Nearby Santo Stefano Quisquina town there is a spot of extraordinary beauty: the Theatre of Andromeda. For thirty years the local shepherd–sculptor–filosopher Lorenzo Reina has been building a unique open air theatre of breathtaking beauty. Lorenzo has turned his “Art Farm” into a “Themenos”, a space dedicated to art and beauty where form and content are brought together and every stone has a meaning and a significance. The Theatre is a universal stage where kairòs (time), téchne (competence) and physìs (nature) meet in perfect harmony. The theatre is located on the top of a steep cliff overlooking an endless valley; it has 108 stone cubical seats which at first sight appear to be blocks scattered chaotically over the area but on closer inspection they prove to be carefully laid out to represent the constellation of Andromeda.
If you’re lucky, you might even manage to attend a summer night event here. If not, treat yourself to the delicious local cheeses (Formaggi dei Monti Sicani) and enjoy a simple but tasty meal in the area. Not far from this Theatre, just in this mountains, you can also visit another spot of extraordinary beauty and spiritual charme: the hermitage of Santa Rosalia. Santo Stefano Quisquina is yet another town in the Sican mountains whose history is entwined with the arrival of the Normans in Sicily. Piazza Castello is its centre with an elegant 18th century fountain and owes its name to the Baronal Castle of the same period. The Chiesa Madre is not far away: originally medieval, it has been modified several times over the centuries.
There are several precious works of art inside: a silver coffin bearing relics of Santa Rosalia, a wooden crucifix and several paintings by the 18th century Sicilian atelier of the Manno brothers. A few kilometres out of town, in a deep oak wood, the hermitage of Santa Rosalia lies in splendid isolation. Santa Rosalia is the venerated patron saint of the town as well as the beloved protector of the City of Palermo. Rosalia was born in 1130 to Ruggero Sinibaldi and Maria Guiscarda and her family was linked to the royal Altavilla dynasty. Rosalia grew up in the sumptuous court of Palazzo dei Normanni but at the age of 15 she left the luxury of her noble surroundings and withdrew into spiritual retreat in a cave on the Mountains of Quisquina, one of her father’s properties at the time. Several centuries later, in 1760, the Sanctuary was built over the cave where she had dwelt in solitude for twelve years, between 1150 and 1162. Many pilgrims still come and visit the young saint’s humble cave dwelling.
Santo Stefano Quisquina: distance from Agrigento approx. 67 Km
Contacts of organizations and associations which offer tourist information and other useful services:
Teatro di Andromeda: information and booking of visits
Municipality of Santo Stefano Quisquina: Public Relations Office
Pro Loco Santo Stefano Quisquina:
+39 347596 3469
Santo Stefano Quisquina: the coordinates indicate Teatro di Andromeda.
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N 37° 37' 36.42''
E 13° 30' 8.77''
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