Where oh Where is Palermo?

Thank the Gods for cannoli! After about 16 hours of flying, waiting for connections and other minor disorientations we finally set foot in Sicily – for our first time. No rest for the “travel” weary though as we met our SmarTours guide, Vanessa at the airport in Catania. Really bleary-eyed, 18 of us jumped on the bus for a two hour ride north and west (almost the width of the island toward our Palermo destination.

Our mind’s image of Sicily as dry and pretty flat was dashed as we drove through verdant groves of oranges and lemons, pine trees (think pignoli) and palms surrounded by mountains, of course surrounded by the Mediterranean (also called the Ionian and other things). ~6 million people (mostly on the coast(s)).

It was a two hour trip with a stop to explore Cefalu before our final destination.

This beautiful classical town is built on a spur that just out into the sea.

The beaches range from the rocky, preserved area with paved trails, to just around the corner, beautiful, soft sand beaches that become packed during summer. The water is still icy, especially since the are doesn’t get any kind of Gulf Stream effect.

If you’re a fan of the “White Lotus” (Mike White’s creation), one season was filmed on this beach, though the hotel used was on the other side of Sicily in Taormina, actually 200 feet above the beach…a bit of splicing necessary.

We walked over to the town square in front of the Duomo, and where we watched our needed and welcome cannolis being hand packed with perfectly sweetened ricotta into a just baked, perfectly crisp shell, decorated with cherries, candied orange zest, and pistachios. This is, according to Sicilians, the place for the best cannolis in the world. I, and my Lactaid, won’t argue.

After another hour’s drive along the coast, we finally reach or destination for the next two and a half days, one of the world’s most important crossroads of civilization, Palermo. We got a glimpse of Palermo’s cathedral as we took a quick tour around the city. We’ll talk and show you more after tomorrow’s full day dedicated to Palermo exploration.

Exhausted by this long, long crazy day we were treated to a special, 5-course dinner in a privately owned palace (passed down through generations of the family). This wondrous “household” is now more a museum than a residence…its upkeep paid in part by private parties like ours. This incredible view from the balcony of the dining room to part of the old city set the mood both for a “real” night’s sleep, and an appetite for more of Palermo tomorrow.

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2 Responses to Where oh Where is Palermo?

  1. I didn’t realize you left already! I would have wished you a bon voyage. Happy travels you two!!

  2. Anna says:

    So happy you are traveling and „reporting” again

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