Open Daily 09:00–17:30, Sab-Dom: chiuso

The Foundation

On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Pietro Barbaro, the father of Alfredo and Gianni Barbaro, the Pietro Barbaro Foundation was established in 2007. The foundation's primary objective is the promotion of Mediterranean culture, the plurality of cultural identities in constant motion arising from the encounter of ancient influences and traditions.

Through meetings, social and artistic events, projects, and temporary exhibitions, in collaboration with higher education institutions, public entities, and private partners, the Foundation pursues its goal in light of the four foundational values.
In 1868, Marcello Barbaro registered the Brigantino Silenzio with the Italian Naval Register, bearing the number 2. From that moment, generation after generation, the Barbaro family has become a dynamic, internationally leading group in the shipping and maritime transport sector.

The sea and the deep connection with the Mediterranean inspired the creation of the Pietro Barbaro Foundation in 2008, an organization with solidarity aims aimed at enhancing contemporary arts, the identity of places, and innovation.

The foundation owes its name to Pietro Barbaro, the great-grandfather of Gianni and Alfredo, the brothers who have played a prominent role in the last forty years in the growth of the international shipping sector as a whole.

Navigandum est pro ventorum flatibus:
Occorre navigare a favore di vento.


The foundation promotes the implementation of numerous initiatives to support the harmonious growth of the Mediterranean. The arts, in particular, are the privileged medium for the realization of this design aspiration.

The exhibition venue of the Foundation is Palazzo Trinacria in Palermo. Today, a historic residence, the palace was designed in 1840 by architects Gigante and Trombetta on behalf of Prince Lanza Branciforte, with the aim of becoming Palermo's first luxury hotel, named Hotel Trinacria.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, Palazzo Trinacria is currently the first permanent immersive hall in Sicily. The foundation has chosen to reshape its exhibition spaces with the ambition of becoming a protagonist in contemporary digital innovation for the arts and culture.

Today, the foundation, as a pioneer, promotes new forms of experiential and interactive artistic consumption, attracting the audience into digital environments with the aim of spreading new concepts of artistic appreciation focused on multisensory and full emotional and cognitive involvement of the visitor.


The foundation collaborates with professionalism and significant cultural institutions primarily through its artist residency program. The guesthouse, overlooking the famous Passeggiata delleCattive, has been hosting distinguished artists for years with the aim of exhibiting site-specific works dedicated to themes close to the foundation.

The foundation has partnered with Manifesta, the renowned European biennial of contemporary art, hosting the artist Taus Makhacheva, who had previously exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In collaboration, the foundation ultimately promoted one of the most successful exhibitions of 2020 for Palermo and Sicily: "Ritratto di ignoto, un artista chiamato Banksy" (Portrait of the Unknown, an artist called Banksy).

More recently, the foundation has embraced civic and naturalistic themes, promoting ecological approaches and sensibilities. The foundation particularly supports environmental art, known for its strong persuasive power, and also gives a voice to young emerging artists, as seen in the case of the Flora Marina residency.
The foundation's commitment continues in the realm of projects, with initiatives supported by community funds that focus on the dissemination of topics related to the maritime economy and its sustainability, environmental conservation, and the cultural and landscape heritage.

The Values of the Foundation

Education and Training

Maritime training and navigation programs are implemented to promote and rediscover the allure of maritime professions.

Cultural Heritage

The Foundation is dedicated to safeguarding artistic and cultural heritage by encouraging young artists through artistic residency programs within Palazzo Trinacria.

Environmental Protection

The Foundation aims to increase awareness of environmental issues and environmental preservation by promoting initiatives such as "Delfini Guardiani" by Marevivo.

Scientific Dissemination

Dissemination and promotion of scientific research activities.

Palazzo Trinacria

Pride of the Pietro Barbaro Foundation, our headquarters is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Palermo, Palazzo Trinacria.

Palazzo Trinacria is part of Italy's cultural heritage. Its magnificent corridors have been walked by illustrious figures such as Giuseppe Garibaldi, Falcone, and Borsellino.
Its rooms and the view of the serene sea of Palermo have also inspired writers of the caliber of Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa, who set some of the culminating scenes of his masterpiece "The Leopard" right here.

For us, having renovated and being able to work in this palace is an honor that we intend to repay with the work the Foundation does every day. Today, Palazzo Trinacria hosts art exhibitions and allows artists to carry out artistic residencies in its historic spaces, promoting Mediterranean culture in all its wonderful facets.

Organizational chart

Alfredo Barbaro

/ President

Giovanni Barbaro

Pietro Barbaro

Federica Barbaro

Board of
Via Principe di Belmonte 55, Palermo
Exhibition Venue: Palazzo Trinacria, Via Butera 24, Palermo
Tax Code: 97220040824

Tel: +39 091 33 33 33
Mobile: +39 3346620437
Open Hours
Mon-Fri: 09:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Sat-Sun: Closed
©2024 Fondazione Pietro Barbaro. All rights reserved.