Palermo was one of the most interesting cities we have seen so far. We drove in from the west after Trapani, and were confronted immediately by chaos on the streets – it’s just like Thailand, no rules driving. We found our airbnb apartment, checked in with the Sicilian guy who spoke no English through our combined use of broken Italian, and then Dylan dropped the car off at the rental place for good. Thank god. Later that afternoon, Dylan’s parents John and Kristine arrived, to spend the next 8 days with us, after a very impressive Scandinavian cruise and a few weeks in England and Portugal.
Palermo is an old, old, place that has been seemingly forgotten by the rest of the world. It is a crumbling ruin with garbage everywhere, but it is also incredibly beautiful and placed in an incredible location in a valley surrounded by mountains and the ocean. I really don’t think much happens here economically except tourism. We ate plenty of street food – arancini for days. The piazzas of palermo are filled with people who have set up shop by themselves to cook and sell street food, or maybe run a bar – it’s a very independent vibe.
We ventured out to Mondello beach, which is Palermo’s main beach. It was fairly crowded but we’ve seen worse. It was really nice and I can imagine it being even nicer during any time other than the peak of summer.
Palermo is a great place and we’d definitely recommend visiting. It’s like an alternate universe version of Italy.