May 15, 2022
Genevieve and I met Mark and Charlotte in the Dublin Airport. We were able to navigate the absolutely insane RyanAir line and made it to the terminal with enough time to have a beer–Charlotte’s first legal drink in a bar. And what did we have? A Guinness of course. Then we got on our pretty uneventful flight and made it to Palermo pretty late. Thankfully the owner of the VRBO, Virginia, had booked us a transfer so everything went smoothly to get to the very nice apartment rental right in the heart of Palermo on Via Vittorio Emanuele near the Cathedral. Virginia was a gracious host and the apartment was so nice, very large and well appointed, and historic. Complete with very noisy seagulls nesting on the roof! As it was late we went to bed so we could get an early start.
May 16, 2022
Charlotte and I and miracle of miracles, Mark, all got up early and wanted to walk on the street in front of our apartment and get a cup of coffee before our food tour. We found a delightful shop about a half block away and enjoyed a fancy pastry and coffee while Genevieve slept. We returned to the apartment and got Genevieve and then headed out to meet our Streaty Food Tour in front of the Palermo Opera House. Our guide was Salvo and he was hilarious! We went to the market and ate a lot of street food, drank some drinks, and learned about the history of Palermo and the low-key rivalry between Palermo and Catania. At one point Salvo wanted to teach us how to cross a busy street in Sicily like the locals do. He picked a time when a bunch of cars were coming and then encouraged us to walk across leisurely–we couldn’t do it and he admonished us with “you are running, you are running, slow down”. He was right the cars did stop! He also got on Genevieve’s case for rock climbing in Sardinia a few months prior because it was a pretty advanced climb and she was a novice. She didn’t appreciate the lecture but I was glad to see he was concerned with safety. Anyhow mad props to Salvo a great food tour and a great guy!
Next, we walked around the gardens near our place (in front of the Villa Bonanno), and toured the Palazzo dei Normanni. After that, we took in the Cathedral, and then to the Piazza Bologni for some Aperol Spritzes. Charlotte sure was enjoying being legal drinking age! We ate dinner in the Piazza and returned home before Palermo got too rowdy.
May 17, 2022
After a simple breakfast in the apartment, we returned to the market to revisit some of our favorite booths. We weren’t the only people to have that idea, we ran into a group of people from the food tour the day before. Next, we went to see the Palazzo Conte Federico, a palace where the family still lives in the house and makes their living giving tours. Our guide, one of the sons, had to stop in the middle of the tour to feed the cat! The palace was really nice and well preserved and the tour was interesting. Genevieve got this great photo with the son. We stopped somewhere for lunch (must have been forgettable because I have forgotten where), and then we went to the Regional Archeological museum for some statues and silliness, and then onto Piazza Bellini for yet another church. We walked around the old area of Palermo for a while, went back to the apartment to rest and then went out for dinner and see the lively streets.