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!

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

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo


The architectural space

The senses tell the ceiling

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

The birth of the Norman kingdom

The senses tell the architecture

The senses tell baroque decoration

The Cassaro

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

The return of water

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The senses tell restorations

The rediscovered palace

The mosaics of the naves

The senses tell the architecture and decorations


the Baroque interior

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

An architectural crescendo

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

The decorations on the bell tower

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

The senses tell the historical context

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The Palace of Kings

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

The senses tell the historical context

The Admiral’s dedication

the Baroque exterior

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

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

The senses tell the historical context

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

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

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

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

From earthquake to collapse

The interior of the church

The senses tell the interior

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries

The senses tell the flooring

The Royal Throne

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

A building constructed in a short space of time

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders