerable value.
The villa was the home of Maria Carolina of Austria, wife of Ferdinand III of Bourbon.
The writer Dacia Maraini , descendant of the Alliata family, owner of the villa lived in the villa. < br> The Villa and its restoration were the protagonists of a advertising spot for Dolce and Gabbana. Villa Valguarnera also appears in the scenes of the film La Dea Fortuna .