Palazzo San Giuliano is a beautiful palace in Catania, located across the University Square from the Palace of the University. The palace houses the administrative offices of the University of Catania.
The palace was built in 1738 by the architect Giovan Battista Vaccarini for the Paternò family, Marquise of San Giuliano.
The seismic events that took place over time have not affected the 18th-century structure, but the transformations made during the 19th and 20th centuries changed more or less its internal and external appearance.
The building was remodeled several times, but the facade remained almost intact from the moment of its construction. Only the balustrade that crowns the roof was added in 1930s, when the palace was the seat of Credito Italiano, one of the first Italian banks.
In the early 20th century, the palace hosted the Machiavelli Theater, founded by Angelo Grasso. Around the same time, a part of the building was occupied by the Hotel Bristol.
The facade of the palace has a large portal that overlooks the University Square, flanked by two marble columns recovered, probably, from a Roman building. Above the portal, there is a double coat of arms – to the left, is the sign of the Paternò Castello family, who commissioned the building, and to the right is that of the Asmundos, another important patrician family of Catania.
Inside, there is a beautiful courtyard, in which we can find a staircase with two flights of stairs leading to a portico with columns, perfectly aligned with the main portal of the palace.
It is worth mentioning the many famous people who were guests in this noble palace, including Vittorio Emanuele II in 1862, Maria Theresa of Austria in 1880, the King of England Edward VII, King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III and Queen Elena in the early 20th century. At the entrance to the palace, you can admire the tombstones of some of these characters mentioned above.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo San Giuliano is located about 1.3 kilometers from the Catania Centrale railway station. The closest bus station is Via Vittorio Emanuele 192, about 120 meters away, on the bus Lines 830, 902 and 932.