The Foundation




On 23 May 2012, thanks to the restoration work conceived by Architect Gae Aulenti, the Foundation opened, Palazzo Branciforte, which stands on Via Bara all'Olivella 2, in the heart of the historical city centre of Palermo. Its exhibition halls are home to the archaeology, tin-glazed pottery, coin, stamp and sculpture collections, as well as the library, which houses approximately fifty thousand books.

Palazzo Branciforte is a sixteenth century building – restored by the unforgettable architect Gae Aulenti – where the archaeological collection is on display, as well as ceramics, tin-glazed pottery, postage stamps, coins and sculptures from the Foundation’s collections.

Standing out among its many striking interiors is the wooden structure, the final testament of the “Monte dei pegni di Santa Rosalia” pawn house, with its wooden shelving, internal stairs, raised platforms, walkways and the areas for storing the objects left by the people of Palermo during the years in which the Palazzo was home to the Monte dei pegni.

Another area of major prestige is the library, which comprises over 50 thousand volumes.

Palazzo Branciforte is place that combines history with architecture, modern and contemporary art, with books and the fine Italian culinary tradition. In fact, Gambero Rosso has created its famous cookery school in a wing of this historical building. The Palazzo is also home to Ristorante Branciforte, a place for refined palates, in which it is also possible to admire a selection of tin-glazed pottery, produced between the fifteenth and the eighteenth century by Italian, European and Middle and Far eastern kilns as well as two masterpieces of Italian nineteenth-twentieth century painting by Antonino Leto and Ettore De Maria Bergler.


A neoclassical building erected around the mid eighteenth century in Via Libertà, 52, Palermo. 

Inside this historical Palazzo is the art gallery, which contains prints and paintings, as well as the Historical Archive of  Banco di Sicilia, assigned to the Foundation upon its establishment.

Villa Zito is one of the most interesting examples of the neoclassical period in Palermo.

The building has ancient origins: it was founded in the district known as the terre rosse in the early eighteenth century, then well outside the city walls, by the maestro Razionale for the Royal estate Gaspare Scichili.

Hinc lites, strepitus, curae, hinc procul ite cadentes, hic reparent animos otia, rura, quies.

Over the years, Banco di Sicilia used the building for a range of different purposes until, in 1980, the definition of the structural enhancement and restoration of the villa materialised to create a prestigious new premises for the Fondazione Mormino (then the Cultural Office of Banco di Sicilia) a place to exhibit the large art collection owned and long kept on the piano nobile of the palazzo of the Banco di Sicilia premises in via Roma.