Costanza DiQuattro starting today on Rai1. Homes? They are made of emotions And I’ll tell you about them from all over Italy…


By John

A journey between culture and history, beauty and customs, through the historic homes of our country, illustrated by a writer who has made those superb homes a central element of her imagination, in «Dwellings in History», a new column by «A Family Morning», just started on Rai1. Ragusa Costanza DiQuattro – author for Baldini+Castoldi of highly appreciated historical novels, «Donnafugata», «Giuditta e il Monsù» and «Arrocco Siciliano», and who has just published the book for children, but not only, «La Baronessa di Carini. Trip to Sicily» (Gallucci Bros) – will make spectators experience the emotions of a visit within the historic walls of each residence and will engage with the owners to learn their secrets, telling anecdotes and characters, with an informative approach that combines literature and history , emotions and memories. «When I contact the owners I present myself as a writer who lives in a historic residence (Palazzo Arezzo di Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla, ed.); therefore I enter these places on tiptoe, because I know the reality, the jealousy in guarding their secrets and the sacrifices behind maintenance”.

With what criteria are the homes to be proposed chosen?

«For us it is important that they are private and there is the possibility of telling their life stories. They are homes in all respects, still inhabited, as in 90% of those selected, by the descendants of the family of origin. A piece of real life is told; so who has stayed in these places and who has drawn inspiration from them. Over the weeks we will visit many that speak of great men who wrote, composed and made art in those rooms. We therefore narrate pieces of Italian history.”

A column consistent with your activity as an author and artistic director of the Donnafugata Theater in Ragusa. What is your relationship with the territory?

«I am very attached to the territory and I have done everything to never leave, raising my children here, because I believe that Sicily, with all its flaws and inconsistencies, remains the most beautiful land in the world. We are all the place we live in, and for me the area and the house I live in are a source of inspiration. I have always drawn ideas from it for stories and stories that have become the soul of my books, therefore essential elements. A house is not just a shell made of walls, and there is no house that doesn’t have something to pass on: a little family secret, any story that remains imprisoned within the walls and needs to come to light to be told, in an oral or fictional way like I do. Houses are not bricks, but memories, emotions, tears, and also charm and imagination.”

What could be done to promote the area, enhancing its history and traditions?

«I am convinced that the Sicilian territory has an extraordinary tourist vocation which so far has only reached 10% of its possibilities. We should invest more in infrastructure which is lacking and also penalizes reception. But it is a land full of history and anecdotes, and I think the best way to enhance it is to invest in history, looking at the past; because the past of us Sicilians can be the precious driving force for building a great future. This applies to the whole country, but Sicily is unique, and this trip represents an extraordinary life experience for me.”

First stop today will be the historic Villa di Corliano, near Pisa.