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Casa Museo Giovanni Verga

Address : Via Sant'Anna, 8 - Catania.
Province : Catania  City : Catania
Phone : 0957150598

Opening hours : Dal lunedì al sabato 09,00-13,00 e 14,30-18,00. Chiusa domenica e festivi.
Ticket full fare :  4,00 €
Ticket reduced fare:  2,00 €

Regional Home Museum Giovanni Verga

Administrative structure


The museum is situated in the old city centre, at a short distance from the Dome.
The House and Museum are housed on the second floor of the 19th c. palace where Verga spent his childhood and lived for many years surrounded by his family and friends. When the writer's last heir, Giovannino Verga Patriarca died, the House was bought by the Sicilian Region and after some restoration works opened to visitors.
Inside there are all the books and furniture owned by Giovanni Verga. There are more than 2600 volumes written by authors such as Giacosa, Oriani, Rod, Capuana, Di Giacomo, Deledda, Marinetti, Borgese, Villaroel, as well as Russian and French writers, such as Turgenev, Dostoevskij, Tolstoj, Gorkij, Flaubert, Maupassant, Dumas, Zola. After few years the writer's death, material regarding Verga's pioneer interest in photography was found in via S. Anna. Plates and films (now a private collection) show an interest in documentary shoots which, even if by chance, does not go to far from the veristic ideology.
The photographs reproduce mainly his family members: his mother, brothers, uncles, grandchildren, as well as the farmers who worked for Verga's family, in the Tébidi countryside, in Vizzini. The interest in photography (a technique which was an èlite hobby for the intellectuals of upper middle class in the second half of 19th c.) united Verga, Capuana and De Roberto, who made interesting experimentations.
Exhibition route
1. The entrance
2. The drawing room. A large room furnished with showcases where copies of Verga's handwritten works are displayed (the originals are in the Regional University Library in Catania).
On the right wall, a frame dated back to 1920 which holds a diploma decorated with flowers and countryside subjects decoration painted by Alessadro Abate and given as a present to the writer by the member of the Circolo Unione for his 80th birthday. In the corner, a bust of Verga and on a small table, in a wooden box, a wax mask riproducing the face of the writer's father, Giovan Battista Verga Catalano.
3. The library. Six dark walnut bookcases keep Giovanni Verga's personal books. The leather covers have the discrete and elegant charm of the 19th c. publishing: some still have the golden letters "GV". Among the several dedications written by last century writers, we mention Luigi Capuana's, which testify a companionship which is memorable in Italian literature. On the tablecloth placed in the middle of the room, there are a few objects: a paperknife, an ink-pad, a terracotta reproducing Rovereto bell, the mould of Dina di Sordevolo's hand, who had been the writer's partner since 1889. On the wall the image of Antonino Abate, Verga's teacher, a writer's portrait made by Amedeo Bianchi; on a piece of furniture, a brass plate on white marble with the dedication of Catania citizens to the writer for his 80th birthday.
4. The bedroom. It is a large room with a little drawing room and fireplace. In the wardrode there are period suits and hats. On the walls there are family members's portraits and two framed photographs, taken by Michele Grita, which show Verga and his grandchild Marco.
5, 6, 7, 8. Other rooms used as bedrooms, drawing rooms and halls. On the walls some engravings: two of which have been made by Francesco di Bartolo.
9. The dining room. On a wall, a painting by Calcedonio Reina, painter and writer of that period, friends of Di Bartolo and Mario Rapisardi.



Casa museo Giovanni Verga


Giovanni Verga, novelist and short story writer, is one of the most important representatives of the Italian verism and naturalism. His first novels are published when the literary climate is strongly influenzed by Manzoni and Scott's production, as well as by the French naturalism, which are approved by the literary men of our country. Verga and Capuana are considered the leaders of the verism: Capuana is appreciated for the elaboration of the theory on impersonality and objectivity, but Verga has written the most considerable works of the verism, which are not always easily understood by nowadays readers. Verga's characters (fishermen, farmers, craftmen) live a little known reality, characterized by strongly regional aspects as well as a language which uses new syntactical schemes and dialectal expressions. In spite of the initial perplexity of critics, Verga's novels are still part of our literary background, and being translated in many languages, they have been performed in the best theatres and have fascinated the cinema with unforgettable characters.

Verga's self-portrait, December 4, 1887


The life



Giovanni Carmelo Verga was born in Catania. He is Giovanni Battista
Catalano Verga and Caterina Di Mauro's first son. The Vergas are wealthy and own large estates in Catania and Vizzini. His childhood and familiarity with the agricultural world will play an important role in the writer's production.


He spends his youth studying with his teacher Antonino Abate and he starts writing.
In 1858 he attends the Faculty of Law in Catania, but in 1861 he interrupts his studies to work as a journalist and writes his first novels.
1857 Amore e patria (not published)
1861-1862 I carbonari della montagna (Catania, Galatola).
1862-1863 Sulle lagune (published in the appendix of "La Nuova Europa").


In 1865 he moves for a while to Florence, from which he returns in 1869. He is introduced in the literary circles and meets Giovanni Prati, Aleardo Aleardi, Francesco Dall'Ongaro.
In 1871 he successfully publishes Storia di una capinera. In the period from 1872 up to '93 he lives in Milan and is introduced to the Scapigliatura members, such
as Arrigo Boito, Giuseppe Giacosa, Emilio Praga, Luigi Gualdo, Felice Cameroni. In these years he meets the editor Treves, who will be extremely important for his career.
These are years of intense work activity but also of strong emotions: in 1877 his sister Rosa dies and in 1878 his mother.
1866 Una peccatrice (Torino, Negro).
1871 Storia di una capinera (Milano, Lampugnani).
1873 Eva (Milano, Treves).
1874 In the Rivista italiana di scienze, lettere e arti the sketch Nedda is published.
1875 Tigre reale and Eros (Milano, Brigola).
1876 Primavera e altri racconti (Milano, Brigola); the book will be published again by Treves in 1877 with the title of Novelle.


His return to Catania coincides with an intense literary activity and, on the emotional side, with the long relationship with Giselda Fojanesi, the poet Mario Rapisardi's wife. In 1884 at the Teatro Carignano in Torino, Cavalleria rusticana meets the public's approval: the exceptional actress is Eleonora Duse.
In the following years Verga faces economical problems and family responsability.
He wins a case against Mascagni and the editor Sonzogno for the rights given to the lyric version of Cavalleria Rusticana.
In 1889 the writer meets Dina di Sordevolo with whom he will have a strong relationship up to his death.
1880 Vita dei campi (Milano, Treves).
1881 I Malavoglia (Milano, Treves), first of five novels planned by Verga for the series "of the losers" which should have included Padron 'Ntoni, Mastro don Gesualdo, La Duchessa delle Gargantas, L'Onorevole Scipioni, L'uomo di lusso.
1882 Il marito di Elena (Milano, Treves);
the short story Pane nero (Catania, Giannotta).
1883 Novelle rusticane and Per le vie (Milano, Treves).
1884 Drammi intimi (Roma, Sommaruga).
1887 Vagabondaggio (Firenze, Barbera).
1889 Mastro don Gesualdo (Milano, Treves).
1891 I ricordi del capitano d'Arce (Milano, Treves).


He spends these years in Catania with his family taking care of his family's estates.
In 1920 he is nominated "Senatore del Regno".
In 1922 (January, 27) he dies at home in via S.Anna.
1894 Don Candeloro e C. (Milano, Treves).
1896 The dramas La lupa, In portineria, Cavalleria rusticana (Milano, Treves).
1902 The sketches La caccia al lupo, la caccia alla volpe (Milano, Treves).
1906 Dal tuo al mio (Milano, Treves).







Capuana and his little dog
Catania, december 4, 1887


Ersilia, Lidda, Caterina with her doll, Pietro, Giovannino, Mario, Concetta and Peppa


Federico De Roberto
Catania, 4 december 4, 1887







Dina di Sordevolo
Rigi Kaltbad, august 1902


Farmers, Tébidi, 1897


Vizzini, north-east side, from via
S. Antonio, May 3, 1892
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