Last Saturday in Palermo, almost by chance, I discovered a gem Le Stanze al Genio, which you can see in some of my photos of below.
Le Stanze al Genio is a private house, visits arranged by appointment only, where one of the biggest collections of majolica tiles in the world is kept.
The house/museum is on one floor of a building built between 1500 and 1600 AD and has ceilings decorated between the 18th and 19th century and some beautiful Liberty furniture.
The family that lives here has collected and restored majolicas from Sicily and Campania (the region where Naples is found), some of which are antique, and they have put them up on the walls all around the house.
Distributed around the 4 rooms is also a collection of vintage objects, toys, boxes (see my Instagram profile for a photo of those and some more photos of Palermo).
The passion they have showed in collecting all these gorgeous colorful pieces leaves you speechless.
Many of the majolica tile designs are incredibly contemporary. It can be a huge source of inspiration for graphic and textile designers and some patterns remind me of Missoni prints or some of the home fabrics on sale nowadays. The concrete tiles we see everywhere these days re-elaborate some of these designs.
What surprised my friend Rebecca and myself was that these are spaces that are lived in by the Torre and Benso family and within the walls covered in colour, among the al fresco ceilings, antique furniture, vintage objects and 17th century architectural features, there is also some Ikea stuff. It makes it real.
The art work, hanging in front of the windows and part of the collection “Babau” by Gai Candido, goes really well with the colours that fill the spaces.
In a few words, it is unmissable and they have recently opened the Stanze al Genio Bed & Breakfast with the same characteristics as the house/museum, so you can even sleep in it.
If you want to see the images of another of my discoveries in Palermo, an amazing vintage shop, don’t miss the next post!