Sunday, 9 June 2013

sicily trip

We've just got back from a fantastic trip to Sicily. What a great place! We fluked an amazing apartment in the Old Town Kalsa district of Palermo. Apparently it's where Horatio Nelson used to come to meet Lady Hamilton when in Palermo. You can see a picture of it from the outside below. That's our front door at the bottom left, then up to the 2nd floor for views from the enormous windows of the city and the sea and Mount Pellegrino. 

Having been conquered by just about everyone from the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans, and the Spanish, Palermo is an amazing mix of culture and religion that feeds into the architectural styles, the food and the art. Modern day Sicilians are very proud of their heritage and have a great sense of community, yet are incredibly hospitable to visitors and outsiders. We were taken out for drinks and a tour of the historical quarter by the Palermo family we rented our apartment from. 

This was our apartment. The Noble Old Suite. Decrepit grandeur I think it was described as! Marble, chandeliers and gilt mirrors everywhere. Frescoes peeling off revealing even older frescoes. Multiple jesuses in the bathroom. It was a job to drag ourselves away every day!

But we did, and wandered the winding streets, piazzas and markets. We negotiated the bus for a day trip to Mondello. Should have packed a bikini! We felt like overdressed tourists! But what a beautiful beach! Another day we took the train to Cefalu and explored the steep narrow streets and the Duomo.

Many gelati later and we are back in freezing old England and I've come down with a horrible cold. Ho hum!