When in Palermo a must for the gourmand is the Touring Café in front of Villa Giulia for the arancina bomb that weighs 400 grams and is available in classic meat and butter version, but also stuffed with spinaches, mushrooms and ham. For strong stomachs, the must of the street food of Palermo is the “panino cà meusa”, the calf spleen, that Franco u Vastiddare sells on the corner of Piazza Marina and Corso Vittorio Emanuele from early in the morning till late at night: an Arabic Arabic in the “raw ” version seasoned with lemon or “conzata”, prepared, with ricotta cheese in the “vastedda” , a soft loaf covered with sesame seeds.
Two days are not enough to visit Palermo, but being in the city in early July, in the middle of the preparations for the Festino of Santa Rosalia, we could not help to visit the Cathedral, erected in the late 12th century and rebuilt several times in the following centuries, by the original Sicilian-Norman style. The majestic interior, in the left aisle you can admire the remains of Ruggero II and Federico II are kept in two sarcophagi. To the right , in the presbytery is the chapel of Santa Rosalia, the patroness of Palermo with relics and a silver urn that is taken in procession on the Saint’s day, the 15 July. In the exterior gardens of the “planum Ecclesiae”, enclosed by a marble balustrade, someone is working for the feast of most beloved Saint of Palermo: they are finishing the triumphal chariot that parades through the streets of the city every year from the 9 to the 15 July. The chariot is imposing: almost 10 meters high, the shape is that of a large boat accommodating 60 people including the band, with dresses of the 17th century.
We postpone to a next time the visit to the Palazzo dei Normanni, the royal residence that Ruggero II turned into a splendid palace, beautifully decorated with fine mosaics as in the Cappella Palatina, where the Islamic afterlife is represented in all its suggestions from the Arabian night! To complete the tour of Palermo, other must-see are the Zisa, the residence that William I had made in his private garden of Eden, and Cuba, a beautiful building in its decorative simplicity.
In the district Kalsa you can not help but be fascinated by the empty nave of Santa Maria dello Spasimo. And you are amazed by the monumental specimens of exotic plants of the Botanical Garden, described by Goethe as “the most beautiful corner of this land.” The smells and visual emotions are completed with a tour of the most vibrant markets in the city, the Vucciria, Capo and Lattarini, as well as with a sortie in the roundabouts of Palermo: Monte Pellegrino, in the cave of Santa Rosalia and Mondello, the Palermitan beach par excellence with white sand, calm waters and shallow. But we will talk about this and other next time as our time is over!
Via Lincoln 15
Info: +39 091 6167242
Franco U Vastiddaru
Corso Vittorio Emanuele 102 angolo Piazza Marina
Info: +39 091 325987
(Traduzione di Monia Saponaro)