Visit Palermo, Sicily, Italy

The Sicilian capital, called the “Kingdom of the sun” by invading Normans in the 12th century, has been a cultural melting pot since Phoenicians and Greeks fought over it in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Sitting close to where Europe ends and Africa begins, Palermo bears the scars – and echoes the glories – of centuries of domination Read More
Central Palermo can be toured on foot, and the best place to start in the morning is with a walk through one of its lively street markets, followed by an overview of the city from the roof of the historic cathedral. Palermo’s chaotic and bustling markets are famous and the range of products on offer – seafood, colourful fruit and vegetables, random junk – makes for a fascinating wander. Early morning is the best time to visit. The biggest markets are BallaròCapo and Vucciria. The latter, in the back streets around Piazza San Domenico, features heavily in Peter Robb’s book Midnight in Sicily. The crowded, noisy lanes of the markets can be overwhelming; I’d recommend checking a map closely beforehand so you know where you’re going, and keeping valuables secure and out of sight. Read More

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