The Marionettistica dei Fratelli Napoli represents the most significant reality of the traditional puppet theater of Catania style. Founded in Catania in 1921 by Gaetano Napoli, it has now reached its fourth generation without interruption of activity. All the members of the family take part in the staging of the shows, each according to the role that is most congenial to them among those typical of the Catania Opira . The company has been carrying out an intense theatrical activity for a century that has led it to perform all over the world. In 1978 the Napoli brothers received the prestigious Praemium Erasmianum from the Dutch Royals , which “crowns people and institutions that have enriched European culture through their activity”.
The Opera dei Pupi is a particular type of puppet theater that established itself firmly in southern Italy and especially in Sicily between the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. The Sicilian puppets are distinguished from other puppets essentially for their peculiar mechanics of maneuver and for the repertoire, consisting almost entirely of chivalrous narratives derived largely from novels and poems of the Carolingian cycle.
The ancient workshop of the Napoli brothers is located in the historic center of Catania, at no. 55 in via Reitano, near the Ursino Castle and the historic Pescheria market. It represents a heritage of great historical and cultural importance for the territory, since, from the time of Gaetano Napoli to today, the "knowledge of the hand" and the techniques that allow the creation of all objects are handed down from generation to generation. of artistic craftsmanship linked to the tradition of the Opera dei Pupi of Catania.
In 2008, UNESCO registered the Opera dei Pupi among the oral and intangible heritages of humanity.
The Museo and Teatro dei Pupi dei Fratelli Napoli is one of the main attractions recommended on Tripadvisor in Catania and Sicily.
In 1978, the Napoli brothers received the prestigious Praemium Erasmianum , which "crowns people and institutions that have enriched European culture"
In 1958, at the Universal Expo in Brussels, the Napoli obtained their first international success