Trip to Palermo and Monreale, Sicily, Italy (Click on any image to load a larger copy)
After seeing northern Italy in 1997 (See Trip to Italy - 1997), I made a promise to myself to return to Italy and see its southern half. In 2005 I decided that the time had come to make that trip. I planned to see Sicily, Naples, and Rome. The first stop of the trip was to Palermo, Sicily.
The flight to Palermo via Milan was uneventful, but I was surprised by the strange setup of Immigration and Customs on my arrival in Italy. I went through immigration in Milan but did not go through Customs there. On my arrival in Palermo I could not find my suitcase on the carousel and found out that there was a special carousel for baggage that has not cleared Customs yet. I went to the special carousel, found my bag there, and cleared Customs in Palermo. I left the terminal and walked for 10 minutes to the airport train station where I caught a train that would take me to the city center. Another short walk and I was at the Hotel Ambasciatori.
After checking in I headed off to explore the Kalsa section of Palermo. It is full of time streets and turning on one of these streets, I came upon a wedding party entering a church. This would be the first of a few weddings that I would see on this trip. I also visited the International Marionette Museum. It is a small museum full of marionette mainly from Sicily but has examples of the art from around the world. It is interesting to see how many cultures use marionette. On the way back to the hotel, I stopped at a gelato store and had bought a lemon ice cream cone. I love Italian gelato and lemon is my favorite flavor.
The next day I headed off to see Chiesa di San Domenico (St. Dominic's Church). To get to it I had to walk through the Vucciria market where I saw several fishmongers and green grocers, quite an interesting sight. I next headed off to see several other churches in Palermo. The next church was San Giuseppe dei Teatini near the Quattro Canti. It is an ornate church built in the Sicilian Baroque style. Next were the La Martorana and San Cataldo near the Piazza Pretoria. Both the churches are examples of Norman architecture. After all the churches, I headed off to the Cathedral of Palermo (Italy is full of churches). It is an interesting building as it was built in several different styles including Gothic and Norman. Near by is the Palazzo dei Normanni with the Cappella Palatina, a chapel decorated with gold mosaics. While visiting the Palazzo dei Normanni, I saw another wedding party.
I spent my third day in Palermo by taking a bus to the nearby town of Monreale to see its cathedral. The Cathedral was built in the 12th century and was quite beautiful. It is made in several styles (Arab, Byzantine and Norman) and has some large mosaics. Attached to one side of the cathedral is a beautiful cloisters.
The next morning I checked out of my hotel, walked to the train station, and caught a train to Agrigento. (See Trip to Agrigento and Porto Empedocle - Vigàta, Sicily, Italy)
I used a Olympus C-750UZ 4.0 Megapixel Digital Camera. The images were cleaned up a bit with Adobe PhotoShop Elements (To correct the color balance). Additional Camera Information
|Last Updated on January 2, 2009||Images and Text © 2005 Andrew Patton - Copyright Information|