Where the President works
The offices of the Presidency and the President of the Assembly are situated in the Torre Pisana. This famous tower, whose origins are not well documented, was, until the 18th Century, typified by its fortified architectural form. The windows are authentically Norman and the top two floors were originally, in Norman times, private rooms. They became so once more when the Palace was home to the Spanish Viceroys.
From the refined elegance of the architectural solutions and the wonderful decorations, it is thought that the Torre Pisana housed the private apartments not only of the Norman Kings but also of Frederick II of Swabia (nephew of Roger II), Emperor of Germany and King of Sicily. Despite being away from Palermo for lengthy periods, Frederick made it known that he wished to buried there.
Thanks to its imposing structure, the Sala di Federico, which has housed the President’s office since 1947, is believed to have been transformed by the Normans from its original Arab use as part of the fortress to become the King’s meeting room. Unfortunately, it is left to us to imagine how it might have looked then, though from a few remains we can deduce that it was covered from floor to ceiling in beautiful mosaics and equipped with an excellent natural system of ventilation for the circulation of hot and cold air.