Michael and Pam's Travels

Castellammare Del Golfe, Sicily. 2018

Date: 27th July 2018

Travelled: ย 68 kilometres from Palermo to Castellammare Del Golfe, both in Sicily

Visited: Palermo

Stayed: ย Camping Nausicaa, Castellammare โ‚ฌ30, all amenities, on the beach. ย N38.02461, E12.89189

 

At around 10pm last night the security guard knocked on the door telling me to turn off the air-conditioner, so we had a little dispute. ย The night was quiet enough other than that. ย So this morning we set off to visit Palermo.

It is possible to walk the 1.5 kilometres from Green Car Parking to Palazzo del Normanni, which is the closest of the Lonely Planetโ€™s list of must visit sites. ย However the others are more than double that distance, add the heat and humidity and itโ€™s time to brave the traffic in the scooter.

So the scooter comes off the rack, we lock up the Hymer and head into the myriad of one way streets that is Palermo.

 

Get Directions

 

Our first stop and the closest is the Palazzo dei Normanni. Not a good photo, but it difficult to see it until your so close you cannot take a picture. This view from the adjoining palace gardens.

 

I should explain the Palazzo dei Normanni or Palace of the Normans, houses the Sicilian Parliment. ย It is really a series of buildings, constructed over a thousand years ago, around the Cappella Palatina (Chapel) and the original Palace to form one large structure.

 

After paying the princely sum of โ‚ฌ25 entry including the audio guide, we walk into this courtyard surrounded on all sides by an arched loggia.

 

There is a display on the ground level detailing parliament and the judiciaryโ€™s war with the mafia back in the 60-70s. Brutal stuff.

 

The 3 levels of the loggia are accessed by this grand staircase in red marble.

 

We visit the Cappella Palatina first. Built over 10 years, consecrated in 1140, it is considered Palermoโ€™s premier attraction.

 

The chapels entry portal.

 

The Cappella has just completed a 5 year restoration program. It looks new.

 

The walls, arches and ceiling are a continuous mosaic of tiles less than a centimeter square, it is amazing.

 

 

Away from the illumination, the finer detail is actually easier to see.

 

The Hall of Parliament, still in use, but not today.

 

Pam wanders the Hall of the Viceroys. Some parts of the old palace remain part of the museum, whilst others are used for meetings and the like.

 

An interesting side passage. Anyway we have done the tour, we walk through the gardens on our way out.

 

Back on the scooter we head for the Quattro Canti, the centre of the old city. ย Getting lost on our way more than once. ย As I previously said Palermo is virtually all one-way streets. ย However they often only run one-way for a few hundred metres then run in the opposite diection. ย Thank goodness for Google maps or we would still be there.

 

Soon enough we arrive at the Teatro Massimo, the cities iconic theatre. We park the scooter in a shady spot, we can walk easily enough from here.

 

From here we can walk down Palermoโ€™s Via Maqueda.

Lots of interesting lanes and alley ways.

 

The centre of the Quattro Canti. All four buildings on this crossroad has the same facade.

 

 

We move on to the Fontana Pretoria before walking back up the Via Maqueda again, stopping for some coffee.

 

Then gelato ๐Ÿง…

 

Then some arancine balls for dinner tonight…

 

We have enjoyed our visit to Palermo, but we are keen to escape the concrete jungle and heat. ย Having mastered Palermoโ€™s street madness we are back at the Hymer in 10 minutes. ย Packing up and getting the Hymer serviced so we can escape before the afternoon peak hour.

The GPS has us on the A29 in 15 minutes and we head west for Castellammare, supposedly a great beach. ย An hour later we arrive but cannot find the motorhome sosta, but we do find this lovely campsite on the beach.

 

Get Directions

 

Whilst paying for a campsite is not our thing, the view from our spot in Camping Nausicaa and power for the air-conditioning make it worth while.

 

 

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