Opera dei Pupi is one of the most important traditions of the ancient Sicilian culture which is included in the Unesco World Heritage List.
Opera dei Pupi Theatre, located in the charming old Jewish quarter Giudecca in the Ortigia island, is considered an important cultural attraction in Syracuse. The theatre offers a wide range of events in summer and winter which are perfect for your holidays with children. Here visitors can discover one of the most important traditions of the ancient Sicilian culture: the Opera dei Pupi. The name Pupi derives from the Latin word “pupus” which means child, or puppet. The so called Opera dei Pupi is a traditional Sicilian show made with Puppets (Marionette) telling stories of gallant knights, notorious bandits and many other characters based on Italian Renaissance poetry and medieval literature. The theatre evokes times of old with stone columns, benches equipped with cosy cushions and a traditional stage with a red pull up curtain. This small theatre is a nice and comfortable space for visitors, whisking them back to distant times when these theatres were crowded with people ready to hail the champions.
The puppets are waiting for their audience behind the scenes, armed with swords and shining armour.
This ancient tradition started with the Puzzo family and later continued with the Vaccaro family, and the Mauceri brothers to which the theatre is dedicated. Family has always been the core of the puppet operas and the puppeteers were always surrounded by their wives and their children during the representations. UNESCO included the Opera dei Pupi in its World Heritage List in 2008.
Today it is possible to plan guided tours, workshops and concerts and the pre-booking is highly recommended.