Creepy catacombs

Palermo Travel Blog

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Franceso had work today, but had pointed out some places we might like to visit. We were quite tired from the travelling yesterday so it was a slow start to the day. The priority for today was to book the next portion of the holiday and also work out how to get there. We spend a long time at the internet cafe searching the different options. We had originally only planned to be in Palermo for 2 nights but that meant the flights were very expensive being a Saturday, so we extended the Palermo portion until Monday. It worked out well as it meant we could spend the weekend with Francesco and we weren't rushed.

With flights booked to Madrid, accommodation in Madrid and Valencia sorted and a rough plan as to how and where we would be going next week, we ventured out for a little walk around town.

The cathedral
Palermo is a hectic place, traffic and people everywhere, but it's also beautiful with lots of different styles of architecture. We headed east from the Quattro Canti (which was where the internet was) towards the catacombs. On the way there we (and a few tour groups) stopped in to look at the Cathedral. It's big and elegant just like all the cathedrals and it had a nice area outside to sit and have a quick bite to eat.

About 20mins walk later in the hot sun we made it to the catacombs. It's not very well sign posted, but a monk happened to see us looking around aimlessly and waved us over. Now you can't take any photos in here, but it's really quite eery and spooky so it's not something you'd want a photo of up on the wall. Walking through the catacombs was really creepy, it's so quiet and seeing all the clothed skeletons (some still with skin and hair) all along the walls is weird.

But it was also interesting to read that it was their wish to be put on display after being preserved for a number of months by various means.

After this we needed to see some sunshine and normality and put the creepiness out of our mind. Thankfully Francesco had finished work so we met up with him and he took us for a quick walk around town. On the walk we stopped in at a patisserie and enjoyed the local treat of a large cannelloni. These things are fantastic! Francesco advised that they are a sweet to enjoy late afternoon well before dinner as they are quite heavy. We were happy to follow the instructions.

That night Francesco cooked up some fantastic traditional carbonara which is completely different to the way we make it.

We enjoyed some local wine while tucking into the dinner before enjoying a simple desert of chopped nectarines in sugar and wine. We met up with some of his friends for a drink and then headed off to see a free outdoor concert. We were told that today is the anniversary of the deaths of the two senior government officials that were killed by the mafia because of the investigation they were involved in. There were a lot of people enjoying themselves, singing and dancing. We left the concert still in full swing at around 1am and headed home.

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The cathedral
The cathedral
Large gate into the city
Large gate into the city
photo by: Jeroenadmiraal