Unlike countless other destinations, a trip to Palermo was never really on top of my bucket list but rather a spontaneous booking out of my usual travel bug. With little idea as to what would expect me here I was on the brink to fall head over heels with Palermo from the moment the plane touched down.
Picturesque architecture that makes you feel like walking through an open-air museum whichever alley you turn, nestled in the amazing nature of Sicily, dripping with an unbelievable food scene – both traditional and modern –, and markets and neighbourhoods that almost remind of the souks of Morocco: Palermo is a rough beauty and a dynamic metropolis on the edge of Europe.
My lovely Speciale Apartment tucked away in a quiet backyard in the midst of the old town definitely played its part in making this early spring city break a wonderful adventure.
The first evening called for some strolling through the neighbourhood of Albergheria and beyond.
At the crossroads of Quattro Canti I came across the most charming Bisso Bistrot. This place with its frescoed walls is so inviting that I spent hours of coffee, cake, beer, snacks and wine here.
The walk back home led me across the street markets of Palermo and into the creamy arms of a chocolate gelato from the Gelateria Ciccio Adelfio.
The next day was filled with sun, pastries for breakfast, visiting the Cappella Palatina, snacking on potatoes in all fried versions possible, strolling the neighbourhood of Ballaro and trying typical arancini, heavy balls filled with rice, cheese and various other ingredients imaginable. Oh, and let us not forget about a bag of fresh mini doughnuts for pre-dinner snacking, please.
Saying goodbye to that quaint backyard and the streets of Palermo was not easy but my last day in the Sicilian capital knew how to win me over once for all. From flea markets to the cozy harbour through to more stunning facades under 18°C sun: Palermo is a wildly beautiful mixture of historical influences, people, food, architecture and things to do.