Traditional craftsmanship

Sicilian Marionette

  • Participants min 2, max 20
  • Investment 90,00 euro
    (Children 50,00 euro)
  • Duration 03:00 h.
  • Days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Timetable 09:00 - 12:00
  • Location Palermo
Group of 10 persons: save 10%
About the experience "Sicilian Marionette "

Enter the legendary world of Sicilian Marionette (Pupo). Try your hand at decorating lead armor. Paint the wooden parts of the supporting structure (u 'bustu): the head, the legs, the hands. And then, engage yourself in the assembly of the little puppet.

A “Puparo”, the traditional craftsman of these puppets, will guide you in the creation of the “Pupo”. If you are a natural talent, he might unveil some tricks and scenic techniques of his customised collection, in which he takes great pride. He is enthusiastic to show off this collection to his helpers, and though it may be handed down through his family, it has been personalised by the pupeteer himself, making sure, however, to keep the work true to the centuries-old traditions.

Experience one of the most important aspects of the tradition of Puppet Opera, and be the protagonist of one of the most exciting phenomena of Sicilian craft culture: the construction of the Sicilian puppet.

After having created your Sicilian “Pupo”, there is the opportunity to assist in the Puppet Opera, the famous theatre show in which the marionettes, animated by the puppeteers, interpret the exploits of the greatest medieval heroes.


Having its roots in the Spanish "Titeros", it is an ancient art that arrived in the south, and became particularly well estabilshed in the Sicilian tradition around the middle of the nineteenth century. This was the tradition of the puppets of the Pupari mastery, defined as a "masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity" by UNESCO.

The Puppet Opera, as a particular form of theater, belongs to the marionette traditions of the Sicilian epic/Theater of-the-people, and was influenced by the knightly narratives drawn from novels and poems of the Carolingian cycle, depicting theatrical performances that came to life from masterpieces such as the "Chanson de Roland" and "L’Orlando furioso". Often, the protagonists were Charlemagne and his paladins.

Sicilian puppets are not the classic marionettes, and differ in their particular mechanics of maneuver, as well as the repertoire of shows. Marionettes are manipulated from above by a series of threads, while the Pupi are structured by two iron rods that control movement of the arms. This technical difference gives the puppets precision and speed in their gestures, an factor that makes the fight scenes so much more fascinating.

But the Pupi are also known for their decoration and clothing, for their shining armor and their expressiveness. The Puparo, who worked and maneuvered the characters, was at the same time a craftsman, a set designer and a costume designer. They paid obsessive attention to details and, though often illiterate, they knew all too well the artistic works from which they drew inspiration for the setting and the characters.

Program and information

From 09:00 to 11:00

  • Introduction and welcome coffee
  • Creation of the puppet

From 11:00 to 12:00

  • Assist in the show “The Opera of the Sicilian Puppet”

Languages ​​spoken by the local: English, Italian

Adherence to the 'Safe Welcome' protocol defined in the risk assessment document in accordance with Legislative Decree 2008/81 and subsequent amendments, in order to mitigate the risk of transmission of infection from Covid-19 within locations, tourist accommodation facilities and indoor and outdoor environments, with the aim of protecting the health and safety of guests, customers, collaborators, partners.