July 24-September 23, 2023

AREZZO DI DONNAFUGATA PALACE

Ragusa Ibla

SICILY: THE MAIN FLOOR OF PALAZZO AREZZO DI DONNAFUGATA, IN THE HEART OF RAGUSA IBLA, OPENS TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME. ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXHIBITION “THE TABLES OF THE GATTOPARDI”. AS OF MONDAY, JULY 24, 2023

Opens for the first time to the public the main floor of Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata, in the baroque heart of Ragusa Ibla. A historic event for the whole of Sicily that occurs at the launch of the exhibition “The Tables of the Gattopards.”

In fact, starting July 24, some of the halls on the main floor will be open to the public and will host a special display of the precious painted ceramic tableware, part of the ancient mansion’s collection.

The exhibition, organized by theDonnafugata 2000 Association, is curated by art historian Costantino D’Orazio, with installation by Sciveres Guarini Associati, and is promoted by the Sicilian Region – Department of Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity, the Free Municipal Consortium of Ragusa in co-partnership with the City of Ragusa.

Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata is one of the most imposing residences in the historic center of Ragusa Ibla, today it belongs to the heirs of Barons Arezzo Donnafugata. It was built beginning in the second half of the 17th century. Destroyed by the 1693 earthquake, the residence was rebuilt a century later at the behest of Baron Corrado M. Arezzo, who enlarged its size and arranged the garden. However, it would be Baron Corrado Arezzo de Spuches, in the mid-19th century, who would determine the neoclassical image that the palace still presents today and build, piece by piece, much of the art and object collections still preserved by the family. Visitors, who will be able to enter in groups of 12 at each turn, will be invited on a journey back in time, through the barrel-vaulted gallery supported by twenty stone columns, and then up the monumental staircase to find themselves inside some of the halls that make up the palace’s famous “quarter parade.”

Walking on the pitch floors, guests will see one of the residence’s most majestic rooms, which overlooks the inner garden, cross the frescoed dining room, one of the lounges with silk-covered walls and the billiard room, and then finally cross a secret trapdoor and find themselves inside the Donnafugata Theater, along a path that will reveal part of the “behind the scenes” of this famous and refined Sicilian mansion.

The exhibition “The Tables of the Gattopards” will be set up inside the halls where three extraordinary tables will be ready as if to welcome a gala dinner, with some of the family’s historical services: a precious service in painted pottery from Nove di Bassano dating back to the 19th century, with a number of references related to the previous century, and two features that open interesting windows into the history of the family and the palace. Along with plates, soup tureens, refreshment bowls, gravy boats, baskets, crepes, centerpieces, and sprinklers, the antique rosolier, vintage samovars, and a number of curious figured tableware will be on display. Writer Costanza DiQuattro will trace in the exhibition catalog some of the historical events related to the public occasions when the Nove di Bassano del Grappa pottery service was used by city authorities, after having obtained it on loan from the family.

“It is especially at the table,” he writes in the catalog. Mary Taylor Simeti, author of the volume “La tavola del Gattopardo”-that the Sicilian aristocrat can best demonstrate his rank, the largesse of his hospitality and the good governance of his family, all of which is evidenced by the refinement and abundance of the food offered, and the elegance and preciousness of the table settings. Extensive service, including dishes of all sizes and purposes, as well as elevations, candelabras and centerpieces of all kinds, became increasingly prevalent in the first half of the nineteenth century, either as a result of the Bourbon court’s Sicilian exile during the Napoleonic wars, or perhaps in response to a sense of immanent twilight.”

The luxury, the pageantry of times long gone, the charm of a life surrounded by wonder: this is the experience that visitors to the exhibition “The Tables of the Gattopards” will be able to experience inside rooms where that late 19th century atmosphere can still be felt. “The Donnafugata Association is pleased to present the exhibition “The Tables of the Gattopards,” comments Vicky DiQuattro, artistic director of the association-with the support of prestigious collaborators to activate the collection of Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata, carefully and thoughtfully guarded by my family, as a cultural heritage of value to the community. Our commitment is to promote research and study of the past because we believe that this can be an opportunity to stimulate and learn about stories and values to be passed on for the future.”

The region accompanies this initiative, which is also a treat for tourists. “Our Sicily enjoys a historical and cultural heritage admired by other regions and countries around the world, and it is through initiatives such as this that it is possible to properly enhance it so that knowledge and knowledge, as well as beauty, can be spread,” commented Regional Councillor for Culture and Sicilian Identity, Francesco Paolo Scarpinato.

Also referring to the inestimable value of the exhibition is Antonino De Marco, superintendent of the Environmental and Cultural Heritage of the province of Ragusa: “The Sicilian aristocratic environment, which has fueled the cultural-historical imagination for years, is evoked by the residences where one can still feel that late 19th century atmosphere.”

“We support the project with immense pride. We are always ready to promote initiatives for the dissemination of knowledge, culture and beauty. An initiative that is also expected to be of tourist interest, and in this sense we are intervening to offer tourists an additional opportunity,” explains the commissioner Salvatore Piazza of the Free Municipal Consortium of Ragusa which promotes the initiative together with the City of Ragusa: “We expect that many, including tourists as well as Ragusans, will seize this opportunity to visit places unveiled to the public for the first time. Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata is one of the most impressive residences in the historic center of Ragusa Ibla, Ragusa’s ancient baroque district, whose style is unique and admired by visitors from all over the world,” they highlight Mayor Peppe Cassì and Historic Centers Councilor Giovanni Gurrieri.

In addition to a text by Costantino D’Orazio, the exhibition catalog, published by Dario Cimorelli Editore and edited by art historian Valentina Bruschi, features contributions from the artistic directors of the Donnafugata Association, Vicky and Costanza DiQuattro, architect Nunzio Gabriele Sciveres, author with the firm Sciveres Guarini Associati, of the exhibition layout and a text by historian Mary Taylor Simeti. Photos in the catalog are by Laura Di Martino. The exhibition, open from July 24 to Sept. 23, 2023, can be enjoyed from 10:45 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. (last admission) every day except Mondays. Admission (15 euros plus presale) is limited for each round. For info and online reservations you can log on to the website www.teatrodonnafugata.it mob. 334 220 8186 – info@teatrodonnafugata.it.

The exhibition “The Tables of the Gattopards” will be set up inside the halls where three extraordinary tables will be ready as if to welcome a gala dinner, with some of the family’s historical services: a precious service in painted pottery from Nove di Bassano dating back to the 19th century, with a number of references related to the previous century, and two features that open interesting windows into the history of the family and the palace. Along with plates, soup tureens, refreshment bowls, gravy boats, baskets, crepes, centerpieces, and sprinklers, the antique rosolier, vintage samovars, and a number of curious figured tableware will be on display. Writer Costanza DiQuattro will trace in the exhibition catalog some of the historical events related to the public occasions when the Nove di Bassano del Grappa pottery service was used by city authorities, after having obtained it on loan from the family.

“It is especially at the table,” he writes in the catalog. Mary Taylor Simeti, author of the volume “La tavola del Gattopardo”-that the Sicilian aristocrat can best demonstrate his rank, the largesse of his hospitality and the good governance of his family, all of which is evidenced by the refinement and abundance of the food offered, and the elegance and preciousness of the table settings. Extensive service, including plates of all sizes and purposes, as well as elevations, candelabras and centerpieces of all kinds, became increasingly prevalent in the first half of the nineteenth century, either as a result of the Bourbon court’s Sicilian exile during the Napoleonic wars, or perhaps in response to a sense of immanent twilight.”

The luxury, the pageantry of times long gone, the charm of a life surrounded by wonder: this is the experience that visitors to the exhibition “The Tables of the Gattopards” will be able to experience inside rooms where that late 19th century atmosphere can still be felt. “The Donnafugata Association is pleased to present the exhibition The Tables of the Gattopards,” comments Vicky DiQuattro, artistic director of the association-with the support of prestigious collaborators to activate the collection of Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata, carefully and thoughtfully guarded by my family, as a cultural heritage of value to the community. Our commitment is to promote research and study of the past because we believe that this can be an opportunity to stimulate and learn about stories and values to be passed on for the future.”

The region accompanies this initiative, which is also a treat for tourists. “Our Sicily enjoys a historical and cultural heritage admired by other regions and countries around the world, and it is through initiatives such as this that it is possible to properly enhance it so that knowledge and knowledge, as well as beauty, can be spread,” commented Regional Councillor for Culture and Sicilian Identity, Francesco Paolo Scarpinato.

Also referring to the inestimable value of the exhibition is Antonino De Marco, superintendent of the Environmental and Cultural Heritage of the province of Ragusa: “The Sicilian aristocratic environment, which has fueled the cultural-historical imagination for years, is evoked by the residences where one can still feel that late 19th century atmosphere.”

“We support the project with immense pride. We are always ready to promote initiatives for the dissemination of knowledge, culture and beauty. An initiative that is also expected to be of tourist interest, and in this sense we are intervening to offer tourists an additional opportunity,” explains the commissioner Salvatore Piazza of the Free Municipal Consortium of Ragusa which promotes the initiative together with the City of Ragusa: “We expect that many, including tourists as well as Ragusans, will seize this opportunity to visit places unveiled to the public for the first time. Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata is one of the most impressive residences in the historic center of Ragusa Ibla, Ragusa’s ancient Baroque district, whose style is unique and admired by visitors from all over the world,” they highlight Mayor Peppe Cassì and Historic Centers Councilor Giovanni Gurrieri.

In addition to a text by Costantino D’Orazio, the exhibition catalog, published by Dario Cimorelli Editore and edited by art historian Valentina Bruschi, features contributions from the artistic directors of the Donnafugata Association, Vicky and Costanza DiQuattro, architect Nunzio Gabriele Sciveres, author with the firm Sciveres Guarini Associati, of the exhibition layout and a text by historian Mary Taylor Simeti.

Photos in the catalog are by Laura Di Martino.

The exhibition, open from July 24 to Sept. 23, 2023, can be enjoyed from 10:45 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. (last admission) every day except Mondays.

Admission (15 euros plus presale) is limited for each round.

For info and online reservations you can log on to the website www.teatrodonnafugata.it

mobile +39334 220 8186

info@teatrodonnafugata.it.

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