One fine winter evening I was chatting about Italy with my friend Margie when she asked me whether I have been to Sicily or not. My answer was No. I knew nothing about the island except that it was the key to knowing more of Italy, that without Sicily my travels to Italy were meagre, small, niente.…
“To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.”- Goethe
This triggered my contact with VisitPalermo -a team of enthusiastic locals from Palermo who together promote tourism for their city and region. Founder and Owner, Maurizio Giambalvo, whom I later met in Palermo, had already asked me a couple of times to make that Sicilian vacation in the coming months and that talk with Margie triggered the contact immediately.
Maurizio’s two companies VisitPalermo and VisitSicily are everything you dream from a Sicilian vacation. They have day tours, cooking courses, workshops, recommendations, adventure activities, cultural visits etc. I knew I was in the best hands for my trip because in exactly 4 months after all the planning I was on a flight to Palermo.
Since it was April, Palermo was not as warm as I expected and my swanky duplex apartment was just the right amount of cool. Being in the centre of the city, a 7 minute walking from Piazza Politeama and Teatro Garibaldi, the apartement was just what I needed. I had a kitchen to myself, a decorative balcony from where I would sip my coffee and see the buzz of the city and shopping streets to splurge some euros. It was five nights of bliss that I had in Palermo and I couldn’t be more pleased 🙂
Palermo is unlike any Italian city you have ever imagined. It was ruled by the Normans, Romans, Byzantines, Spanish and the Arabs and therefore has a unique architecture. You will see gothic, baroque, Arabic, Norman all around you. I was simply in awe! I found Palermo to be very much like India – chaotic and beautiful at the same time especially with its multi cultural heritage. It is also more raw. Very raw.
But it is also crazy, beautiful, wounded, colorful and magnificent. I can’t wait to share more of the city in the coming posts.
Say hello to the Sicily you don’t know! 🙂