On Corso Umberto I, near the Church of Saint Nicholas, stands one of the largest palaces in Badolato, built in the 18th century by the Paparo Baron family. The entrance is marked by a monumental granite portal, which is unique and features two cylindrical columns.
In the second half of the last century, for several decades, it was leased to Archpriest Peronace, who converted it into a nursery school run by nuns. It was also used as a boys’ orphanage with an attached elementary school.
In the past, it served as a “seaport” when the Paparo family divided their residence between Badolato, Rome, and even Vibo, as they owned property in that area of Calabria as well. It was also the residence of two parliamentarians: Vincenzo, a deputy in the first Parliament of unified Italy in the early 1860s, and Raffaele, a senator in the 1920s and 1930s.
Today, the noble yet abandoned palace, almost in ruins but secured to prevent collapse, is owned by a real estate company that purchased it in 2002. They are considering how and when this vast property will undergo a transformation in appearance and purpose.
With the passing of Marchesa Franca de Riso (August 29, 2020), the widow of the last Baron of the Paparo family, the two adopted heirs, cousins of the Marquises de Riso, now reside in the beautiful and expansive Paparo villa in Badolato Marina, overlooking the azure Ionian Sea.