PALERMO – a city where the taxi driver invites you for a cup of coffee!

The scents of coffee and local cakes in a small overloaded café where our taxi driver Sylvo invited us to are just wonderful!

It is only “just 10am” and it is just the right time to start your day with a small but strong espresso…

The capital of the Italian island Sicily (annexed to Italy in 1860), was founded by Phoenicia in the 8th century BC. Although there are different beautiful places on the island like the historical Cefalù or Taormina, luxury resorts from where it is possible to see the highest European volcano Etna, Palermo has its own charm and interesting monuments.

The most original and morbid are definitely the Catacombe dei Cappuccini (Capuchin catacombs), where more than 8000 corpses are stocked, in different levels of decay. The imposing Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) is standing on the place of the Saracen Fortress. The Normans have progressively built up an entire palace complex. We are admiring a splendid byzantine mosaic decoration in a chapel of Palatine, that lawfully belongs to the prettiest ones in Europe.

Teatro Massimo (Massimo Theater) is beautifully repaired and its late morning surroundings are calm and ideal for street artists.

What about the mafia? This word is known by absolutely everyone. Yes, it’s here. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist in movies only! While visiting the 12th century Cathedral, there is a section of actual and memorial exposition about life and work of a local priest that got shot by the mafia…

Local mercata– markets? “Si,si”, nods the driver and brings us to a little market with spices…mainly herbal mixes and pickled vegetables are the main temptation for Italian food lovers. Sicilian specialties are mainly influenced by Arab and Mediterranean cuisine. Excellent sweets as well as growingly popular local wines are becoming well known. Despite the flagrant crisis, the locals never forget the daily joys, which are good food and drinks. A siesta should not be missed neither. And this is wonderful!