Do you remember Godfather Part III
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the island of Sicily, a region of southern Italy. Depending on your interests, this beautiful area can be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food, and wash it down with fine local wine. And parts of Sicily haven’t yet been discovered by tourists. This article presents Sicily’s capital, Palermo. Companion articles present western Sicily and eastern Sicily.
Palermo is Sicily’s capital and largest city. Founded by the Phoenicians, it was frequently conquered over the centuries, for example by the Muslims, the Normans, and the Mafia.
Start at the Cathedral, built in 1185 on the site of a Byzantine basilica transformed into a mosque by the Saracens in the Ninth Century. Other historic churches worth visiting include San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi, San Giovanni degli Eremiti, and the Greek Orthodox church La Martorana. Many churches and other buildings are situated in or near beautiful parks.
The Teatro Massimo (Great Theater) is Italy’s largest opera house. The movie Godfather Part III included a famous scene, violent of course, that occurred on the Teatro’s steps.
The Palazzo Reale was the seat of government for centuries. It is now the home of the Sicilian Parliament. The Palatine Chapel was the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily. Its mosaics are well worth seeing. The building and its furnishings are a great combination of Arabic, Byzantine, and Norman styles.
Make sure to see the Salinas Regional Museum of Archeology with its prehistoric cave drawings. Then for a change of pace visit the Museo delle Marionette many of whose marionettes are hundreds of years old.
Finish your tour at the Piazza Pretoria (Pretoria Square). The fountain dominating the square contains hundreds of sculptures whose lack of clothing led to the name, “Fountain of Shame”. We suggest that you see this square at night.
Sicily has always adapted foreign foods to come up with Sicilian versions. Put all the foreign influences together and you have the unique Sicilian cuisine. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Palermo, Sicily for a sample menu and more information on local wines as well as an in-depth examination of its tourist attractions. Marsala DOC, first exported to England well over two hundred years ago, is Sicily’s best-known wine. Most Marsalas are sweet; some are great, others are not.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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