Small but elegant theatre

Small but elegant theatre

[Sept. 2022] During the tour in Ragusa Ibla in Sicily, Italy, we went to a theatre called Teatro Donnafugata.

the floor of the theatre called Teatro Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily
the sign on the floor near the entrance

The entrance we went through was so simple that I thought it might be a side entrance for tours, but in fact this was the entrance for the general public.

Originally, it was a private theatre for aristocrats, and apparently it was relatively recent that it was opened to the public.

And when only the nobles used, they entered from the splendid front entrance, and the guide showed that to us as well.

There are many marble columns standing on both sides of the high vaulted ceiling, and it looks majestic.

the main entrance of the theatre called Teatro Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily
majestic main entrance

Why is it that the general public is not allowed to enter from here?

In the aisle there is a small altar and an old movie projector.

Then we entered the theatre.

It was small, but it had a warm and good atmosphere.

According to the guide, it looks small, but it can accommodate 130 people.

And he said that they are performing the same program as La Scala in Milan.

small but lovely theatre of Teatro Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily
130 people can sit

We also went up to the VIP seats on the first floor.

At the end there was a simple, uninteresting door, which was locked.

In fact, this theatre is part of a mansion called Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata, which is still inhabited today.

Apparently this door connects the living space and the theater, and that the residents of the mansion enter the theater through this door.

It sounds like a scene from a film.

the door between living space of the family and the theatre at Teatro Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily
the closed door

The fact that the general public is not allowed in through the main entrance may be something to do with that the theatre is part of the living space.

According to the map, this mansion occupies at least half of the plot between 25th April and via Orfanotrofio.

This noble family is called Arezzo and has the crest of hedgehogs.

It was also posted in the theatre.

The guide explained that a hedgehog is called Rizz0 in Sicily, and the surname Arezzo sounds similar to that, so the hedgehog is used to create this family crest.

the crest of Aresso family seen in the theatre, Teatro Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla, Sicily
hedgehogs are in their crest

By the way, about 18 kilometers southwest of Ragusa, there is a castle called Castello di Donnafugata, which used to be the villa of the Arezzo family.

It is now owned by the city of Ragusa and is now a costume museum.

The costume worn by Claudia Cardinale in Luchino Visconti’s film “The Leopard” is also a copy of the costume here, and the guide recommended that it is “worth a visit.”

We couldn’t go because we didn’t have the time, though.

After the theatre, the next destination was the mansion where we first saw the tour sign.

Baron Arezzo himself will guide you through his mansion.

It seems that someone who was with us on the tour asked the guide, “What does the baron usually do?” and the guide’s answer, “He only shows his house, nothing else” was heard.

Somehow, it was a way to invite laughter.