Palazzo Parisio – Naxxar, Malta - Atlas Obscura

Palazzo Parisio

Naxxar, Malta

An 18th-century hunting lodge turned haunted Baroque palace.  


Over generations, an 18th-century hunting lodge was passed from owner to owner, eventually becoming the Baroque palace it is today. In 1886, the building became Malta’s general post office. In 1898, Marquis Scicluna took ownership of the building, renovating it into a palace between 1900 and 1907.

During World Wars I and II, Palazzo Parisio was used by the British Government to host soldiers and their families. In the 21st century, partial owner Marie Christianne Scicluna has renovated the building to its former glory.

Behind Palazzo Parisio’s unassuming limestone facade lies an interior that’s a true feast for the senses. As you step through the grand bronze door, you’re immediately transported into a world of opulence and grandeur, with soaring vaulted ceilings, frescoed walls, and cool stone floors.

A sweeping marble staircase guides your gaze upwards toward sparkling chandeliers and ornate ceilings. The ballroom drips in gilded Rococo splendor and is surrounded by eight grand master busts, recalling late night parties of the past. The billiard room is no less elaborate, with its hand-painted ceiling and whimsical cherub lighting. Palazzo Parisio isn’t just about the grand spaces, but it most intimate details as well. From the trompe-l’oeil doors to the family chapel, every nook and cranny is bursting with surprises, and maybe even a ghost.

Marquis Scicluna passed away on Valentines day in 1907, just before the renovations were completed. Legend says you can still find his ghost roaming the halls today.

Palazzo Parisio is still in the living Scicluna family as well. Today, visitors from all over the world are greeted by the Baroness Scicluna and her daughter, Justine. The elaborate grounds and gardens are used for weddings and events, high tea service, and also host two fine dining restaurants. 

Know Before You Go

Palazzo Parisio is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and Sunday. Friday and Saturday they are open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.. The palace is closed on Mondays. 

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June 28, 2024

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