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Palermo #1662808
07/01/2023 22:34
07/01/2023 22:34
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline OP
Club President, member225
Edinburgh  Offline OP
Club President, member225
Forum veteran

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Felt I had to write this; has anyone visited?

Ok it's a bit random but it is Italy so therefore linked sufficiently with our four-wheeled friends laugh

In a word, madness...a crazy, lively, sprawling city whose arteries trail away from the coast in all directions like an enormous jellyfish, dead straight in true Roman fashion and ascending from the bay. It's big, somewhat dirty in places and displaying a fair amount of poverty which spawns the hawkers and street/tourist-spot beggars, a commonplace sight.

In recent years, good autostradas and modern electrified 160 kmh railways have improved links considerably and is encouraging both to commerce and tourism. The land is so fertile that food appears in abundance along with their seafood specialities that grace the restaurant and taverna menus.

Mrs Ed and I arrived with another couple that we've travelled with many times, deciding not to scrimp on accommodation this time. We aimed for a central location close enough to the to-do list - these were fairly regular touristy things but made more fascinating by the strong culture mix of Arab (Sicily was an Emirate for c. 250 years) then Normans, who arrived about 1090, oh and don't forget the Crusades getting their oar in - all leading to a healthy mix of faiths including Jewish, Christian, Islamic and more who were quite capable of living side-by-side perfectly contentedly. We could all do more of that.

The resulting architecture is often bonkers, hybrids of Islamic elegance, Norman solidity and Baroque reliefs muscling in on each other; in no little way due to the Norman king Ruggero (Roger II) who encouraged it, resulting in three massive cathedrals within the locality (Palermo, Monreale and Cefalú) containing an insane amount of decoration. Even if one is not very comfortable with this sort of thing it is still breathtaking.

Traditions remain strong and central, and now that mafia control is long gone daily life rocks along in the now-pedestrianised historic centre with rows of bars and cantinas, endless cafés, takeaways and friendly restaurants energetically vying for business - it seems that everyone is always outside eating laugh
Small shops selling homemade arancini, cakes, or ice-cream compete for business and street-traders perch impossible makeshift counters upon shopping trolleys or push-chairs, displaying jewellery tat and gyrating, beeping, transforming plastic cars. There is only a brief afternoon period of respite where yawning waiters keep watch up-and-down the streets until 4-ish when the first signs of the long evening passeggiatas emerge. By evening the flashing light decorations and music are back in full swing, buskers on shifts at the street corners.

Leaving in the morning - I will miss it. Oh and I found out today that the visiting Arabs in 800-odd was only half the story - five or 6 centuries BC it was going strong with Phoenicians. These people, I also learned today, were from the Levant - basically Lebanon - and were dodging about from around 3000 BC!

It was my Catalonian daughter-in-law who got me interested there as she mentioned that her people were referred to as Pu-ne, or Punic...i.e. Phoenician; so these unflagging seafarers had island-hopped the Mediterranean via Sicily, Malta etc. and hit dry land at Barcelona - they weren't daft! And that made me understand a little more why they craved independence from Spain....

Enough already...mustn't mention the cat-carrying dog/museum banana trees/puppet theatre, you'll think I've gone bonkers silly

Attached Files
Banana head.jpg (106 downloads)
Cat-on-dog.jpg (107 downloads)
Puppet theatre.jpg (106 downloads)
Puppet.jpg (105 downloads)
Bird-of- -paradise.jpg (107 downloads)

BumbleBee back:)
Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1662809
07/01/2023 22:40
07/01/2023 22:40
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline OP
Club President, member225
Edinburgh  Offline OP
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Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Saw my first pomegranate bush (not shown) and stepped on what felt like 15k marble slabs

Attached Files
Reception, hotel.jpg (103 downloads)
Terraza, hotel.jpg (102 downloads)
Cefalu date palm.jpg (102 downloads)
Palazzo gardens.jpg (102 downloads)
Paving.jpg (102 downloads)

BumbleBee back:)
Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1662810
07/01/2023 22:46
07/01/2023 22:46
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline OP
Club President, member225
Edinburgh  Offline OP
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Auld Reekie
A few humble piles...

Attached Files
Catedrale.jpg (99 downloads)
Monreale catedrale.jpg (98 downloads)
Monreale catedrale3.jpg (99 downloads)
Teatro Massimo.jpg (98 downloads)

BumbleBee back:)
Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1662811
07/01/2023 22:49
07/01/2023 22:49
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline OP
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Edinburgh  Offline OP
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Auld Reekie
The streets

Attached Files
Quattro Canti.jpg (97 downloads)
Via Maqueda, day.jpg (98 downloads)
Via Maqueda, night.jpg (97 downloads)

BumbleBee back:)
Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1662812
08/01/2023 11:33
08/01/2023 11:33
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 530
Guildford
wink Offline
Club member 1453
wink  Offline
Club member 1453
Enjoying the ride

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 530
Guildford
Thanks for the write-up and photos. I keep meaning to go to Sicily but so far haven't made it - we always drive to Italy rather than fly, and Sicily is a bit of a stretch. Presumably standard Italian is adequate for conversations - I don't know any Sicilian? What temperatures at this time of year?

Re: Palermo [Re: wink] #1662830
08/01/2023 21:24
08/01/2023 21:24
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Edinburgh Offline OP
Club President, member225
Edinburgh  Offline OP
Club President, member225
Forum veteran

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,120
Auld Reekie
Originally Posted by wink
Thanks for the write-up and photos. I keep meaning to go to Sicily but so far haven't made it - we always drive to Italy rather than fly, and Sicily is a bit of a stretch. Presumably standard Italian is adequate for conversations - I don't know any Sicilian? What temperatures at this time of year?


We flew from Edinburgh for a modest price - though the departure was a chilly 0400 hrs on New Years Day for a 0610 flight!

No problem with language, yes they've got Sicilian but there is absolutely no need for it as far as a visitor is concerned; most speak English as it a compulsory language at school.

This year's temperatures were actually a tad higher than usual but I think a lot of Europe was experiencing the same. We had 17C most days and 18C on a couple; nice and warm in the sunny skies but dipping to around 12C at night, so you could sleep with the window open with the heating off.

It's possible our outlook was made more positive by our lucky accommodation find - like many buildings it had been a palace (mansion) dating from the 18th century, renovated 20 years ago by a chain which specialises in that sort of thing around the world apparently. It gave an impression, though basically built around an internal courtyard, of having elusive design symmetry and we had to be careful to remember where we laid our breadcrumb trails amongst all the marble, gilt and hidden accesses laugh


BumbleBee back:)
Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1662835
09/01/2023 09:51
09/01/2023 09:51
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 16,367
FCSS 01684 593187
Countrycruising Offline
Club Rep Europe, member 914
Countrycruising  Offline
Club Rep Europe, member 914
Forum veteran

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 16,367
FCSS 01684 593187
Jackie and I really enjoyed Sicily, as you've said the architecture, food and people are lovely and it's on our list to visit again very soon, nice pics thumb

Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1662892
10/01/2023 17:44
10/01/2023 17:44
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,210
Berlin
barnacle Offline
Club Member 18 - ex-Minister without Portfolio
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,210
Berlin
The nice thing about Sicily is that you can drive part of the old Targa Floria. It is an absolutely lethal road... shocked

(Also, you get to to the 'Moltanbano sono!' impersonation, which annoys the locals immensely laugh )


[Linked Image]
Don't get no respect! Coupe Fiat 1994-2000 - an owner's guide <-- clicky!
Re: Palermo [Re: barnacle] #1662917
11/01/2023 10:50
11/01/2023 10:50
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 16,367
FCSS 01684 593187
Countrycruising Offline
Club Rep Europe, member 914
Countrycruising  Offline
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Forum veteran

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 16,367
FCSS 01684 593187
Originally Posted by barnacle
The nice thing about Sicily is that you can drive part of the old Targa Floria. It is an absolutely lethal road... shocked

(Also, you get to to the 'Moltanbano sono!' impersonation, which annoys the locals immensely laugh )


I've driven that road, if you can call it that while dodging the potholes and dips where the road has subsided down the hill, great views though.

Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1662924
11/01/2023 16:38
11/01/2023 16:38
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,210
Berlin
barnacle Offline
Club Member 18 - ex-Minister without Portfolio
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 33,210
Berlin
As I said... absolutely lethal.


[Linked Image]
Don't get no respect! Coupe Fiat 1994-2000 - an owner's guide <-- clicky!
Re: Palermo [Re: Edinburgh] #1663086
20/01/2023 15:33
20/01/2023 15:33
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,927
The Faringdon Folly
O
oxfordSteve Offline
Forum is my job
oxfordSteve  Offline
Forum is my job
O

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,927
The Faringdon Folly
Went there a few years ago for a long weekend, and absolutely loved it. Something interesting around every corner, great food, great wine and cold beers.

Few pics here

https://flic.kr/s/aHsk3uTAWR





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