Palermo | 21st -23rd July 2016
Over the centuries, countless people have fought, lived and loved in Sicily. I lived and loved.
The bus from Agrigento to Palermo was smooth and lovely. A one way ticket cost €9. The bus left on time and arrived exactly on time.
When I arrived I asked the taxi driver to take me to my Airbnb. It instantly rattled me that the taxi drivers all started to talk amongst themselves in Italian, smirking and nodding. He quoted me €30 for a 7 minute drive. As I started to walk away one taxi driver quoted me €20 and I shook my head and kept walking. Another taxi driver then ran up to me and quoted me €12! No thanks homies. With my huge backpack on, (I couldn’t be bothered to haggle) I waddled over to a coffee shop bought a bus ticket for €1.40 (which apparently I shouldn’t have even bought as everyone was strolling on the bus without tickets(free ride)) and got there in 15minutes. I’ll remember that for next time 😉
My Airbnb apartment couldn’t have been in a better place. It was by Theatre Massimo and my room offered a fantastic rooftop view of churches, houses and Theatre Massimo. It was perfect. Cool – apartment sorted, onto understanding the city and meeting locals
Palermo City By Day
Palermo is the perfect city for walking and definitely a city for finding. I walked and really enjoyed the street markets where you can find fabrics, socks, pots, tops of the pots, bikes, eggs and cannoli. Every turn I made I would discover a new square/piazza.
I enjoyed the botanical garden, Piazza Marina, Piazza Bellini and simply taking time to watch the locals interact.
In comparison with Catania and Agrigento, Palermo is a vibrant multi-cultural city full of Italians, Tunisians, Indians, Pakistanis, West Africans… It has a great colourful feeling. People seem get along and co-exist in harmony. The people are outspoken, hospitable and have a great sense of humour. During my trip to Catania I was told that Palermo was smelly, dirty and the people weren’t nice. In fact, I enjoyed Palermo more than Catania.
I enjoyed Palermo so much that I put together My Top 8 Things To Do In Palermo
Palermo Street Markets
What. For almost 800 years – and more or less in the same way – merchants and shopkeepers start to populate the market around 5am, peddling all sorts of goods: from lemons to posters, socks to pots.
How. Sellers to not just offer you their goods.. they literally sing it! “Abbanniari” is an art: a deafening chant in strict Palermitan dialect, with a time-space displacing effect
Riffa Time. If you just stand in a central place of a market and observe for a while what is happening around, you’ll notice little pieces of paper passing from hand to hand. It’s the inner market lottery, with a jackpot that is usually a box of fish, meat and vegetables of the day.
When. The best time to go is before 10a although that could not be easy after a Palermitan night but you’ll find fresher vegetables and fish earlier in the day.
Rules. Haggling is usually inappropriate (except taxis…), mostly if you know how a market works pay cash, better with the exact change ask for the right quantity and check that the seller is not cheating you while filling your bag or “cappo” (typical paper cone)
A farm indoors? It is not uncommon to stroll about the markets and hear horse neigh or see a chicken running away from its roost. Many people hold their own in-town-farm, or breed horses for nightly clandestine races.
Vegan Food and drink in Palermo
The price of coffee in Palermo is only about €0.70 cents and it good Italian brew. Food in Palermo is pretty much the same as Catanian food (sorry to offend). The signature dishes are the usual (fish, pasta, pizza). I spent only around €10 during my entire stay on food and I ate well and enough. You will not spend much money in Palermo, or in Sicily in general unless you want to.
Vegan Restaurants and Cafes in Palermo
- Gelateria Oreleans
It’s a very small place and everybody eats outside. The ice-cream / granite / sorbet is homemade, genuine and tastes like the old days.
- Al Vicolo
Al Vicolo means in the alley a family run restaurant in a peaceful corner of Palermo. When weather is good, you can step out onto the terrace to enjoy a beautiful view of Piazza San Saverio, under one of the baroque domes of Palermo. It is cheap and you will find quality and respect for tradition.
Pa Lab is a multipurpose space: It hosts concerts, expos, events and has a restaurant with a wide selection of vegan friendly dishes.
Khalesa is a café in the ancient city wall with a library, restaurant and a garden on the top of the fortress. Not cheap, but very charming.
Vegan Italian Snack
Italian Romance in Palermo
The typical Italian is courteous, proud, undisciplined, tardy, temperamental, divas, passionate and charming. Just my type.
She was waiting for me in a a white car. Wow, this girl had sass. I fell for her accent immediately. On first sight of her I got butterflies, her body, her face was beautiful. Just my type. The car smelled strongly of weed which pleased me more. By now you know that I love all of the above and can’t stand basic bitches.
We drove to Mondello beach, a beach not too far from Palmermo city centre. The Friday Feeling was definitely in the air, people all around were laughing, singing and enjoying themselves. We spent our time getting to know each other over a bottle of white wine. Explaining the tragic highlights of why we were both single, a bit about our past and our vague plans for the future. It was a lovely. That night I also tried Panelle & Crocche which is another Vegan Italian food.
The way we kissed was unlike any other kiss I’d had recently, first on the pier at the beach, with the sound of chatter around us and the smell of sea. Then back to her house.. I got high off her vibe, I didn’t know how to behave.
Intense, intertwined bodies hot like fire
The only thing that matters is desire
How To Hook Up With An Italian
I find that Italians similar to Spanish, Africans and Latinos. They have extreme, attitude, and volume and are blunt. Shyness will not get you anywhere. If you want to hook up with an Italian you must hold good witty conversation and it must be full of laughter. Don’t be silly, a looser or boring.
Leaving Palermo and going to Tunis by boat
It is 2016 and I am still always the only foreigner I see taking boats accross countries. It’s always me and the locals! Same ting happened with the boat ride from Spain to Morocco and Turkey to Lebanon. Yeah, its boring and seats get taken quick so you might have to camp on the hallway floor but it’s an ok ride and a cheap option – you get to chat to random people who make the time pass. I even smoked a J and drank whiskey. Just don’t tell!
The journey on sea from Palermo to Tunis is 10 hours. By ferry it will cost you €35 for a deck seat and €54 for a cabin.
On arrival the border control agent confiscated all the European passports (three of us) and told us to wait. We waited for 40minutes to only be told that the boss couldn’t be found so we were let go. A huge waste of time.
Anyway.. welcome to Tunisia.
My Trip To Agrigento