The literature and music in Catania
In the Sant’Anna’s street at number 8 is the entrance to the late 18th century palace where Giovanni Verga lived, now used as a museum; collects objects, furniture and a library with 2000 volumes. The famous writer who told, among the many short stories, the story of a family of fishermen, the Malavoglia, who lived and worked in AciTrezza, a seaside and tourist resort a few kilometers from Catania.
Massimo Theater “V. Bellini”
In 1870, architect Andrea Scala was entrusted with the task of finding a suitable site to build a new Politeama, after examining the various options, the decision was made for the area of Piazza Cutelli. Despite the financial uncertainties, the Scala project was approved which, with the assistance of the Milanese architect Carlo Sada, carried out the works, financed by the group of shareholders of the Politeama Limited Company. In 1880 the company soon ended in liquidation and was replaced by the Municipality which decided to change the structure to the Lyric theater by imposing changes to the project, in seven years the works were completed. Lacking the funds to entrust it to an impresario, it was necessary to wait until May 31, 1890 for the inauguration with the opera Norma by the Catania composer Vincenzo Bellini.
The neo-baroque style facade of the theater is inspired by the Sansovinian classic of the Marciana National Library in Venice. The rest of the building, however, stands out in the lateral development, taking the form of a theater. The hall with four tiers of boxes beyond the gallery is of great decorative richness and is one of the most beautiful of those built in the nineteenth century in Italy. The ceiling is frescoed by the painter Ernesto Bellandi with the apotheosis of Bellini with allegories of his major works: Norma, La somnambula, I puritani and Il pirata.
The historical curtain, illustrating the Victory of the Catania people over the Libyans, is by the Catania painter Giuseppe Sciuti. In the foyer, very large and elegant all in marble and stucco, the bronze statue of Vincenzo Bellini, the work of Salvo Giordano, is remarkable.