Only a few years before the Antico Stabilimento Balneare di Mondello (literally, “Mondello’s old beach resort”) was built, Clemente Ravetto, a pilot, soared through these skies with his flying machine, the Voisin 28, and caught a glimpse of a tropical-color panorama from forty meters of altitude.
It was May 1, 1910, and Ravetto’s endeavor went down in history as the first experiment in powered flight with onboard pilot ever to be attempted in Sicily.
During his pioneering, fleeting air travel, Ravetto had the privilege of seeing from above a beautiful sandy bay, enclosed between Monte Pellegrino and Monte Gallo: the town of Mondello, which up until a few years earlier had been nothing but a muddy, malarial swamp, where only a handful of fishermen dared to live. From that marsh, thanks to the great reclamation that started in 1891, blossomed the villas that are the most beautiful flowers of Italian Art Nouveau.
The Antico Stabilimento Balneare di Mondello stands out amongst them: designed by architect Rudolf Stualker at the beginning of the past century, it is perhaps the most beautiful flower in this “corner of earthly paradise”, as king Ferdinand of the House of Bourbon called it.