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The International Museum of Marionettes and Craftwork

Museo Internazionale delle Marionette

Palermo houses the amazing Museo Internazionale delle Marionette, where puppets, marionettes, Sicilian “pupi”, stage equipment and teathrical playbills from all over the world are enticingly displayed. Antonio Pasqualino's renowned collection can boast over 3500 pieces, including puppets from Palermo, Naples and Catania, marionettes from India, China and other Eastern countries, African masks, and masterpieces by modern artists such as Renato Guttuso and Enrico Baj.


Sicilian handicraft tradition has always blended different cultures from ancient inhabitants - Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish - with a high-value artistic production. Typical manufacture techniques have been handed down through generations. Production areas can be listed as follows:
  • pottery ((Sciacca and Burgio in the province of Agrigento; Caltagirone, in the province of Catania; S.Stefano di Camastra, in the province of Messina);
  • weaving (Sortino, in the province of Syracuse; Vittoria, in the province of Ragusa; Castiglione in the province of Catania);
  • wrought iron and lava stone products (Taormina, in the province of Messina; Acireale and Giarre, in the province of Catania; Noto, in the province of Syracuse);
  • coral manufacture (Sciacca, in the province of Agrigento; Palermo, Messina, Trapani, Catania);
  • Sicilian carts (Palermo);
  • puppets, finely-crafted marionettes which have played an important role in the literature and the popular theatre panorama (Palermo, Catania, Caltagirone, in the province of Catania);

The Ceramics of  Santo Stefano di Camastra

Majolica is Santo Stefano di Camastra's most valuable handicraft production. Made of the clay from surrounding quarries, baked and then painted, potteries were carried to the port by women on top of their heads in order to be embarked. The decorations are characterised by typical ages-old Sicilian hues like verdigris, yellowish orange, cobalt blue and manganese brown. Most of Santo Stefano di Camastra production consists of dishes, plates, trays, cups, salad and fruit bowls, but briquettes are also very renowned.

Sicilian Puppets

Sicilian cart

Ceramics Shop in S. Stefano di Camastra

S. Stefano di Camastra Ceramics

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