La Magione, or the Basilica della Santissima Trinita del Cancelliere, is one of the oldest churches in Palermo. Even though the church existed in 1191, the portal through which one enters the property was not erected until 1717. This is a beautiful building, done in the Arabic-Norman style. Take a moment, and visit the lovely cloister!After leaving the church, we headed down the street and found ourselves standing in front of Palazzo Ajutamicristo. This palazzo has a rich and fascinating history, and is a very important structure. There is a museum located on the ground floor, which is rarely visited by tourists, but contains lovely pieces of art.The museum is free to visit, and the gentleman who showed us around was informative and entertaining, even giving me a book about the history of the palazzo, to take home with me. If you exit the palazzo and turn to the right, a few steps away, you will find yourself in Piazza Rivoluzione, in front of the fountain and statue called the Genio di Piazza Rivoluzione. The fountain dates from the 19th century, while the statue on top, one of eight “Geni” in the city of Palermo (statues meant to represent the personification of the city) is from the 16th century. The neighborhood surrounding the piazza is colorful, and full of shops and cafés. We decided to explore a bit, before heading to our next destination.Founded in 1834, the Antica Focacceria San Francesco is a must-see for any foodie traveling to Palermo. Not only do they serve Palermo-style focaccia, but also salads, pastas, etc. The place is famous, not only for the quality of the food, but also for the stand that the owners took by refusing to pay the Mafia the “protection money” that was demanded of them. If you intend on eating here, book a table, as it was packed on the day that we visited.The Palermu lu Grandi, from 1483, is another of the Geni di Palermo.We slowly worked our way over to the Antonio Pasqualino International Puppet Museum. Puppet theaters are a very important part of Sicilian culture. There are puppet theaters all over the city. Performances also take place in the museum, but only on certain days and, unfortunately, we were not able to see one. We thought that we might try and get one more sight in for the day, and so headed over to the Botanical Gardens. On the way, we passed this strange parade float that was just sitting alongside of the road.The Botanical Gardens of Palermo are lovely, and worth visiting. You should give yourself at least an hour, to leisurely stroll along the many walkways and paths. The gardens are among the oldest to exist in the entire Mediterranean.
Next up: A trip up to the top of the Cathedral of Palermo!
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.