Palermo, ciao bella

As sometimes happens, we chose to stay in a marina which is at the far reaches of town.  Usually, as is the case here in Aquasanta, you just jump on a bus and go into town with the locals. Greater Palermo is a city of around a million and it is noisy, dirty, bustling and energetic. Palermo is a synonym of chaos, but a very likeable chaos.

We asked the bus driver if the bus would take us to Palermo ‘Centro’ and he waved us on the bus.  We ride into town, not quite knowing where we were on the map, but then the driver calls Centro and we get off the bus. We turn left and a horn blares, it is our very sweet bus driver telling us to go the other way and then turn again. We find ourselves quickly on the main street in town.  Palermo is friendly.

the large church in the background
the large church in the background

We find so many shops, especially shoe shops.  On a street adjacent to a big church, you will find a whole street of baby shops for all the wee babes being baptised and one funeral parlour.

The Opera House in Piazza Guiseppe Verdi
The Opera House in Piazza Guiseppe Verdi

Sicily seems to have been conquered by every nation, but it was always the outpost.  That usually meant these nations and emperors took the people’s wealth home with them and left the people in poverty.  The Catholic Church was seemingly the only exception, Palermo like most Italian towns has a large number of churches, many old and ornate.  Most of the landmark buildings in Palermo are gorgeous and ostentatious churches. They have chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and they are ornate and gilt.

Incredible wealth in the church, this one has statues on the ceiling  (and lots of them)
Incredible wealth in the church, this one has gilt statues on the ceiling (and lots of them)
This is one of four corners dating from 15th century
This is one of four corners dating from 15th century

The museum is mainly full of religious art, of churches damaged over the ages or in the bombing of WWll.  There are a few older stone sculptures but it would seem 90% of the art is religious.

Just one of many fountains which have lots of sculptures
Just one of many fountains which have lots of sculptures

There is a high street or fashion centre in Palermo, all the fashion houses are on a main boulevard and there are so many shoe shops at Sydney prices.  There are plenty of restaurants from street food to trattoria and restaurants. Almost strangely, we had to track down a gelateria, we only saw a few, but we did see fish sellers and Signora Fruit and Vegetable was happy to pose for a picture.

Friendly green grocer
Friendly green grocer
Fish monger, note the remnants of the swordfish
Fish monger, note the remnants of the swordfish

Now onto to Termini Imerese, what will we find there?