Palace of Marchesi Proto

In Piazza Caio Duilio stands the imposing Palazzo dei Marchesi Proto. Dating back to the seventeenth century, it was modified following the damage suffered during the Spanish siege (1718-19) by Baron Francesco Baele in 1723. The building has three elevations and severe neoclassical design. The façade is dominated by the central door with an inflected arch, originally adorned by four columns that supported the large balcony of the main floor, then reduced to two.

The ground floor is entirely covered with smooth ashlar that incorporates the simple openings of the door (just marked by the coat of arms) and shops; five elegant balconies open onto the main floor and the attic is crowned by acroteri and stylized palmettes. Inside there is a marble votive shrine of the eighteenth century, two elliptical portraits of Ugo Francesca Maria Proto (1738) and Francesca Proto Patti (1753), an eighteenth-century statue of Abundance. It was the residence of important personalities: in 1622 Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, in 1806 Ferdinando III of Bourbon (exiled from Naples reoccupied by Napoleonic troops) with the Crown Prince Francesco I and his brother Leopoldo of Bourbon, In 1860 Garibaldi received Agostino Depretis and Francesco Crispi and was the seat of his Headquarters. The building was given greater prestige by the location in one of its wings, in the eighteenth century, the Accademia Letteraria degli Ereini.