This was our last week in Sicily. We spent the last two months on the Island of the Sun and did not complain about the sunny weather. In the meantime, the 30th week began from the beginning of our trip, and Golf has traveled 17 thousand kilometers since he left Poland in early October.
We would not decide to leave Sicily without visiting her capital – Palermo and one of the most visited tourist points to this island – Cefalu. In addition, we also saw halfway between the two cities, slightly smaller, Termini Imerese.
Termini greeted us with beautiful, sunny weather. Going to the sea, we passed the cathedral of San Nicola Di Bari.
Idyllic view of the Tyrrhenian Sea stretching north. The Palermo-Messina railway line runs along the bank.
Nearby there is a small castle hill and at its foot there is an observation deck from which we can look at the lower, full of narrow medieval streets, part of Termini. We’ll go there soon.
The middle of the old city is very colorful. Cobbled streets and ubiquitous greenery add extra charm to this place.
The next day we visited the Cefalu located in the middle of the northern coast of Sicily. It is a very popular resort, especially among foreign tourists. It’s true, already at the end of April there were quite a few visitors here.
The characteristic point of the town is a steep hill with a flat peak around which Cefalu has been growing throughout the centuries.
The most famous example of the local architecture is the huge Arab-Norman cathedral. Originally built as a mosque, it was later transformed into a Catholic church with the preservation of many elements of the original Muslim building.
View of the square in front of the cathedral.
Fresh vegetables straight from auto rickshaw. Very frequent view on the Sicilian streets. This is recalled to us by the climate of Arabic and Indian cities, where it is the main means of transport in crowded centers.
The last glance at the city specifically at the remains of fortifications on the hill.
We are at Quattro Canti or ‚four corners’ cross in Palermo. It divides the center into four relatively equal parts. We divided the tour for two days – the first we visited the districts of Castellammare and Monte di Pieta, and the second – Kalsa and Albergheria.
We go along Via Maqueda towards Teatro Massimo.
Security, in addition to the police and carabinieri, is guarded by a well-armed army.
We are in front of the Teatro Massimo, or the opera house in Palermo.
All you need to do is walk a few steps further to Piazza Ruggero Settimo to see another magnificent building of cultural institutions, Teatro Politeama.
As you can see in the sun is 31 ° C. In the shade a little cooler. Perfect weather for sightseeing.
We enter the densely built-up streets of the center. There are the kingdom of selling everything they can (mostly food items) and restaurants serving Mediterranean delicacies, mostly made on grills seafood.
We started the second day of exploring Palermo from the vicinity of the former city fortifications. We are in the Villa Bonanno park and we are looking at the current buildings of the Parliament of Sicily.
And this is the park itself with a visible cathedral tower in the background. We will go in this direction.
Like in Cefalu, the cathedral has traces of Arabic architecture. After the Normans reclaimed this area in the 11th century, the mosque was rebuilt into a Catholic church. The enormity of the building is overwhelming. In its time it was to be a symbol of the return of Christian domination in the island.
We follow Via Vittorio Emanuele from the cathedral towards the intersection of Quattro Canti.
Turning right after it to the right, we reach one of the most beautiful corners of the city. Around the square with the famous Fontana Pretoria is full of magnificent facades of churches and palaces. Formerly, but also today, it was one of the best addresses in the city. It is not surprising, then, that only the richest or the best ones could locate their headquarters here.
Mentioned Fontana Pretoria in all its glory.
This is not the end. The church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio is just around the corner. The red domes on the right clearly indicate who, over a thousand years ago, was the master of these lands.
A last look at one of the streets in the center of Palermo. It is worth remembering that in addition to the masses of tourists, who from the early morning hours until late evening are flowing through the city, its strength is local residents, who often, as if not paying attention to what is happening around, continue to live their own lives. They are at home.
This was our last report from Sicily. Tonight we set off on a twenty-hour cruise by ferry to Livorno in central Italy. We will spend the next week on the borderlands of the regions of Tuscany and Umbria.