STREETS OF PALERMO

We had planned a day painting in Palermo, so after some questioning, decided the Plaza Marina was the place to go. After a long stop start procession through the town our bus driver stopped by a small park surrounded by dilapidated buildings. We couldn’t work out why and, after some head scratching, discovered it was a “photo stop” –  the only problem being there was nothing worth photographing!

After a traffic snarled circuit of the waterfront we decided to head out to Mondello to paint. That was our introduction to Palermo which tainted our enthusiasm to stay there before flying back to Rome. However, intriged by the infamous mafia history, we stayed a day to have a look around.

We were told that, around the time two high profile, anti mafia judges were killed, there was a 12 month period in Polermo that saw almost 1000 murders! This grisly fact also influenced our perception of the city.

It’s a strange town where hotel safes just sit loose in the cupboards.

where rubbish and broken furniture litter the streets…

abandoned Vespers decay in back alleys…

securely locked, with owners never to return…

Vehicles in various states of disrepair somehow cling to life…

double parking anywhere is condoned…

garbage bins overflow…

strange characters in dark suits haunt the city…

kids play with handguns…

and in any other city, a man carrying a violin case probably plays for an orchestra…

The secrets whispered through confession box windows in the churches of Polermo would raise the hairs on the back of the hardest necks.