I pulled out my travel journal to get the particulars on our time in Palermo.
We took the Best of Sicily tour October 8-18, 2019, after the Best of South Italy. We stayed one day in Naples to tour Mt. Vesuvius and Herculaneum.
The morning of the 6th we flew to Palermo and checked into Hotel BB22 Palace. Our hotelier recommended Sardina PastaBar via Cassari 41-43 – 90133. For lunch, I ordered the paccheri pasta with swordfish and mussels served with wild fennel and fava beans macco. Dear husband tries the carob and whole wheat flour pappardelle pasta with pork ragout and a glass of red wine. Wow! Both were absolutely delicious. The flavors were intense but not overly so. For an after-dinner aperitif, I have an Amaro Averna Don Salvatore Riserva, a traditional Sicilian pomogranata, citrus and herb liqueur. After our late lunch we walked around the area of our hotel and down to the port.
October 7, 2019 – I have a macabre curiosity about crypts, so after breakfast we walked to the Capuchin Crypt where the bones of 4,000 are entombed. The crypt is divided by monks and other religious orders, men, babies, women, virgins, families, and professional persons wearing their finest clothing. No photos are allowed.
Teatro Massimo is next on our visit list. It is the third largest opera house in Europe. If you’ve watched the third Godfather movie, it is the steps of the opera house that has a dramatic scene near the end of the movie. We purchased tickets for an English tour. The guide leads us (in both Italian and English) through the Italian Art Nouveau (Liberty Style) interior beginning with the wooden model of the theater that won the architect the commission to build this theater. The theater can hold 4,000 people.
We hopped on the red line of the Hop On Hop Off tour to see the architecture of the city of Palermo. We ducked in Osteria Pantelleria restaurant for lunch to get out of the rain. The owners are Anna and Filippo. Lunch was fabulous. DH orders ‘filetto di vitello sciliano alla griglia con cipolia caramellata e bacon croccante’, grilled Sicilian veal fillet with caramelized onion and crispy bacon and I order ‘risotto al profumo di asparagi e gambero bianco locale’, asparagus-flavored risotto and local white shrimp. We share a chocolate mousse dessert and follow with Limoncello di Sicilia.
The morning of our tour, we visited the Salinas Regional Archeological Museum. They have Carthaginian artifacts. There are so few Carthaginian artifacts in the world as Rome decimated Carthage.
There is a lot to do in Palermo. We considered Cefalu, but decided to spend all our time in Palermo.