Palazzo de Piro is a 17th Century Palazzo nestled in the bastion walls of the medieval city of Mdina, Malta’s Silent City. In 1868, Alexander de Piro D’Amico Inguanez and his new wife Orsola took up residence here soon after their marriage. Orsola was an heiress with various properties including a palace and small church in the heart of Florence, but it was here she decided to bring up a family of seven boys and two girls. As a great Maltese matriarch she managed both her family and considerable works of charity with energy and enthusiasm, and continued to do so after the untimely death of her devoted husband. Orsola’s son Giuseppe, who was born in the house founded the Missionary Society of St Paul and is considered for sainthood.
What we know as Palazzo de Piro as an existing structure now was originally three separate houses, the oldest parts of which date back to the second half of the 16th century. The emblem in what is now the main entrance hall indicates that they were built by Malta’s most famous architect Girolamo Cassar or his equally renowned son Vittorio.
Over the last two centuries, Palazzo de Piro has been extensively remodelled a number of times. The internal floor levels were changed and windows ordered blocked up by Alexander de Piro himself, the monumental stone and marble staircase was constructed in Victorian times and in the 1950’s, extensive structural changes were made to accommodate the school that was run by the Dorothean nuns after the house was sold on by Orsola’s heirs.
In 2005, Palazzo de Piro was acquired by The Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter, also responsible for The Mdina Cathedral and The Mdina Cathedral Museum, and extensive restoration works were undertaken to create a venue of cross-cultural, artistic and social dialogue.
Under the guidance of Mgr Victor Grech together with the industry-leading expertise of Martin Xuereb and Associates, the structural changes made to the building have recreated a typical baroque-inspired grand house of the 18th and 19th Centuries. This renovation has not only restored Palazzo de Piro to its former glory, but also transformed it into an exquisite meeting place for all to enjoy.