Palazzo Municipale (Municipal Palace), also known as Loggia Giuratoria or Palazzo della Città (City Palace), is a Baroque palace in Acireale, located across Piazza del Duomo from the Cathedral of Maria Santissima Annunziata, next to the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
Palazzo Municipale houses the seat of the Municipality of Acireale.
Begun in 1659, Palazzo Municipale was badly damaged in 1693 by the terrible earthquake of Val di Noto. The reconstruction, based on a design by the architect Constantino Larcidiacon, lasted throughout the 18th century.
Damaged again by the earthquakes of 1783 and 1818, the palace was restored in 1908, undergoing profound structural changes.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The main facade overlooking Piazza del Duomo, built in late Baroque style, is punctuated by elegant ashlar pilasters. On the ground floor, there is a long balustrade interrupted only by the entrance portal. On the first floor, the balconies, with wrought iron railings, are supported by Baroque masks.
Other things worth mentioning regarding the design of the palace are the municipal coat of arms, placed above the portal, the epigraphs of the atrium, which constitute a sort of secular marble newspaper of the city, and the fresco Italy, executed by Primo Panciroli in 1942 in the vault of the Council Hall.
On the ground floor, we can find the Reading Cabinet, the official seat of the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts of the Zealous and the Daphniques since 1833. The Academy, the oldest in Sicily and one of the oldest in Italy, was founded in 1671.
The Uniform Museum, housed in the Costarelli Hall, is a permanent exhibition of historical uniforms from the 18th century.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo Municipale is located about 2 kilometers away from the Acireale railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza del Duomo, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4.
However, the buses have a very low frequency in Acireale, it’s difficult to find the timetables and often there are delays and sudden cancellations of journeys, so the best solution to get to the railway station is a taxi.