The Musumeci Greco Weapon Academy: a temple of fencing
The Musumeci Greco Weapon Academy is one of the oldest and most prestigious fencing schools in the world. Inaugurated in 1878, it always belonged to the family of Risorgimento hero Salvatore Greco dei Chiaramonte.
Its original headquarters were next to the Pantheon – and the list of famous people who practiced here not only makes its relevance obvious, it actually makes it sound like a Pantheon on earth. There were writers, poets and politicians with a penchant for foils, swords and sabers – such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Felice Cavallotti, Luigi Einaudi, Trilussa and Achille Campanile. There were artists, members of the aristocracy, princes and kings. And there were many actors who trained here for the swordsman parts they played: Tyrone Power, Charlton Heston, Max Von Sidow, Errol Flynn, Richard Burton, Gina Lollobrigida, Massimo Ranieri, Monica Bellucci, Alessandro Preziosi, Kim Rossi Stuart…
The Academy has been located in a 16th-century aristocratic residence since the beginning, with a House-Museum showcasing an important collection of weapons, shields and masks from the period between the 1600s and the 1900s, as well as paintings and other works by 20th-century artists such as Duilio Cambellotti and Mimmo Paladino.