The Palermitani are looking out for us
26 Nov 2014   Palermo, Sicily, Italy    Goto first   Goto last    More photos   

I wasn't expecting much for our last day in Sicily. Check out of the b&b then hang out with luggage until time to board the 20:00 ferry for Naples.

But no, the Palermitani (residents of Palermo) are looking out for us. Marco at the b&b offers us to keep our room for the day at no charge. A real friendly guy and a nice place to stay.

We find a ceramic shop with colourful Picasso-inspired designs. The question is, do we want to carry one more breakable on the plane home? Of course!

We walk to the Kalsa neighborhood, which is seaside, and along the way we pass a school overflowing with students. Late teens, maybe a bit older. Palermo is full of young people, i think they've some universities here, which adds good energy to the city. Anyway, the kids call out to me, they see my camera, they want me to take their pictures. They pose and i shoot and we all have fun. Nice kids.

We wander into Santa Maria dello Spasimo, or Lo Spasimo, a church in the Kalsa neighborhood.  The church was never completed because of the rising Turkish threat in 1535, where resources meant for the church were diverted to fortifications of the city against any possible incursions. 

Once inside a woman walks over to tell us the history of the building and about how it's now used for jazz concerts. Then another lady flags us down to show us a cupola that she thinks we'll find interesting.

By now we are hungry, but it us 14:00 and not much is open. We just happen to walk past il Culinario, where we ate last night. It is closed, they only serve dinner. Suddenly Silvio, the owner, walks out and calls to us. He seats us, brings some of his delicious chickpea and crostini appetizers, then gets us two pizzas. He hangs around and talks about his travels in his broken English. When we're done he serves us a small dessert and a small glass of his homemade lemon liquor.

Palermo has made a very positive impression on me. It's Italy turned up a notch, proud and passionate survivors of thousands of years of battles, from the Romans, Burbons, Arabs, the inquisition, etc., up to the more recent fascists and the mafia. A fine place to visit indeed.

The photos are of Lo Spasimo and a group of students posing for me outside their school.