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Palermo Has Passion With A Capital P
Rome, Venice, Florence...Palermo?! It's not exactly the first Italian city that comes to mind. However, this city is absolutely alive, filled with a rich #history and vibrant #culture, and of course, fantastic food. It'd be a shame not to make some time for one of the less popular places in #Italy.
Being welcomed by drug addicts and prostitutes is not the average exploration start through a whole new city, for a young woman and her partner. But then, this is the Stazione Centrale in Palermo, its surroundings, and the general vibe especially on a Friday night.
However, overlooking all these elements is easy: once we’ve begun walking with the very friendly Mauro and Alessandra we’d met on the train [please get in touch if you’re reading this!], the beauty of the city struck me. Indeed a different, though fascinating, type of beauty lives here. Black buildings, seemingly collapsing before our very eyes, narrow pathways, a scent of dark yet hopeful history, with a touch of art and joy.
the beauty of the city struck me
Indeed a different, though fascinating, type of beauty lives here
"Some wonderful city you’ve got," I gushed at the receptionist of Hotel Regina, a very authentic stay in the centre of it all. To fight the temptation of opening the windows and sneak-peeking through one of the alleys below equals not carpe-dieming your stay.
When the long-expected Mediterranean cyclone we’ve heard about on our way back from Stromboli hit us at around 6:30 in the morning, cracking the old windows wide open, the dream of a bright morning in Palermo seemed to gradually vanish, as the horror of the storm was taking hold.
Yet, after a light breakfast served in the room, a late check-out, a change of plans, and the last drops of rain, the mood switched back. The cool and humid air started to get warmer and warmer and the sun eventually smiled at us in the puddles of water all around the old center.
The sun eventually smiled at us in the puddles of water
In-between a squint at Teatro Massimo, in our search for the most acclaimed pasticcerias in the area, and a few-minute break in the oriental Piazza della Vittoria, we could see pieces of glass on the pavement and trees tore down by the high winds.
From the top of Campanile di San Giuseppe Cafasso, everything seemed peaceful: the majestic Cattedrale, the Moorish San Giovanni degli Eremiti, even the silent reminders of the Mafia.
Gentle and smiling faces helped reach our sweet peak of the day, on back alleys that led us to Pasticceria Cappello, which became not only my favourite pasticceria, but also author of the sweetest and most delicious piece of art I’ve ever tried: il cannolo siciliano. Calories checked, Le Catacombe dei Cappuccini were reached minutes before closing time and the eeriness was soon replaced by a race against time to where the adventure started the night before, with a last look thrown at the emblematic Fontana della Vergogna.
the sweetest and most delicious piece of art I’ve ever tried
Quintocanto Hotel & Spa
A train ticket and a new destination were waiting.
It’s just that it cut our love story short. Palermo’s and mine.