A brief history of Villa Platani, guest house in Cianciana, Sicily
Prince Joppollo was sent by the king of Spain to Antonio di Cianciana, Sicily to rebuild the town from earthquake damage and a part of those works included a Convent which he named S.Antonio di Pavada built in 1690. Although this structure remains in place today it is no longer used as a convent but is one of three churches to be found in the town.
In the mid 1700’s the Spadofora royal family sent their daughter to the convent to live her life as a nun but she fell in love with a local man named Riggio whom although was not of royal blood, was nevertheless born into a wealthy family that owned local sulphur mines. Princess Spadofora however fell pregnant but her mother intervened swiftly and commissioned the building of our villa in or around 1760 just a short 20 metre distance from the convent and also instructed that an underground passage be built to link the two buildings thereby allowing her daughter to live as a nun in the convent during the day but to return unseen to her husband in the adjacent villa at night. Although both ends of the underground passageway have been found they are however now sealed.
During the ensuing years many estates owned by both the church and noblemen where confiscated but to protect themselves the Spadofora family changed the ownership of the Villa from Spadofora to Riggio since they were not of royal title and the property remained in that families name until purchased by the current owners in 2008. For the next three years the Villa underwent a total refurbishment programme and wherever possible many original features were retained. Today this unique and beautiful structure is known as Villa Platani, a home that really was built for a princess.
We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Felice Lacorte for his invaluable input into the above and would welcome any credible and provable information to help us unravel the history and mystery of Villa Platani.