Palermo Travel Blog

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It was a very early flight that sent me to Palermo, and I wasn't in the best of moods until I got onto the bus to the city from the airport and saw the blue sea: instant uplift! Palermo seems polluted and gritty, but is also interesting, lively and colourful. It's easy to walk around to all the sights, and they are well worth the visit, I especially enjoyed The Cathedral (every city seems to have one!). We also visited the Teatro Massimo, impressive from the outside but it was closed by the time we got there.

One of the best things about Palermo is just picking the general direction/sight you want to visit, and then making your way there via the twisty back streets in as best a way you can.

You always pass something interesting or surprising when walking through these alleys, such as the rubbish chutes made out of garbage bins stacked on top of each other (poetic, I thought!), or street signs written in Italian, Arabic and Tamil.

Of course, the food is awesome too. One of my favourites was a place called Bar Touring, opposite the Villa Giulia gardens down near the harbour. The "arrancina bomba" were amazing, and really cheap too (EU1,40 for a massive ball of deliciousness). The cannoli there were perfectly delicious too, as were the pastries, you can't really go wrong in that shop!

I also can't recommend enough the hostel we stayed at Ai Quattro Canti, right near the Stazione Centrale. The owners Giuseppe and Andrea were so hospitable and friendly, and the place is really comfy and clean - such a good night's sleep and plenty of helpful tips and advice from Giuseppe and Andrea.

A day to see the sights of Palermo was comfortable, and I enjoyed my time here, it's a good base to fly into then move on to explore the rest of the island. Trains and buses run regularly, and buying train tickets ahead of time is well worth it as we seemed to get cheaper prices when we did this.

Now, I know you're just dying to hear about the mafiosi - we didn't see too many blatant signs of them, though the cool marketplaces had hints of them around (men in suits and dark glasses just standing around outside stalls?? SUSPICIOUS!). We did see a very mafioso-looking square with spooky white statues...that's about it. But it certainly doesn't detract from the city, highly recommend a visit and try the intestines in the market - yum!

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photo by: Jeroenadmiraal