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  Group of "monsters"
One of the best known and most visited monuments in Sicily: Villa Palagonia in Bagheria.
This superb and eccentric villa was already visited by famous travellers in the 17th century, who considered it "the most original in the world and famous throughout Europe".
Its construction began in 1715, on behalf of Don Ferdinando Gravina and Crujllas, 5th prince of Palagonia, peer of the realm, knight of Toson d'oro, a prestigious honour bestowed by the king of Spain.
The domenican monk, Tommaso Maria Napoli, assistant architecht to the Senate of Palermo with the title of military engineer, was engaged to plan the summer residence.
Another greatly esteemed Sicilian architect, Agatino Daidone, was engaged as assistant for the direction of works on the villa.
In 1737, on the succession of Ignazio Sebastiano Gravina, heir to Francesco Ferdinando, , work began on the lower floors which surround the villa. It is instead, to the grandson of the founder of the villa, Francesco Ferdinando Gravina e Alliata.
 Hall of mirrors
 
That we owe thanks for the unusual and eccentric decorations. It is also to this 7th prince of Palagonia that the completion of works began in 1749 on this monumental villa Palagonia are due. The interior and exterior decoration have made the villa known throughout the world as the "Villa of Monsters", These statues represent imaginery animals, anthropoid figures, statues of ladies and knights, musicians and other various caricatures. The villa has an extraordinary unitarian planimetrical design, with all its elements developing and reacting in respect to the barycentric axis of the avenue.
  F.sco Ferdinando Gravina II
The double flight of stairs is very unusual, realised in calcareous stone, and set under the magnificent princely stem of the Gravina family.
From the upper floor you enter into an elliptical vestibule, decorated with frescos, endowed by Salvatore Gravina, who succeeded his stepbrother Francesco Ferdinando II, representing the fatigues of Hercules in keeping with the fashion of the late 17thcentury. On the right is "the gallery or hall of mirrors",
 External chapel
 
and paintings representing a balastrade with sky and imaginery birds above. The walls in the great hall are adorned with extra-fine marbles, coloured glass and marble high-reliefs representing the founder of the villa and his grandson, commissioner of the "montsters", and their respective wives, ancestures of the house of Gravina and illustrious personages of the ruling marble in the style of Seventeenth century Sicily.
This spacious hall leads into the chapel and opposite, across the "hall of mirrors", you enter into the billiards room.
From the oval entrance hall you also gain access to the private apartments of the villa, not open to the public today, these are made up of a series of salons each opening on to one another.
In 1885 the villa was acquired by the Castronovo family, which thanks to its heirs, still today make it possible to visit one of the most extraordinary monuments of European baroque, created in the land of Sicily.