Palazzo Parisio & Gardens give a great insight into extravagant lifestyle of a noble Maltese family at the turn of 20th century. Despite a quite modest facade of the building, visitors are usually fascinated by the magnificent interiors and beauty of the baroque gardens hidden behind the walls of Scicluna’s family seat, which is available to public for a small fee.
The building was initially constructed as a hunting lodge for Grand Master of Knights Hospitaller in 1733, but then was passed to Parisio family as a summer residence. Since the late 18th century for about 100 years, the building was used as a family residence, military barracks and even a Jesuit college, until it was acquired by rich and powerful Scicluna family. The new owner turned the building into a lavish palace with the help of Italian architects and masters of the arts. The palace was complemented by beautiful Italian gardens, which unfortunately lost part of their original territory over time. Now Palazzo Parisio is still owned by members of Scicluna family, using it as tourist attraction and an event venue.
During the tour around the palace, visitors can observe several authentic rooms, including a grand ballroom, a golden music room, a luxurious dining room, as well as an armory, a family chapel and some other premises. The tour takes about 30 minutes and strikes the visitors by magnificent paintings, lavishly decorated ceilings, colorful frescos, stunning antique furniture and many other baroque elements, which make the former hunting lodge a real palace.
Palazzo Parisio is especially interesting for its exquisite Mediterranean gardens built in the same Baroque style. Visitors can enjoy rare plants and trees, greenhouses and flower beds, giving special attention to the wonderful collection of hybrid oleanders, bougainvilleas and hibiscus of different colors – there are more than 50 specimens of these plants in the gardens. Due to an elaborate irrigation system that includes a giant underground reservoir, the gardens are lush and green all year round.
There is no wonder that Palazzo Parisio is a much-in-demand venue for weddings and banquets with ceremonial dinners served right on a background of green lawns and beautiful flowers or in luxury interiors of the palace. In a local cafe tourists can savor a cup of English tea served in accordance with afternoon tea traditions, while a restaurant at Palazzo Parisio offers delicious meals of mostly Mediterranean cuisine.