hospicium magnum (Osterio magno)

The Ligurian Ventimiglia family, counts and marquises of Geraci and princes of Castelbuono, settled in Cefalù in the second half of the thirteenth century and quickly exercised considerable control and power throughout the town. The powerful family owned many assets in the town, including gardens, baths and buildings but their influence was reflected in the construction of a monumental mansion: the hospicium magnum. The building, consisting of several bodies, was so grandiose that the wealth from the family’s holdings in the Madonie was invested in its construction, located along the street that connected the main gate to the Cathedral.  Mentioned in the inventory of the will, dated 1387, and drawn up by Francesco II Ventimiglia, it had several phases of construction and it still houses the remains of a cistern on the first floor.