The Fondazione Sicilia (formerly Fondazione Banco di Sicilia, founded on 21 December 1991) sets itself the aim of promoting the growth and socio-economic development of the area of Sicily through projects in many different fields, including education, training, artistic and cultural heritage and scientific research, not to mention also theatre, art and literature.
Led by professor Giovanni Puglisi, the Foundation works in collaboration with local authorities, with the world of business and trade, with universities, with ACRI, the national association of Foundations of Banking origin and joint-stock savings banks, as well as with local organisations engaged in cultural, social and voluntary work. The study of local trends is at the basis of the Foundation’s participation in organisations such the Fondazione per il Sud, Civita Sicilia and the RES Institute of research into economy and society.
Its premises is Palazzo Branciforte, a sixteenth century building in the heart of Palermo, recently restored thanks to a major project conceived by the unforgettable architect Gae Aulenti: the Palazzo is an area open to the public where history is combined with archaeology, modern and contemporary art, with books and the great Italian culinary tradition. The Palazzo is home to suitable display areas for important archaeological, coin, stamp, tin-glazed pottery, sculpture and fresco on panel collections. The building also hosts the Gambero Rosso Cookery School, a restaurant and a library.
Villa Zito, the Foundation’s other historical premises, is instead home to the art gallery, with paintings mainly from the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Standing out among its main cultural projects is the Premio Letterario Internazionale Mondello, one of the oldest and most prestigious literary awards in Italy, joined since 2008 by the young literature festival MondelloGiovani. The Foundation has also recently promoted the rebirth of the prestigious Premio Nazionale di Teatro Luigi Pirandello. The aim is twofold: to re-launch a great, traditional competition and to stimulate high quality, modern theatrical productions.
What’s more, the Fondazione Sicilia is taking the lead in facilitating actions in the sector of economic and social development in the Mediterranean area. A case in hand is the annual international Forum organised in Taormina and focusing on the role that Sicily can play in the development of the African continent.