Palermo – Day 1 – Part 4 – Schools, Ruins, and A Market

Before leaving the USA, I read about a small archaeological area by the waterfront, in Palermo, which was called the Engramma San Giorgio.  We made our way down there, only to discover that the site was only open two days a week: on Fridays and Saturdays.  We made a note of the opening hours, and continued on our way.

Nearby, in Piazza delle XIII Vittime, you will find the Obelisco alle Tredici Vittime della Rivoluzione del 1860, or the Obelisk to the Thirteen Victims of the Revolution of 1860.  Dating from 1883, the obelisk is the work of the sculptor, Salvatore Valente.  It was erected in memory of the thirteen citizens who were shot by the Bourbons, as punishment for having participated in the revolt of April 4th, 1860.

A plaque, on the base of the campanile of the now destroyed Chiesa dell’Annunziata, remembers the day in 1517, when Giovanni Luca Squarcialupo, who had violently taken over the control of the city the year before, along with a group of followers, were all killed while attending mass in the church.

The Conservatorio di Musica Alessandro Scarlatti can be found at Via Squarcialupo, #45.  Founded in 1618 as an orphanage that incorporated music lessons into the daily teachings of the children, from 1747 on, only music classes were taught here.  The orphanage/boarding school closed in 1917, but the Music College, which now includes a high school, is still in operation.

Also on Via Squarcialupo, you will find the Istituto Comprensivo Statale Rita Atria,  named after the woman who acted as a witness against the mafia, which was being prosecuted at the time by Paolo Borsellino.  Both, Rita’s father and brother, were members of the mafia.  Her father was killed by a hit man from a rival mafia family.  Rita and her brother’s wife, Piera Aiello, went to Borsellino, offering to tell him all they knew of the crime syndicates’ doings.  After Borsellino was assassinated, the women became frightened for their own safety.  Rather than face whatever punishment the mafia had in store for her, Rita chose to take her own life.  It is only fitting that, today, a school is named after this brave woman!

The Chiesa di Santa Maria in Valverde dates from 1633, and can be found in Piazza Cavalieri di Malta.

On the steps behind the Chiesa di San Domenico, there were cutouts of people, representing the residents of the area, with one of Christ in the middle.  I found it to be an extremely charming display!

The market La Vucciria is the smaller of the two main markets in the city and, during the day, it consists of one street lined with stalls, selling diverse items, as well as fresh fish and vegetables.  At night, though, it is an entirely different ambience, and we will talk about that in a later post.  The market was situated behind our apartment, so it was a convenient place for us to shop and eat.


Next up:  We will be showcasing fountains, and street art galore!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Palermo, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!


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