“The palace at Donnafugata is one and the same as the one at Santa Margherita, while for the town as a whole,the reference is to Palma Montechiaro…”
The places of Tomasi di Lampedusa
The novel “The Leopard” was published in 1959, a year after the death of the author Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. Rejected by several publishers and voted down even by Elio Vittorini, after publication the Leopard encountered immediate international success and was translated into almost all the languages of the world. The events described by Tomasi di Lampedusa show us Sicily in a a moment of change (the fall of the Bourbons and Garibaldi’s expedition with the advent of the Kingdom of Italy), but, deep down, locked in its eternal immobility. The places that are the background to the story are basically Palermo and Donnafugata, a city of fantasy in which we find real and existing places at Palma di Montechiaro and Santa Margherita Belice.
Palermo, the city where Tomasi di Lampedusa was born, lived, even if he often went away from it, and where he wrote The Leopard”. Santa Margherita Belice, where Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa spent the happiest moments of his childhood and his youth, tied to the figure of his mother and her family. The Tasca Filangeri Cutò owned a palace here “located in the centre of the village, in the shaded square, it stretched to a great extent and had three hundred between large and small rooms ..” Palma di Montechiaro, intimately connected with the history of the Tomasi family since their noble title hailed from there. Tomasi visited it twice, the first time only in 1955, when he had already begun writing the novel. From hiis visit to Palma he draw inspiration for some of the most known of the book.