Friday, February 6, 2015

Italy Adventures: Palermo Day 2

Our second day in Palermo proved to be, as we had hoped, a much sunnier and more satisfying day. We found the historical part of town with several churches and cathedrals as well as the cemetery, parliamentary building and Quattro Canti, the point where two of the main streets of Palermo intersect.
 Quattro Canti.
 Palermo Cattedrale.
 The beautiful interior of the cathedral.
As we were coming out of the cathedral, we found ourselves in the middle of a protest followed by a line of police escorts. We of course couldn't read the flags at the time but we looked up the group names later that day and they appeared to be conducted by a few of the labour unions in Italy.

We took a decent walk to the northern end of the city to find the catacombs but unfortunately found them to be closed when we got there around 2:00. This beautiful cemetery, however, was open and since there were no other visitors there we decided to take a little look around. It was definitely quite different than any cemetery I've been to before, with very personal memorials crowded with flowers, pictures, and colorful pinwheels. It just kind of radiated a really positive energy of love and peace.
Not to mention the three or four different cats that we saw, who refused my desperate attempts at forced affection.

It was well past lunchtime by the time we were walking back from the cemetery, so we stopped into this ADORABLE little traditional family style Trattoria. I think it's safe to say this was the highlight of our few days in Palermo, and raised our spirits a little after some rather unfortunate food experiences we had had in the past few days.
 I was especially into the "Friends" poster by the door.
 We were greeted by Michele who spoke to us in a very enthusiastic form of Italienglish. He snorted to indicate that the pasta came with pork sausage and did a lot of shaking his hips from left to right and giving us a big thumbs up to further express his enthusiasm. Because he knew we were pretty clueless about the menu (which consisted of 3 appetizers, 2 kinds of pasta, dessert and a beverage), he kindly brought us a sample of each of the appetizers, his preferred pasta and, of course, the cannolis for dessert. I've had a lot of good food in my 20-year lifetime, but this cannoli was one of the most delicious things I think I've ever eaten. The creme filling was just....ugh. UGH. And of course the two of us could not finish the 3 course meal so he packed up the rest to-go, which we ended up saving for today and eating on our train ride to Messina. Cannolis for breakfast--hell yes.
Elizabeth, Michele and Iolawnda looking adorable at the end of our 2+ hour meal. We basically rolled out of there having consumed enough calories to last a week or two but of course very, very happy.

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