How to reach Casa Cuseni – Taormina is not only the Corso Umberto. Even if the main street of the Ionian Pearl is the place where the majority of tourists and travelers concentrate, in order to discover the essence of Taormina you should visit Casa Cuseni, from few months Museum of the town. It is not complicated to reach the House representing the XX-century Taormina. If you are on the Corso Umberto reach Catania gate, then turn right and climb Sesto Pompeo street and at the cross turn once more on the right and follow Leonardo Da Vinci street. You will reach Casa Cuseni walking for 63 meters. The Italian flag waves next to the Great Britain one, because the builder and first owner of the House was Robert Kitson. It is not casualty, in fact, if Casa Cuseni attracts every year lots of tourists from the United Kingdom. Once you walk into the property climbing the stairs you are submerged in green spaces. One of the most beautiful characteristics of Casa Cuseni is its English garden, among the best preserved of the whole Sicily.
Personalities who made Casa Cuseni great – At Casa Cuseni you can breathe history. Culture is preserved within these walls, hosting characters we all have studied on the history and literature books: Ezra Pound, Frank Brangwyn, Pablo Picasso, Alfred East, Henry Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, David Herbert Lawrence, Andrè Gide, Bertrand Russell and many more. Not to mention the furniture and the objects from all over the world and Italy. Casa Cuseni can represent the European navel, where different cultures coexisted and enriched one another. From many years Franco Spadaro, director of the museum, and his wife Mimma, take care of this jewel in Taormina. It does not surprise, if during your stay in Taormina you can see here at Casa Cuseni a painting by Pablo Picasso, Giorgio De Chirico or Salvador Dalì.
The Dining Room, the secret room that Pablo Picasso liked – Located in an unique frame between the Mediterranean Sea and the Etna, Casa Cuseni hosts artworks in the most beautiful location; this is the magic of the museum of Taormina. Concerning the uniqueness of Casa Cuseni we cannot avoid to talk about Casa Cuseni Dining-room. A secret room fascinating even Pablo Picasso. The room was painted by sir Frank Brangwyn, who has been president of the Royal Society of British Artists. While in the rest of the world homosexuality was considered a disease, a perversion to be punished according to the law, in Taormina, within this secret room, a new world hided for different decades. Love above all, above men’s prejudices. The Dining Room represents all of this, and with its colors meeting and crossing the sun light transmits to any visitor sir Brangwyn’s talent. Moreover, what to comment in front of the male couple of guys holding in their arms a baby (upset in their faces because of the period they are living in), representing the dream of a homosexual family. Picasso, apparently, seemed to be so fascinated by that secret room, that when Rockefeller asked him to decor the Rockefeller Center in New York, the artist refused the commission, pointing sir Frank Brangwyn as excellent muralist.
Beyond the prejudices, in a period when homosexual people were persecuted and imprisoned – Rockefeller, in the first years, decides not to listen to the suggestions of one of the XX-century master and passes the commission to Diego Rivera. But Rivera, in 1992 subscribed to the Communist Mexican Party and the “surprise” did not please the building owners, who noticed that in the murales among the Riviera’s guys appeared Lenin’s face. This discovery led to the sudden cancelation of the composition and the commission passed this time to Picasso and Matisse. Picasso, by the way, kept proposing sir Frank Brangwyn, that in his life had painted some frescos: for example the Maison Art Nouveau and Casa Cuseni. Picasso did no forget that House museum facing the Mediterranean sea and protected by the Etna. When the Malaga artist saw that fresco, after the Ezra Pound’s recommendation, he remained so enthusiastic that talk about Casa Cuseni and its secret room also to Alfred Barr Junior, the first director of the Moma in New York, who reached Taormina on suggestion of the artist. The proof of the Picasso presence at Casa Cuseni is represented by one of his painting: “The flute player”, work made in 1959 and donated to Daphne Phelps, Robert Kitson’s nephew, by Alfred Barr Junior. Do you want to miss all of this?