The streets of old Palermo are lined with palaces; though some are decrepit and/or abandoned, many are still the homes of artistocratic families. Few are as beautifully maintained as the home of the princes of Lanza Filangieri, one of Sicily’s oldest families. The last of the princes bequeathed his 17th-century home to the city in the 1980s, leaving behind the copious trappings of his aristocratic lifestyle: furnishings, statues, rococo fountains that splash on hidden patios, and elaborate tableware (including plates given away as party favors, decorated with images of the costumed nobs who once danced the night away in the over-the-top ballroom). It’s hard to imagine that life in the grandiose, tapestry-hung salons could have been very comfortable or relaxed, especially for the fashionable 20th-century princes and princesses whose photos appear casually on ornate side tables. Then again, it would have been transporting to while away an evening in the smoking room decorated in painted-silk scenes of everyday life in China as a 19th-century artisan imagined it to be. As it is, the remarkably well-preserved palace affords a voyeuristic glimpse into long-vanished eras.