Palermo baroque tour

Baroque Palermo tour: streets, Churches and Oratories

The Baroque Palermo tour is a guided walking tour that takes you to explore less beaten tracks.  If you are already familiar with the most famous sites in town, the Tour of the Baroque in Palermo will lead you to explore some stunning sites enjoying the beautiful traces of the Baroque era (17th and 18th century). Opulent decorations and splendid architectural works in Palermo, were expression of power and opulence. An uninterrupted mantle of decorations, stucco works and frescoes; precious treasures revealing their “vibrant soul”.

Thanks to the Baroque Palermo tour you will relive the constructive enthusiasm of the 17th century; streets and squares (Via Maqueda, i “Quattro Canti”), and the old Cassaro. The architectural and decorative “Baroque” style and its different forms, facades of the noble palaces, religious buildings (Churches and Oratories) generally speaking, the “city centre” committed to representation and appearance; a competition between aristocracy, religious orders and congregations.

Baroque tour Palermo: Baroque decorations

The building and embellishment of Churches played a primary role. Entering the Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, uncover the splendour and opulence of the ornamentation covering walls; the amazing flow of polychrome marble inlays, sculptural elements and frescoes.

Oratories held a very relevant role too. Venues used for worship and Confraternity meetings, they were annexed to prestigious Churches. No external signs of their internal use, the large rectangular hall concealed the pomp of decorations inside, reserved only for the brotherhood.

The Oratories indoor decoration is largely the work of Giacomo Serpotta, one of the greatest European sculptors (1656-1732), who chose “stucco” to express his art, achieving very original results.

Be enchanted by the dazzling white of the interior of Santa Cita Oratory, Giacomo Serpotta’s masterpiece. On the wall the so called  “Teatrini” representing  the Mysteries of the Rosary, enriched with allegoric female satues of “Virtues” along with garlands of flowers and a multitude of putti and angels.  

The SS.Rosario in San Domenico Oratory is the only one to retain paintings dated back to 1600s, co-mingled  in harmonious balance with G.Serpotta’s stuccos. Among important works of art, it houses the wonderful  “Madonna of the Rosary” by Anton Van Dyck.

Meeting point

Piazza Giuseppe Verdi

Tour itinerary

Via Maqueda, “Quattro Canti”, Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria; Santa Cita and SS. Rosario in San Domenico Oratories.

Tour duration

3.5 hours

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