Oct 4 7: Palermo, Sicily
Oct 4-7: Palermo, Sicily
I arrived in Palermo on the morning of Monday the 4th after a pretty uneventful overnight train journey. I checked into a VRBO apartment near the Nuova Porta where I’d be staying for the next 3 days.
After getting settled in and exploring the city a bit to get my bearings, on Oct 5 I first headed to the Norman Palace & Palatine Chapel, a beautiful collaboration of Norman, Byzantine, and Arab workmanship built by the Norman conquerors of Sicily in the 11th century.
I then, after waiting out a few hours of rain, headed to the Teatro Massimo in the afternoon. This is the 3rd largest theater in Europe and the largest in Italy. The piazza in front of it is named for Verdi, who was still alive at the time of its dedication. There weren’t any performances while I was in town, but a 30 minute guided tour is offered in Italian and English.
After the tour, I headed to the nearby Salinas Archaeological Museum, where I was surprised to find real turtles swimming in the fountain.
This museum has an enormous collection of Greek and Phoenician artifacts from archaeological excavations performed in Sicily.
|I had hoped to take a 2 hour train ride to Agrigento, on the southern coast of Sicily, where the [Valle dei Templi||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valle_dei_Templi] is located. But with the weather report predicting thunderstorms all day until dark, I was worried I’d take a long journey for nothing, so I decided to stay in Palermo and finish up my sight seeing here.|
Today I headed to the Cathedral, another Arab-Norman structure.
I then wandered about a bit.
The Oratory of San Lorenzo was recommended in the guidebook, and it has beautiful stuccos that looks almost like marble.
Wandering through the back alleys, I also saw some interesting graffiti.
I don’t have pictures, but I quite enjoyed the Sicilian cuisine! Street food is very popular there and there are two pedestrianized streets in the heart of downtown. I wandered up and down and tried the local arancine (fried stuffed rice balls), gelato, sandwiches, and more during my trip.
I headed to the Palermo airport via the train, and flew back to Rome for the last part of my trip! I’ll stay in Rome until Sunday morning when I depart to the states.