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Palermo Italy Where past and future celebrities meet

Palermo is undoubtedly the very quintessence of Italian vivacity and brightness. But it was also the venue for some of the most crucial political and artistic events. For those, who don't want to miss a great chance to plunge into the city's glorious past, Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes is the very symbol of splendour. It was originally the residence of Ingham-Withaker aristocratic family and was linked by an underground passage to the nearby Anglican chapel. The property was converted into a hotel in 1874, and in 1907 Ernesto Basile, one of Italy's foremost Art Nouveau architects, designed the Fireplace Saloon, reminiscent of his interior project of Palazzo Montecitorio, the House of Deputies in Rome. Hotel became popular as a beau-monde venue. The future Prime Minister Francesco Crispi gave lectures there, and the formidable 12 course banquet by another Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, is still remembered. Richard Wagner and his wife Cosima Liszt were guests from 5 November 1881, and the armchair where the great composer sat while he wrote his opera "Parsifal" is still conserved in the hotel.

 


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