Piazza Pretoria

A palazzo– and church-ringed piazza centered on the elaborate Fountain of Shame in Palermo

Just south of the famous Quattro Canti intersection, off Via Maqueda, is the raised pedestrian Piazza Pretoria square.

The Fountain of Shame

It is centered on a fabulous Mannerist fountain sculpted for a Florentine villa in the 1550s but rejected by its commissioners. Palermo bought the thing and set it proudly at city center.

However, the local populace—scandalized by the racy nude figures and lewd glances these statues were throwing each other across the water jets—promptly renamed it the Fontana della Vergogna (Fountain of Shame).

This hasn't stopped the city from making it a 24-hour sight, dramatically floodlit at night.

The church of Santa Caterina

If, by divine providence, the church of Santa Caterina capping the piazza's east end has finally reopened when you visit, pop inside for one of the most elaborate baroque marble-and-stucco interiors in Palermo. (See the sidebar for details.)

The church of San Giuseppe dei Teatini

If it's still closed, content yourself with the grand baroque interior of San Giuseppe dei Teatini. Aside from the dome frescoes by Borremans (and stuccoed wall descorations by Giuseppe Serpotta, brother of the more famous Giacomo), there's not much to single out inside, but the scale and richness of the decorations make it stand out.

The church is on the southwest corner of the Quattro Canti, entered from the front on Corso V. Emanuele or the side at Via Maqueda 172. (See sidebar for more details.)

 

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Tips & links

Details

Piazza Pretoria
Just south of the intersection of Corso V. Emanuele and Via Maqueda
Open daily
Free admission

Bus: 101, 102, 105

Santa Caterina
Piazza Bellini/Piazza Pretoria
tel. +39-338-451-2011 or +39-338-722-8775
Open Mon-Sat 9:30am–1:30pm, 3–7pm (in Aug 9:30am–6:30pm)
Open Sun 9:30am–1:30pm
Free admission


San Giuseppe dei Teatini
Corso V. Emanuele/Via Maqueda 172
tel. +39-091-331-239
Open Mon–Sat 7:30am–noon, 5:30–8pm

Attending Mass

Services at San Giuseppe dei Teatini are held Moday thorugh Saturday at: 7am, 8am, and 7:30pm; and Sundays and holidays at: 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, and 7:30pm.

Planning your time

You'll probably pass through (or by) a few times during your stay, and maybe take 10 minutes trying to line up the best shot of those leering statues.

Tourist info

Palermo tourist office
Piazza Castelnuovo 34
tel. +39-091-605-8351
www.turismopalermo.it
www.provincia.palermo.it/turismo

Also useful:
www.comune.palermo.it
www.palermotourism.com

Buses: www.amat.pa.it
Trains: www.trenitalia.com
Airport: www.gesap.it
Port: www.portpalermo.it

Tours of Palermo
Lodging in Palermo
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Details
Piazza Pretoria
Just south of the intersection of Corso V. Emanuele and Via Maqueda
Open daily
Free admission

Bus: 101, 102, 105

Santa Caterina
Piazza Bellini/Piazza Pretoria
tel. +39-338-451-2011 or +39-338-722-8775
Open Mon-Sat 9:30am–1:30pm, 3–7pm (in Aug 9:30am–6:30pm)
Open Sun 9:30am–1:30pm
Free admission


San Giuseppe dei Teatini
Corso V. Emanuele/Via Maqueda 172
tel. +39-091-331-239
www.sangiuseppeteatini.arcidiocesi.palermo.it
Open Mon–Sat 7:30am–noon, 5:30–8pm

Tourist Info

Palermo tourist office
Piazza Castelnuovo 34
tel. +39-091-605-8351
www.turismopalermo.it
www.provincia.palermo.it/turismo

Also useful:
www.comune.palermo.it
www.palermotourism.com

Buses: www.amat.pa.it
Trains: www.trenitalia.com
Airport: www.gesap.it
Port: www.portpalermo.it


Palermo lodging
Find hotels in Palermo
www.booking.com
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Reid's Recommended hotels in Palermo
★★ Centrale Palace Hotel [€€]
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