Literary Sicily: from Pirandello to Tomasi di Lampedusa, via Sciascia and Camilleri

The Writers’ Route is an itinerary that invites travellers to visit the places in Sicily that Sicilian writers have described in their novels, pages of literature and theatre that have fascinated several generations. The route is officially known as State Road 640 of Porto Empedocle. The first stage takes in the lands described by Andrea Camilleri. Between Vigàta and Montelusa there are places between the hills of Agrigento and the sea. Camilleri himself says that Vigàta is Porto Empedocle, but since it is located near Licata, he found a similar name that sounded good as Vigàta. Montelusa, on the other hand, is Agrigento and the name was inspired by Pirandello, who also called the town of Girgenti Montelusa. We continue on to Palma di Montechiaro, a place linked to the writer of The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. In this town one of his ancestors found love in Francesca Caro, who gave him the title of Baron of Montechiaro in 1583. The writer Giuseppe Tomasi rediscovered his roots here and it is in Palma that the protagonist, Prince Don Fabrizio di Salina, is about to court death. Palma di Montechiaro was also decisive because it was here that Giuseppe Tomasi overcame the writer’s block that prevented him from finishing his best-known novel, “The Leopard”. Continuing on to Agrigento, the birthplace of Luigi Pirandello, you can visit the house where the Nobel Prize-winning writer was born in Contrada Caos. Inside the house there are temporary exhibitions dedicated to the Maestro and a museum with the Luigi Pirandello Library. Inland, a must-see is Racalmuto, where Leonardo Sciascia was born. He is certainly remembered for his detective novel “I giorni della Civetta”, but not only. Here in Sicily you can find the places that marked his life, including the Matrice, which overlooks the steps of the church of S. Maria del Monte, the church where the funeral took place in 1989. The house where Sciascia and his aunts were born is right next to this church and not far away you will find the Regina Margherita municipal theatre where the author used to go to watch screenings of shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Just outside the town are the caves of Fra Diego la Matina, the tombs of the friar mentioned by Sciascia in his most important essay “Morte dell’inquisitore”. (EXCURSIONS VARY IN LENGTH)