Like any big city, there is much to see in Palermo, a place that’s sultry and sensuous, but sliced with an edginess. One moment you’re walking down a street filled with designer shops, the next, wandering through rubble built up after years of gun fighting. The architecture is fascinating given its influences which include that of the Arabs and the Spanish, and with military precision, I went from one tourist spot to another to try and take it all in. I visited many a church, as one is prone to do while in Italy, and on a couple of occasions, I found myself walking in on a wedding ceremony. From what I could gather, these are not off limits to the general public. What I found most fascinating about walking in on one was the people watching – the guests, all dressed to the nines, and fanning themselves simultaneously to provide some respite from the heat.
As ever, I tried to seek out some local food specialities by asking for some advice, but my first attempt was ill-fated. I made my inquiries with the people who ran the B&B that I stayed at. “Do you like spicy?”, they ask. (Hmmm, this was not a promising start.) “We know a delicious Chinese”, they continued. (Clearly not foodies). “No, thanks”, I replied, but they were pretty persistent, insisting that it was really yummy. But honestly, how good could Chinese food in Sicily possibly be?