Historical hints of great impact and enchanting landscapes poised between yesterday and today: this is Bagheria, a splendid town near Palermo. What makes it so interesting? Bagheria is a resort area, a place rich in history and culture and has a sea that is really worth visiting at least once in the summer season. Here’s what to expect from a walk in Bagheria, at any time of year, enjoying a journey into the past among the splendours of the bourgeoisie of the past.
Between culture and history
It is said that Bagheria was founded by the Phoenicians, when its name was Bayharia. Since then time has elapsed, but the Palermo locality has had the opportunity to grace itself more and more, with its palaces and noble villas that still today remain a very important tourist pole. You can see details that bring the mind back to distant eras, like the emblem of a house, a famous fresco or that baroque style that is the protagonist of many of these buildings. Any name? Villa Butera, linked to Prince Giuseppe Branciforti, Villa Cattolica, Villa Valguarnera, but above all the most popular, Villa Palagonia.
Villa Palagonia dates back to 1700 and was the residence of the Prince of Palagonia, Ferdinando Francesco Gravina. Some call it the “villa of the monsters”, but do not worry, this nickname has nothing to do with mysterious presences inside it. It refers precisely to the singular grotesque statues that characterize it, but which make the entire property more particular and fascinating. Palaces and villas of Bagheria are the sign that here once the members of the Sicilian nobility lived in comfort, showing off their riches also in friezes and architecture.
Bagheria in literature and cinematography
From the historic center to the coast road the pace is short. How can you resist the suggestive scenery offered by the sandy beaches, the rocky coves and the crystalline sea of the Sicilian town? To get to know Bagheria at 360 degrees it is appropriate to dedicate a few days to its purely relaxing aspect, to be enjoyed kissed by the sun. And between a cultural visit and a dip in the blue sea it is also a must to taste the culinary specialties of the place. Arancine, panelle and street food from Palermo are the classic of the local tradition that is also widespread in Bagheria in every area.
Yet Bagheria also has that mysterious and intriguing side that has fascinated writers and directors over time. Within the literature and cinematography, the city has been the object of interest and has become the center of works and films that are still internationally recognized. Who read the book “Bagheria” by Dacia Maraini? The writer wanted to talk about herself in this autobiographical book, recounting the years of her adolescence that has kept many memories in this place. Tornatore, on the other hand, had the idea of setting the film “Baaria” from 2009 here. In a mix of politics and love, against the background of a difficult historical period, Sicily is told staging it in Bagheria. What to say? It seems that Bagheria is the multi-faceted city of Palermo!