The Circolo Unione of Palermo is a gentlemen's club. It brings together representatives of the Palermitan aristocracy and personalities from the world of culture, institutions and professions.
Circolo Unione Palermo History
The club was founded in 1750 as The Conversation of Nobility, also known as the "Bigliardo", and had its first seat on the ground floor of the Monastery of Santa Caterina al Cassero, today Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
In 1825 the clubhouse was moved to Palazzo Algarìa in Piazza Bologni, belonging to Prince Giuseppe of Villafranca. A few years later the venue was enlarged with the annexation of other rooms on the ground floor of the building on via Toledo.
The club, in 1860, changed its name from Noble Conversation in Circolo Unione with reference to the achieved unity of Italy.
In 1893, the knight Ignazio Florio D'Ondes, whose wife Franca was lady of the Queen's court, joined the club.
At the beginning of the century, in 1904, the club moved its headquarters to Via Principe di Belmonte, in whose entrance door there was the oval garter that the Union adopted and which, still today, is the aggregating symbol of the association.
In 1908 the brother of Ignazio Florio D'Ondes, the knight Vincenzo, founder of the legendary "Targa Florio", the oldest car race in the world, was president of the club. His first Council also included the Marquis of Montallegro Pietro Notarbartolo Pignatelli, the Prince of Raffadali Don Giovanni Tortorici, the Count of Sampieri Don Guglielmo Moncada Prince of Monforte and Soria and the Knight Paolo Tasca Bordonaro.
After the end of the Second World War, a group of members, linked to the traditions of the club, took care of its reopening with a first board of directors made up of the Prince of Comitini, Count Giovanni Lo Bue of Lemos, Baron Filippo Merlo of Tagliavia, from the 'lawyer. Giovanni Peria Boscogrande and Cav. Gaetano Zalapì.
In November 1944, the Assembly of members deliberated the admission to the Club of the category of the frequenting Members, reserved for the single and widows of the members.
In 1963 the headquarters of the Unione Club were moved to the prestigious Villa Trabia alle Terre Rosse, where it remained until 1994, and then moved again to Palazzo Lo Bue.
Since 2017 the Club, under the presidency of Baron Benedetto Caffarelli of Guzman, has established its headquarters in Palazzo Florio, the ancient residence of the famous Palermitan family.