Le Stanze del Conte

Le Vie dei Tesori passes by Palazzo Isnello

Celebration of Il Genio di Palermo

This year for three weekends between the end of May and the beginning of June 2022 Le Vie dei Tesori, the renowned cultural promotion circuit aimed at making known and enhancing the monumental heritage of Sicily, passes through Palazzo Conte d’Isnello, the historic building that hosts Le Stanze del Conte.

The famous exhibition will have as a “thematic guide” il Genio di Palermo to whom Le Stanze del Conte have dedicated an apartment as well as several spaces within the structure. The itinerary will have as a stop Palazzo Isnello, on whose noble floor the Genius is depicted in the famous Apotheosis of Vito D’Anna.

Risultato immagine per apoteosi genio palermo
Genio dell’Apoteosi di Palermo, Palazzo Isnello


An unmissable opportunity, on the weekends of 21-22, 28-29 May and 4-5 June, to get to know the places of the Genius among ancient palaces, public collections, laboratories, university museums, squares and gardens. We will move from the most famous statues in Piazza Rivoluzione and the Botanical Garden to the lesser-known depictions in the private halls of Palazzo Isnello which for the first time ever will open its doors to the public.

Risultato immagine per genio di palermo piazza rivoluzione
Il Genio di Palermo, piazza Rivoluzione

IL Genio, mythical figure of the Palermo tradition

The opportunity seems right, then, to tell you in our blog of the Genio di Palermo.

Il Genio is the tutelary deity of the city complementary to Santa Rosalia, Patroness of the city.

He is depicted as a mature man with a beard divided into two locks and a crown on his head, embraced by a snake feeding on his chest.

It is one of the most complex and discussed mythical figures of the Palermo tradition.

The oldest representations are those placed at the entrance of the Port of Palermo and at Palazzo Pretorio (Piazza della Vergogna).

The others were made between the XV and XIX centuries: they are the Genio del Garaffo in the homonymous Square of Vucciria, the Genio of Piazza Rivoluzione and the one inside the Villa Giulia, the Genio of the mosaic made by Pietro Casamassima for the Cappella Palatina at the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Genio of Villa Fernandez, and finally of what is right above your head in the noble floor of the Palazzo Conte d’Isnello: we are talking about the Genio dell’Apoteosi painted by Vito D’Anna in 1760.

There are many interpretations about the origin of this figure. According to the Sicilian historian Vincenzo Di Giovanni a statue depicting the Genius would have been donated to the City by Scipio africanus as a gesture of gratitude for the help given by the Palermo in the war against the Carthaginians of Hannibal.

Despite doubts about its origin, the Genius of Palermo is a source of great attraction for tourists who once arrived in the city go in search of its eight depictions.

The Genius is also a source of inspiration for contemporary artists. The decorator Francesca Pagliaro has created a pop version on wooden boards; three of these brightly colored tables are in Le Stanze del Conte.

Have fun and above all good Genius to all!!!