The Palace

The Ballroom

This room is the hardest to describe in words; not because of its magnificent decoration which leaves the eyes restless as they try to focus on the many details; but because of its character. When entering this room you can imagine the host of guests which the place has catered for from the time of the Marquis Scicluna up until today. This room is a brilliant tribute to excellence. With its extraordinary gilded opulence it is unique in Malta and confirms both the elegance and the status of the Marquis and his family as they created the Palazzo. 

The Ballroom at Palazzo Parisio

The character of this room is one of grandeur but there is also a certain light heartedness where you can almost feel the breeze of past dancers twirling by. This room was designed by the great Italian architect Carlo Sada, who sent detailed sketches and a letter explaining his plans for the room. His plans were carried out in stucco by Vincenzo Cardona and Giulio Moschetti. These two sculptors often worked together with Moschetti taking care of the figures and Cardona dealing with decorative elements as is the case in the Ballroom. The flamboyant decoration of the superb ceiling, with the Scicluna crest modestly in position, incorporates all the important symbols of the day: art, astronomy, literature, music, religion, the sea, theatre and the art of war. Decorative busts depict eight Grand Masters, one of whom was a Cardinal. The sheer wealth and variety is remarkable and the quality of the gilded plasterwork is unparalleled.

The dominant theme is the Order of the Knights of St John; whose imagery had become a fashionable element by the end of the 19th century. To enhance the spectacle of this room there are mirrors reflecting every angle. The swirling dancers must have appeared to have more than doubled in number as they waltzed gaily to the music provided by a small orchestra. Of course the concept of a hall-of-mirrors in the context of Malta at the time was, to say the least, grandiose but this was a house determined to be enjoyed by family and friends.

Related Articles

Entrance Hall

The impression of the grandeur of Palazzo Parisio is evident immediately on passing through the great portals.

Find out more

Grand Staircase

This staircase is famous in its own right: something fabulous that could be created only by demanding the best.

Find out more

The Landing

Set at the top of the staircase, this room is decorated with suits of armor and other military paraphernalia.

Find out more

The Ballroom

This room is the hardest to describe in words; not because of its magnificent decoration which leaves the eyes restless as they try to focus on the many details; but because of its character.

Find out more

The Pompeian Dining Room

The glory of Pompeii is the theme for this Dining room where the Marquis Scicluna would sit at table amongst his guests, or for a simple family meal.

Find out more

Sala Lombarda

This room epitomises the ideal of the Louis XIV style dictated by Carlo Sada. The gilt decoration around the room, with symbols drawn from Ancient Rome, is typical of the style.

Find out more