Having made our way back down to the center of the city, we continued walking around. The Hotel Patria, pictured above, is housed in a building that dates from the 15th century. Up until World War II, this was one of the most renowned hotels in the city. The building later became the property of the University of Palermo, which planned to turn it into student housing. The space has since been occupied by a group of university students, who have declared it a permanent garrison, and have no plans to leave.
The marble column, topped by an iron cross, was placed in Piazza Croce dei Vespri, because most of the Frenchmen killed by the citizens of the city, during the Sicilian Vespers in 1282, were buried here.
On the piazza, you will find the Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi, which was the home of the princes of the Valguarnera family, and then later, the princes of the Gangi family. The palazzo was completed in 1780. It is best known as the setting of the ballroom scene in the film “Il Gattopardo,” or “The Leopard,” by Luchino Visconti. Today, it is still a private residence, even though the famous ballroom can be rented out for events.
As we walked along Via del Bosco, we passed a memorial slab dedicated to the artist, Salvatore Valenti.
A plaque, on the facade of Palazzo Sammartino-Ramondetta, honors the fact that the building was the birthplace of the poetess Concettina Ramondetta Fileti, who lived there her entire life.
Another plaque honored Giovanni Orcel, a union leader who was killed by the Mafia, at the age of 33.
We made it back to the apartment just in time to enjoy a glass of wine on the roof, while the sun set!
We decided to stay close to home for dinner, opting to dine at the market of the piazza behind our building. This time, we sat ourselves in front of the stand selling fresh fish, and dined on rolled, stuffed sardines, and grilled swordfish! It was delicious!
Next up: We head to the city of Agrigento!
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!