Porta Felice



Porta Felice, which takes its name from Felice Orsini, wife of Spanish viceroy Marcantonio Colonna, is one of the gates of Palermo, built in 1582 to provide a monumental entrance to the Cassaro, the present-day Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The gate facades are very different. The one facing the sea is in Renaissance style grey marble, while the part facing the Corso is in Baroque style. The fact that the top part of the gate is missing aroused curiosity and rumours among the people of Palermo: according to some, the upper part of the gate was removed to allow the transit of the triumphant carriage of Santa Rosalia, but in actual fact the carriage appeared for the first time in 1686, long after the gate was built. Another rumour has it that the top part was removed so the poor husbands of noblewomen could pass quietly without the risk of their long horns becoming entangled.

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