The places of the Leopard

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

Author and references

Published posthumously in 1958, one year after the death of its author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the novel "The Leopard"is a splendid fresco of the Sicily and its historical events ranging from 1860 to 1910, a period of resurrection, independence andUnity of Italy.


  1. Mazzara pastry shop - Palermo
  2. Salina Palace or Villa Lampedusa - Palermo
  3. Villa Boscogrande
  4. Valguarnera-Gangi Palace - Palermo
  5. The Kalsa district - Palermo
  6. Palazzo dei Filangeri di Cutò - Santa Margherita Belice
  7. Palma di Montechiaro and imaginary places
  8. User questions and comments

Mazzara pastry shop - Palermo

Many pages of the novel, a masterpiece of Italian literature, were written at the tables of the Mazzara pastry shop in Palermo, the birthplace of Tomasi di Lampedusa: the writer used to sit at the tables of the bar and, between an almond paste or a cannoli, he wrote by hand, on notebook sheets, the pages of what would be his masterpiece.

Salina Palace or Villa Lampedusa - Palermo

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa drew inspiration from his family for the writing of the book, the Tomasi di Lampedusa, especially from the biography of his great-grandfather, the prince Giulio Fabrizio Tomasi, in the novel the prince Fabrizio Salina.
The story begins in the sumptuous rooms of the Salina Palace, home of the prince, his wife Stella and their seven children.
The Salina palace was adjacent to the Mother Church. Its short façade, with seven balconies on the square, did not let us suppose its immeasurability that extended back for two hundred meters: they were buildings of different styles, harmoniously united however around three vast courtyards and ending in a large enclosed garden o Villa Salina in reality is Villa Lampedusa, in San Lorenzo Colli (outside Palermo), the plain where the eighteenth-century Palermitan aristocracy built their homes outside the city.

Villa Boscogrande

Of Villa Lampedusa only the perimeter wall remains; in cinematic reconstruction Luchino Visconti used the neighbor Villa Boscogrande (today prestigious receptions are celebrated here), with the splendid terrace and staircase, the marvelous halls and its immense gardens full of marble busts.

Valguarnera-Gangi Palace - Palermo

Near the Sant'Anna Modern Art Gallery we find the Valguarnera-Gangi Palace, where the famous was filmed dance scene.

Today the palace, considered among the ten most beautiful private houses in the world, has maintained its majesty, it can be visited by reservation to admire, beyond the ballroom and the mirrors, the crystals, the chandeliers, the tapestries, the floor with the leopard, the terrace on the square, the austere facade, the magnificent halls, riot of frescoes, fine antique furniture, painted majolica and the courtyard for carriages; it is also open for high-ranking receptions.

The Kalsa district - Palermo

Le battle scenes between the Bourbon army and Garibaldi's red shirts were shot in the heart of Palermo, at the Kalsa, where Tomasi lived during the writing of the novel and where the various places mentioned are located such as the Chiesa della Catena, the Mura delle Cattive.

Palazzo dei Filangeri di Cutò - Santa Margherita Belice

The original manuscript of "Il Gattopardo", the period clothes, a phono-document with the voice of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, posters and waxes of the characters are kept at the Filangeri Palace in Cutò.
The Palace, "located in the center of the town, right in the shaded Piazza, stretched over an immense extension and had three hundred rooms between large and small ..." (from Il Gattopardo) belonged to the maternal family of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and in these places spent the happy summers of childhood and youth, up to the age of twenty.
The palace, destroyed by the earthquake from 1968, it was partially rebuilt by the Municipality of Santa Margherita Belice; today it is the seat of the Parco del Gattopardo.

Palma di Montechiaro and imaginary places

In the novel, the Salinas went to the Donnafugata fiefdom, a place of pure invention where two Sicilian towns can be recognized, places very dear to the writer; So Tomasi wrote to Baron Enrico Merlo di Tagliavia: "Donnafugata as a town is Palma, as a palace is Santa Margherita".
The history of the Tomasi family can be savored by visiting the town of Palma di Montechiaro, with a visit to the Mother Church, the Benedictine Monastery, burial place of the Blessed Corbera (Elisabetta Tomasi di Lampedusa).
During the Easter period you have the opportunity to taste the curly almond biscuits, made according to the ancient recipe, the one served by their ancestors to the Prince of Salina; from the "Gattopardo":
He liked the almond biscuits that the nuns made on centenary recipes, he liked listening to the Office in the choir, and he was even happy to pay that community a not insignificant part of his income, as the foundation deed wanted.

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