“A sumptuous bedroom in a palatial residence of a Hohenstaufen-descended count and his engaging Austrian wife, plus a few simpler apartments”
There's one guest bedroom in the palazzo, situated next to the concert room so that you step straight out every morning into the largest hall in the building. Its high walls are covered with gold-patterned silk, above which are the coats of arms of those families which have married here.
In the centre is a monumental double bed - so high that you take 2 steps up to it - which is made from the panels of the old music hall ceiling, as is the capacious wardrobe. You'll find a small TV in an alcove with painted-panel shutters, a glassed display of ceramics, a bookshelf with curly-eared novels in English and German, a shiny sofa and a pretty dressing table. The bathroom is a disappointment by comparison - anything would be - but it is perfectly functional, with a tub (shower attachment) and good hot water pressure.
If you want to bring the children, there are 2 much simpler and smaller rooms up a private flight of stairs (and therefore only let as an add-on to the main room). One has twin beds and the other a double, and there's a spartan shower room between them.
If that all sounds too formal, you can request one of the apartments in the inner courtyard of the palazzo, which we have not seen. All have a double bed (one has a sofabed as well), living room and kitchenette; some are arranged over 2 levels connected by a spiral staircase. Bear in mind that, while they're still charming and reasonably spacious, they're quite dark and furnished in a more ad-hoc way.
Wherever you sleep, you can step outside and straight into the heart of Palermo, midway between the Norman grandeur of the palace-cathedral quarter and the Arab charms of the Ballarò street market and the Piazza Bellini.
If you're staying in the palazzo, there is a bell to call for breakfast, so that you and it arrive at the same time in the blue salone. Expect fresh cornetti, eggs any style, mozzarella, peeled prickly pears - "anything you like", says Alwine, and this is the sort of place where that really means something.
If you're staying in an apartment, there is a simple kitchen with a gas hob and stove, a sink and anough pots and pans for a basic meal. Chances are, though, you'll head out for lunch and dinner - there are some great eateries dotted around the narrow streets of central Palermo.
Well-behaved children are welcome. Baby cots and extra beds are available on request.
The apartments have plenty of extra space, making them a good family option. In the palazzo, children can sleep in 2 simpler bedrooms up a private flight of stairs, at an additional cost.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking