There is nothing worse than arriving at the airport for a flight, only to find out that the said flight actually took off two hours earlier than expected. This is what happened when Susan and I arrived at Fiumicino Airport, for our flight to Palermo. Apparently, Vueling Airlines changed the time of the flight. We were then told by the young man at the airline desk that they notified all of the affected travelers by email, of the change. Neither Susan or I got an email. According to their records, an email was sent, so as far as they were concerned, we simply missed our flight. That meant that we had to buy two new tickets for the next flight, which we did, as we wanted to get to Sicily. So, a day that should have been spent getting familiar with the streets of Palermo, ended up being spent at the airport. Once we finally arrived in Sicily, it took over an hour and a half to collect our luggage. At least, at this point, other travelers were voicing their anger at Vueling, and it wasn’t just the two of us. Needless to say, I will never fly on that airline again.
I had booked a one-bedroom apartment for myself — Case d’A Mare Palermo, on Booking.com. Susan was staying at a small B&B, about fifteen minutes away. Through her B&B, we had booked a driver to pick us up at the airport, and then drive us to our temporary homes in Palermo. I loved the apartment. It was a split-level apartment — the bedroom and the master bath on the second floor. It was stylishly decorated. There was a tiny smoking terrace. And the location was perfect, as it was only a few blocks away from Piazza Politeama and its beautiful theater. Since the piazza was a major landmark, it became our meeting place for the duration of our stay in Palermo.
As I approached the theater, the first thing that I came to was Piazza Castelnuovo and the lovely Palchetto della Musica, a charming bandstand that dates back to 1875. Set around the piazza that surrounds the bandstand, there are statues.I was particularly touched by the piece titled “Senzatetto” (“Without a Roof”), by Pasquale Civiletti. The artist’s depiction of two street kids, struggling to keep warm, sent chills down my spine, even as I stood in the warm Sicilian sun. Directly across the street is Piazza Politeama, and the beautiful Teatro Politeama Garibaldi. The theater was built in 1874, by G. Damiani Almeyda. The area surrounding the theater is filled with small art galleries and shops.It wasn’t long before darkness began to fall, and cocktail hour began to call. We stopped for a drink in a small piazza, close to the restaurant that I had booked for that night. The name of the place was A’Cuncuma Restaurant, on Via Judica 21/23, in the heart of the old city. This is a small, family-run place that serves exceptional food! The son of the family is one of the chefs, and on the night that we were lucky enough to dine there, his father was our server. The plates are creative takes on traditional dishes. I don’t think I will ever eat a plate of pasta with sardines as wonderful as theirs. I cannot say enough about this place! I loved it!
Next up: More from Palermo, including the Castello della Zisa, and Villino Florio!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.