The hasty reader of the Leopard, looking for clues about the location of Donnafugata and taking a look at the map, thinks he found it near Ragusa. Nothing more wrong! He has to look somewhere else! Donnafugata is a fictional town but includes existing and easily recognizable places not far from Agrigento. Fortunately comes to our aid the information contained in a letter that Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa wrote to his friend Baron Enrico di Merlo Tagliavia. “The palace at Donnafugata is one and the same as the one at Santa Margherita, while for the town as a whole, the reference is to Palma Montechiaro”.
Join our local expert on a fascinating tour of “Donnafugata” in the places described by Tomasi di Lampedusa. At the end of the tour, you’ll get a better understanding of the book and an insight into the essence of Sicily.
The tour can be done in a full day (with an optional lunch in a gourmet restaurant) or in a half-day focusing in one town (Palma di Montechiaro or Santa Margherita Belice).
Our team of expert guides offers more literary tours in this area
Meet the guide in Santa Margherita Belice. The tour begins at the Palazzo Filangieri Cutò which is the setting of some of the most memorable scenes of “The Leopard”. The building belonged to the family of his mother and hosted for a few months, the “woman in flight or Donnafugata” – Queen Carolina Lorena, wife of Ferdinand IV, confined there by Lord Bentick, British military governor of Sicily. Among the restored rooms of the palace, a room upstairs with manuscripts of “The Leopard” , family portraits, photographs of Santa Margherita before the earthquake and the “Wax museum”, where shapes of wax figures representing the main characters of the Leopard help you re-live the atmosphere of the novel. Adjacent to the palace, the garden with trees, admirably described in the book.
"Leopard" lunch in Montallegro.
Transfer to Palma Montechiaro. Our first stop is the Duke’s Palace built in the mid-17th century by Giulio Tomasi, the Duke of Palma, and then, from 1667, the first Prince of Lampedusa. The building has exquisite wooden roofs: “In the mid-17th century, one of the Salinas had withdrawn there into some kind of private monastery to do penance and chart his route to heaven” . Then we go to the Mother Church, the work of Jesuit Angelo Italia, with the “stubby columns of red marble”. Few steps away are the Church and Convent of the Benedictine where is the tomb of the venerable Isabella Tomasi di Lampedusa (Blessed Corbera in the Leopard). Unique opportunity to bite, like Don Fabrizio, on the famous macaroons made by the nuns