27 / Sep / 2016

Stanze al Genio

A journey into the house-museum of majolica

My dear Jurnale,

today I desire to tell you the story of how a passion for collecting can be transformed into a magical and charming place, made of beauty and magic.

I am talking about the house-museum “Stanze al Genio”, the biggest world’s collection of majolica housed in the eighteenth-century Palazzo Torre Pirano in Palermo. In the last 30 years, Pio Mellina has collected about 3,000 Neapolitan and Sicilian ceramic tiles dating between 1500 and 1900. And he decided to share his passion and open his own treasure to the public to give visitors a journey through the centuries and in the art of ceramics.




The collector told me that as a child he already loved majolica and, in fact, he collected tiles in the streets and in various flea markets. For him the tiles were as picture cards, so it all started as a play and, with time, his collection grew bigger, up to find her worthy exhibition space in the house where Mellina lives. The house-museum “Stanze al Genio” is run by the cultural association born with the aim to enhance and make accessible to the public the incredible historical and cultural heritage of ancient majolica. It is a self-funded place, a private initiative that does not benefit from any institutional support, but it exists thanks to membership campaigns, the contribution of members and private donations. And, most importantly, thanks to the passion of those who know that art is even more beautiful when shared.


The hypnotic effect of the tiles on the walls, the energy transmitted by the colors of the tiles and the timeless charm of this treasure can leave everyone speechless, to contemplate what the ancient skill of the craftsmen has been able to transform in pure beauty.

And, for us at Fornace De Martino, to make art live is a very important mission that we keep in our heart from a long time.