Friday, April 22, 2011

Palermo, second time around

The road between Sciacca and Palermo is relatively new, making it a pleasure to drive on compared to most of Sicily. It smoothly winds its way between beautiful hills and across picturesque plains, before finally descending into the large valley that barely manages to contain a spralling Palermo.

The calmness of the journey ends appruptly when you enter the outskirts of Palermo. The road markings disappear, and you find yourself four cars wide on a road wide enough for three. After fighting your way into the center of the city, the next challenge is to find somewhere to park. The Italians seem to take pride in being the worst car parkers in the world. If there are parking lines you can guarantee that cars will be everywhere but in between them. We have seen double and even triple parked cars on main streets. Driving and parking in Palermo is not for the faint of heart!

We began our exploration of Palermo on the main shopping street, Via Roma, but not before sitting down for an Italian breakfast of cappucino and filled croissants at a small café just off the main street.

The selection of shops in Palermo is considerably larger than any of the other towns in Sicily, making it a great place to blow some spending money, especially if you're looking for trendy teenage fashion, shoes or interior decoration.

After a couple of hours shopping we sat down to lunch at the cute little café we visited for coffee last time we were here. The pasta was excellent and the Tiramisu sublime.

After lunch we headed off to the habour and for a walk along the sea-front and ended our visit in Palermo after a stroll around the historic center, including a stop at the famous Piazza Pretoria.

We got back home just in time to watch a firey red sun sink below the horizon, a perfect ending to yet another wonderful day

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