A gem among the European museums, the Museo Archeologico Regionale on Via Bara all’Olivella keeps a 5th century BC Phoenician sarcophaguses, endless number of Etruscan artefacts and weird mirrors, animal figurines, Greek carvings found in Selinunte and findings unearthed in different parts of Sicily. Other extraordinary pieces are the Gorgon’s head from Selinunte and parts of a fountain of a temple of Himera the first Greek settlement in northern Sicily. The Sala di Selinunte houses the limestone and marbled stone carvings found in the temples of Selinunte. The depictions of mythological scenes used to be crimson on a blue background. The museum is suitable for the disabled.
TheMuseo Internazionale delle Marionette has collected puppets, marionettes and glove puppets mainly from the island but it also has some examples from other counties. Puppetry is a typical popular Sicilian art that you can enjoy here at first hand as children will play and make a puppet of their own. There are puppet shows on Fridays in autumns and winter. The Festa di Morgana hosts puppeteers from different corners of the world. Head for Opera dei Pupi Ippogrifo (Vicolo Ragusi) and Campania Argento for more puppet performances. A beautiful Catalan-Gothic palace was turned into the Galleria Regionale Siciliana in 1957 housing pictures dating back to the Middle Ages up to the 18th century. The fresco Triumph of Death which has been given its own room deserves some time to view. Among its gems are Antonello da Messina’s Assumption and Francesco Laurana ‘s Eleonara di Aragona.
For a change head for Via Sant’Anna to see some modern art at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna housing mostly works by Sicilian and Palermitan artists such as Cagli, Catti, Sironi and Massimo Campigli.