Restored Tomasi di Lampedusa’s palatial home
The palatial white stone building in Palermo that inspired classic Italian novel has been restored to its 19th century glory and is available for rent
It was home to a young Sicilian prince, a symbol of an aristocratic world in decline that was bombed during the Second World War and has lain in ruins ever since.
The atrium wall on which are written sentences from “The Leopard”
Palazzo Lampedusa was the beloved home of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard’s author and last prince of Lampedusa, for the first 47 years of his life.
When it was hit by allied bombing in April 1943, the novelist sank into a deep depression and began to write as a way to understandwhat had happened to his home and his way of life.
“It was a trauma that scarred him for his whole life,” Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, Lampedusa’s adopted son, told La Stampa newspaper. “And one that would have scarred the whole of the Sicilian nobility of the time.”
More than a decade later, in 1958, the story of the changes affecting Sicilian aristocratic life became immortalised in The Leopard, which went on to become one of the best-selling Italian novels in history.
However, the building that inspired him remained a wreck until a private company recently turned the 3000sq metre-villa into 40 apartments, some available to buy and others to rent.
When the apartments were first marketed two years ago, before their completion, a 30 sq metre, two-bedroom apartment was on sale for € 330,000.
Describing the house before he died, Lampedusa said: “In no other place on earth is the sky so violently blue as it is from our terrace, I’m sure of it.
“Never has the sun emitted such gentle rays as those that penetrated the half-closed shutters in the ‘green room’.”
The ceiling of the boudoir where Tomasi was born
Since then the book’s most famous line that “everything must change so that everything can stay the same” has been quoted again and again to describe the events of history.
A film adaptation of the book, directed by Luchino Visconti, won the Palme d’Or in 1963.
abstract from Alice Philipson The Telegraph