Prince Raniero Alliata was a rather controversial character: cultured, strongly misanthropic, eccentric and dedicated to occultism. He used to wake up at six o'clock in the afternoon, begin his studies, conduct his experiments and finish work at dawn the next day. When he got out of bed, he used to look out of the window of his villa, Villa Alliata di Pietratagliata, with a skull in his hand, reciting a formula in Aramaic, said to be a kind of anathema against Palermo, whose urban devastation he despised. His aversion to people was well known. At the entrance to his house he had hung a sign: 'Welcome friends, curse your relatives', even having his relatives painted as devils. Raniero died in 1979.