For my 40th birthday, I wanted to spend a few days somewhere new, and Adrian delivered with a trip to Palermo. This is another recap written way after the fact. I”m determined to be caught up by the time we go to the Netherlands at the end of June.
We had a pleasant afternoon flight from LCY with a stopover in Milan, which allowed us to arrive right in time for dinner. After checking into our digs at the Grand Hotel Piazzo Borsa, we headed to nearby Osteria dei Vespri on the Piazza Croce dei Vespri. While we originally planned to have a light supper, that was derailed by tuma cheese, lentil soup, artichoke pasta, mackerel, apple cake, and lots of other lovely things.
Day 2: (Sunday)
After breakfast at the hotel, we just wandered around Palermo. We even took a selfie.
Where we went:
- Along the Piazza Marina
- Giardina Garibaldi which hosted a market and a huge tree
- Piazza Pretoria, which contains a fountain with many expectorating animal heads
- The Church of San Cataldo, a 12th century church
- Through the 4 Canti
- Along the Vila Bonanno during our first attempt to visit the cathedral
amidst all this, we grabbed some lunch at an unassuming little restaurant called Trattoria Palermo – Mamma Ciccina, where Adrian had one of his favorite meals of the trip, a pizza matrucciano (likely misspelled), and we split an obligatory cannoli.
For dinner, we went to La Vecchio Locanda and powered up on caponata, salad, and pizza.
Day 3: (Monday)
- Teatro Massimo a familiar sight for anyone who has seen Godfather III. (I have added this to my to do list.)
- Park Villa Malfitano, a villa constructed in 1886 by Joseph Whitaker, who had trees shipped to Palermo from all over the world to plant around his villa. Houseguests included George V and Gen. Patton
- We found the Palazzo Normani, but decided to return the next day when tickets were 2 EUR less and feasted at the nearby Trattoria ai Normanni. Adrian had some meaty pasta, and I had a Sicilian Meat Roll. We also split a caprese salad and an almond parfait.
- Palermo Cathedral was open on our second attempt, and we enjoyed the views of the city from the roof
- After gelato, we headed along Via Lincoln to Villa Giulia, a park, before heading back via the Foro Italico to the hotel for some downtime
- For dinner, we had mozzarella with aubergine and courgettes and lamb tagines at Nuova Cana Enoteca, and excellent and charming little place.
Day 4: (Tuesday)
- Palermo Cathedral was revisited in order to check out the views of the city from the roof
- Then we wandered to the Chiesa Della Croce park and past the Teatro Politama Garibaldi before having arancini and gelato
- Back to Palazzo Normanni, where we saw an exhibit of cargo lost in shipwrecks and the exquisite Capella Palatina
- Had dinner at Cagliostro, around the corner from the hotel.
The next morning, we flew home to London.