BAROQUE, JEWEL-LIKE AND OPULENT: AN EXTRAORDINARY 18TH-CENTURY PALAZZO
Set in monumental walled gardens cascading with blooms that scent Mediterranean breezes, Palazzo Parisio has for centuries been one of Malta’s finest private residences. Our handsome bronze front door opens to reveal a vaulted marble hall with frescoed walls, grand statues and family portraits, setting the scene for the drama beyond – a magnificent marble staircase ascends to our mirrored, opulent ballroom and gilded salons, telling tales of old-world glamour, while hosting many a modern-day wedding or party.
Set in bustling Naxxar, a small, historic Maltese town a short drive from the capital, the Palazzo has become an island destination for weddings, celebrations, fine dining and tours of house and garden. The culinary delights of Palazzo Parisio can be enjoyed from morning till night. Breakfast, lunch and our legendary afternoon tea are served in The Garden Restaurant by day, while at night Luna Restaurant offers the finest of dining. As the sun sets, The Garden Bar buzzes with the laughter and chatter of friends and family enjoying evening drinks and snacks.
The Palazzo has been in the Scicluna family since 1898, and today visitors from all over the world are warmly welcomed by the Baroness Scicluna and her daughter, Justine.
In 1898, the Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna dreamed of a wonderful winter palace, a mini-Versailles on the Mediterranean – and he realised it in a transformation of the 18th-century Palazzo Parisio. No ordinary house, the Palazzo seduces islanders and global travellers alike, drawn by its destination dining, breathtaking interior, famous afternoon tea and exquisite walled gardens.
A 300-YEAR HISTORY
Earliest references to the site of today’s Palazzo Parisio date back to the early 1700s, when Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena kept a hunting lodge here. The Orangery was created in 1733 and survives to this day, along with our chiselled stone grotto. Towards the end of the 1700s, the Parisio family took on the Palazzo, giving it its name, and in 1798, after the French invasion of Malta, Paolo Parisio loaned it to Napoleon.
In 1898 the Marquis Scicluna acquired Palazzo Parisio with a vision to transform it into a glorious winter palace – a mini-Versailles. With renowned Italian architect Carlo Sada at the helm, the Marquis’ vision was completed only a year before he died in 1907, leaving its future uncertain. Yet in the 21st century, the palace has experienced a new revival. The perfect bond between mother and daughter is the driving force behind a new phase within the Palace. With charm, elegance and a natural sense of style and bubbly warmth, they breathe new life into the dignified palace walls.
“Our heritage isn’t just the Palazzo – we are descended from generations of strong, enterprising women. We always dreamed of opening the Palazzo for people to enjoy and we love sharing our house and garden – every visitor is our guest.”
Christiane Ramsay Scicluna
Baroness of Tabria
Baroness Scicluna is great granddaughter to the original Marquis, Giuseppe, and has over several decades overseen the painstaking restoration of the gilded beauty of Palazzo Parisio, reimagining it for the 21st century, warmly welcoming the guests who visit. The Baroness and her daughter, Justine Pergola, together oversee the Palazzo from their homes at the end of the garden.
" I cannot remember wether it was my daughter Aurora or dog Dash that first noticed them a few years ago. A chance meeting at the hotel Sacher in Vienna was certainly love at first sight. A meeting of kindred spirits, we have not stopped talking about historic houses, palaces and interior architecture ever since. I know you will enjoy this glorious palace and warm hospitality as much as I did."
Prof. Dr. Mimi Schmidt
Director of Historic Houses of India, OP Jindal Global University
For the Baroness Christiane and Justine, every visit to the Palazzo is personal, and every member of the team is here to make visitors welcome – it’s a family home after all. Service is warm and infused with thoughtful touches. The team is loyal and tend to stay – some for as many as 50 years. Louis, the family cat, finds his way into many a photograph, most famously in the lap of Oprah Winfrey as she sat in our garden. Louis would probably rather keep guests’ attention to himself, but we love little dogs and well behaved pets are welcome.