Impellizzeri di San Giacomo Palace

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Palazzo Impellizzeri di San Giacomo is one of the seven noble palaces that can be visited in Noto. It is located in a panoramic position at the top of the hill and houses the State Archives of Noto. The palace is one of the monuments that are part of the World Heritage Site within the serial site Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto.

History of Palazzo Impellizzeri di San Giacomo

The construction of Palazzo Impellizzeri di San Giacomo began at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The year 1752, which can be seen on the façade, is the year of its completion. The Impellizzeri family came from the kingdoms of Castile and Valencia and its members were knights in the service of King Martin in the 14th century. After arriving in Italy, they settled first in the Republic of Genoa and then in Sicily, both in Siracusa and Noto, where they acquired great prestige. After the destruction of the city of Noto by an earthquake in 1693, the local authorities decided to rebuild the city in another place. The site chosen was Meti Hill, 8 kilometers downstream. The Impellizzeri family opposed this decision from the beginning, but having to obey a Bourbon decree, they chose to build their residence in an elevated position away from the center of the new city.

Exterior architecture of Palazzo Impellizzeri di San Giacomo

Palazzo Impellizzeri today occupies an entire block, but its construction took place in successive phases. Starting from an original core, several bodies were added until the present monumental plan was reached. This explains the appearance of the façade, where late baroque and neoclassical elements are mixed. The elevation is made up of three superimposed orders, the lowest of which is in the Tuscan style with ashlar bands, while the last is a later addition. Along the whole of the first order there is a splendid balcony protected by a wrought iron railing. The imposing central portal has two large white stone columns on either side and is surmounted by the Impellizzeri coat of arms.

Inside the palace

Passing through the large door of the Palazzo Impellizzeri di San Giacomo, one reaches the entrance where two plaques from Noto Antica recall the origins of the Impellizzeri barons. From here, a flight of steps leads to the main floor of the building. Inside the palace there are more than sixty rooms decorated with eighteenth-century stuccoes and paintings, antique furniture and magnificent wrought-iron chandeliers. One of the most representative rooms is certainly the “Hall of Arms”, characterized by the majestic fresco with the coat of arms of the Impellizzeri family. It is the baron’s crown with a silver fish swimming in a turbulent sea of blue and silver. At present the offices of the Noto section of the Syracuse Provincial Archives are located on the first floor and in the basement, while a wing of the palace is occupied by the family.

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