The Fondazione Sicilia Library plays a cultural role of major importance, offering books and periodicals which, for the most part, cannot be found in other city libraries or are difficult to access.
It is located inside Palazzo Branciforte.
Palazzo Branciforte houses the Fondazione Sicilia Library on its ground floor, with approximately 50 thousand volumes.
A large and varied section deals with the history of Sicily, history of art, coins and archaeology. Inside the spacious reading hall on the first floor, encyclopaedias, annuals and dictionaries can be consulted, as well as periodicals, miscellany and monographs on a range of different subjects. The library’s ancient library fund boasts many publications printed between 1501 and 1830.
Two other estates of fundamental documental and historical importance are the Restivo Estate (which, donated by the heirs of Franco Restivo, the famous man of politics and Sicilian university professor, boasts approximately 8,000 volumes devoted to Sicily as well as to history, law, art, philosophy and literature) and the Spatrisano Estate (which includes the private library of architect Giuseppe Spatrisano, made up of about two thousand volumes, his designs and reliefs).
The hall is also home to a marvellous fresco by Ignazio Moncada di Paternò.