- Tradition is not the celebration of the ashes, but the regeneration of the fire. (Gustav Mahler)
In early 2005, he took shape a truly impressive project. To “merge” into one large hotel, three adjacent buildings in the historic center of Palermo. The core was the convent and the large church of the Fathers of Mercy. A monastic order that enjoyed great fame and prestige in Palermo from the end of ‘500, when the European powers of the time, Palermo transformed into a kind of Pearl Harbour of Christianity; unitas for the war against the Turks. As part of those events, the Fathers Mercedari cured with great risk the exchange of prisoners between the opposing factions. After Lepanto (1571), everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The enormous financial resources rained down on the city were largely diverted to the production of colossal urban redevelopment projects. It was then that the monks left their modest home near the harbor, to acquire the site where today stands the Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa.
Of that time remains virtually unchanged today, the cloister with the bold verticalisms the porch and the door of the old convent. It surmounted the latter, dall’effige that fathers of Mercy chose as symbol of their mission: Pelican take her baby. An image still linked today to the earliest suggestions of Christian spirituality. And finally the monumental staircase, that although the subject of the centuries some patching work, even flaunts, in most of its degrees, the unobtainable red marble from the nearby Piana degli Albanesi.