Step into the Fratelli Napoli's Puppet Museum – and into a fascinating universe. It as world of chivalry and courage, unrequited love and adventure, song and swordfights. The Sicilian folk tradition of the Opera dei Pupi, declared part of the "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by the UNESCO in 2001 is a theatrical art form worth discovering. The Fratelli Napoli are preserving and perpetuating this ancient tradition since 1921. Visit the puppet museum – and you'll be a fan for life!
Fratelli Napoli Sicilian Puppet Museum/Museo dei Pupi Fratelli Napoli
Vecchia Dogana, Via Beato Cardinale G. B. Dusmet 2 - 95121 Catania
Opening Hours and Visit:
- Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
- The visit is always accompanied by museum staff in the following languages: Italian, English, German, and French.
- Reservations must be made at least 1 business day in advance for single visitors, at least 7 days in advance for groups.
It is possible to cancel up to 3 days before the visit in order to be refunded the cost of tickets minus service fee. Further cancellations and no shows are not refundable.
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The "pupi" are icons of Sicilian folk tradition. Declared part of the "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by the UNESCO in 2001, the Opera dei Pupi tradition has two major branches – the Palermo tradition, and the Catania tradition. The marionette company of Fratelli Napoli has adapted the Catanese tradition (Opira Catanese) to the taste of contemporary audiences. The company's preservation efforts and performance excellence have earned them the 1978 “Praemium Erasmianum,” a prize awarded by the Dutch royal family.
The Fratelli Napoli Opera dei Pupi Puppet Museum is housed on the ground floor of Catania's old customs building, the Vecchia Dogana. Here, you'll see a selection of puppets (many of them tall and heavy), sets, and equipment created in the only remaining historic Catania style workshop still intact. This marvelous collection is jealously guarded by the Napoli family, puppeteers in Catania since 1921.
You'll see puppets, heads, signs, animals, and pieces of scenery of great artistic, historical, and anthropological interest. The exhibition, staged by members of the Napoli family, takes you inside the world of the Opera dei Pupi in Catania.
You'll meet puppets from the court of Charlemagne, and discover the big and the little secrets of the Opira Catanese – such asthe “primu filu” puppets, the Chinese puppets from the History of Erminio, Pulicane, the garden of Sant'Andrea, the castle of Montalbano, followed by giants, dragons, devils, and angels. The highlight is 'u scannappoggiu, the animation bridge of the Opera dei Pupi, from where the Napoli brothers play the centuries-old tall puppets (1.30m/4.2' high) during the seminars and guided tours.
Curated by Alessandro Napoli, the exhibition is much more than a collection of antique and valuable objects – it is also a space of cultural diffusion and interaction with you, the visitors.
Reduced Price: Children under 12 years old and groups over 6 people