The tradition of the Opera dei Pupi, that began in the nineteenth century, is still maintained in Syracuse thanks to the families Vaccaro-Mauceri, who run the small lovely theatre and the nearby museum and laboratory, where fully hand made puppets are designed, built and richly decorated. In the puppet theatre, in Sicilian language "Opra dei Pupi”, are mainly represented the the stories of the "knights, arms and loves” from Ludovico Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso”, those from Torquato Tasso's “Gerusalemme Liberata”, and from the “Chanson de Roland”.
Each puppet represents a character, Orlando and Rinaldo the most famous, and the Sicilian public was accustomed to support the one or the other. Today in the small, delightful theatre located in Via della Giudecca, this ancient tradition is renewed, with a calendar of almost daily shows in summer and holidays and during the weekends in winter. The plays are created by the same authors on the basis of the traditional scenario. The same family runs both the nearby laboratory, that can be visited upon appointment, where the puppets are built and decorated with the same procedures and slow rhythms of the past, and the Puppet Museum (Museo dei Pupi) in nearby Piazza San Giuseppe, where puppets, scenes, tools, and all materials related to this ancient tradition are displayed.
Address: Via della Giudecca 17
Shows timetable downloadable at http://www.pupari.com/pdf/calendario.pdf
Laboratory opening hours (upon appointment, ask at the theatre)
morning 10:00 to 13:00
4:00 p.m. to 20:00 pm
Address: Piazza San Giuseppe 33
March, April, May, October, December 11:00 to 13:00 and 16.00-18.00
June July and August 10:30 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 18:30
November, January and February closed