Conversation with Patricia Marchetty of Palermo B&B
Patricia Marchetty has brought her very personal vision of luxury to an island where austerity is often the rule. A converted 16th-century palazzo, Palermo B&B is an unusual place to stay in the heart of a town like Palermo, and a kind of exuberance lingers in the air.
Passionate about decoration, a colorful character like Patricia brings to this traditional town a touch of Milan, a city known for design and fashion. She wants black when Sicily loves light, she chooses shine when Palermo prefers the dark, she loves silver and gold when Sicilians love colors…
Maybe this is why, after a day in Palermo, her very special and welcoming vacation rental in Sicily is full of charm.
Patricia, you’re not from here but from Milan, which is such a different town from Palermo. These two cities are almost from a different country! Why did you come to Sicily?
Patricia Marchetty: "You’re right, Palermo and Milano are very different indeed. Well, I worked for many years in the fashion industry in Milan. It was a fantastic experience in my life, with a lot of work but a lot of fun and international exuberance too. Everything is so brilliant in Milan, in every sense of the term.
"But you know, sometimes you need to change. Palermo and Sicily bring me a different way of life, a different light, a different kind of multicultural approach too. The weight of tradition is very important here, but at the same time, Palermo is a multicultural town with so many people coming from everywhere. It’s a part of its history, and I like that. That’s why I have no trouble expressing my taste here."
Let’s talk about your taste. How to describe it?
PM: "I love to mix styles. I mix everything… I use minimalist furniture in a 16th-century palazzo! So what? Sometimes I use Indian style in Palermo! So what? The important is to stay elegant.
"My taste is born from a kind of international Mediterranean style. Comfort and elegance with a touch of fantasy. You have to dream, you need to be disconnected sometimes. This is what I want for my B&B.
"I love decoration because it’s a way to express myself. Hospitality today means: give a personal impression of yourself. This is why I bring a lot of attention to details. I want fresh flowers everywhere, candles in the rooms, special lights and so many things."
What does luxury and travel mean to you today?
PM: "Luxury is having time to do what you want. When a place looks beautiful, it puts you in a special mood… you want to take your time and enjoy it. Time is different when the environment is nice because the emotion is different at that moment. You feel the world differently.
"Traveling is the same. Today, traveling means having emotions. I need to speak, to meet, to touch, to laugh and to discuss with people on my way. When I’m here, I talk to my guests (in my Italian accent, of course!), and I share some good places to go. Like in this palazzo with a fantastic tree, right at the next corner, or like in this small commercial street where you can enjoy an espresso on children’s chairs!
"For me traveling is a kind of anthropological trip, otherwise you can go to the cinema which is very good too… But it’s different!"
Book a stay at Palermo B&B here.
Main photograph by Léonard Lièvre.