Wagner at Palazzo De Gregorio
Richard Wagner wrote the third act of his “Parsifal” in the lavish palazzo portrayed in the gallery below. It was 1882: the German musician had arrived in Palermo the year before, on November 5th, and enjoyed entertaining the wonderful building’s owner, Marquis Antonio De Gregorio Brunaccini.
The construction of Palazzo De Gregorio al Molo began in 1748, by will of Ferdinando Maria Tomasi di Lampedusa, who unified the various complexes built around the port outside of Palermo starting in 1567, after the 16th-century Molo Nuovo was completed.
Wagner was not in great physical shape when he got to Sicily: he came to Italy because his doctors had recommended walks and time in a Mediterranean climate. He was amazed by the island’s good weather, exclaiming, “Here there is only spring and summer.”
Palazzo De Gregorio was deeply altered over time, especially after being purchased by the De Gregorio family in the late 1700s. Wagner had the opportunity to appreciate its beauty in full: the panoramic view over the Gulf of Palermo; the inner courtyard featuring a rocaille fountain, surrounded by the most elegant spaces in the building; the ballroom, with its frescoed ceiling enriched by high relief stuccos…