the Zisa

The senses tell restorations

A new garden

The present day Zisa garden, opened in 2005, with a surface area of 30,000m2, is a green expanse, rich in flowers and plants, which visually recreates the splendour of the ancient Genoard garden, considered to be the Paradise of the Earth. The colours are dominated by the white marble from the Alcamo and Castellammare del Golfo quarries, which was used to make the footpaths and the water channel.

Intoxicating fragrances

The Zisa garden is divided into twelve footpaths where those who take a walk or spend a pleasant afternoon relaxing are intoxicated with the scent of typical Mediterranean scrub plants. A journey for the senses, surrounded by greenery, to ideally connect with the glorious past of Norman Sicily.

The water gushes again

When visiting the Zisa, you can still hear the rustling of the slow flowing water which, after the latest restoration, has once again begun to gush inside the building. A channel, on an axis with the palace, connects the fountain room to a system of water basins which recall the splendour of the ancient Zisa, which comes from the Arabic word for splendid!

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries

The ancient convent of the Martorana, a history of devotion and tradition

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The interior of the church

Gold and light: the splendour of the mosaics in the Royal Chapel

A building constructed in a short space of time

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

The birth of the Norman kingdom

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

The beautiful Zisa and its garden: solacium regi among sounds, colours and scents

Different styles and transformations of “one of the most beautiful monuments in the world”

The senses tell the historical context

The decorations on the bell tower

The mosaics of the naves


The senses tell the ceiling

the roof of Paradise: one of the most representative works of medieval art

The senses tell baroque decoration

The senses tell the historical context


From earthquake to collapse

The Norman conquest of Sicily and the birth of a new Latin kingdom

The senses tell the interior

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The senses tell the historical context

The architectural space

The Cassaro

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

The senses tell restorations

The senses tell the architecture

The Admiral’s dedication

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

The return of water

The senses tell the flooring

The architectural envelope: the Greek cross layout oriented towards the light

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The Palace of Kings

the Baroque interior

The rediscovered palace

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

the Baroque exterior

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The Royal Throne

An architectural crescendo

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

The loca solatiorum: dwellings for recreation, well-being and hunting