For decades, Sicily was a haven for the Mafia. As their grip loosens, the island, and particularly its capital city, is morphing into a fashionable, gorgeous hotbed of tourism.
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Curated by Mariano Pallottini
Not many hotels inspire. In fact many of them are sad, grimy establishments. Not so the Grand Hotel et des Palmes. You only have to walk through the main foyer doors here to breathe the atmosphere of history and intrigue.
in 1882 Wagner, the German composer, came to the hotel looking for inspiration to finish his final opera, Parsifal.
Renoir, the French impressionist, popped in to paint Wagner’s portrait in celebration.
In 1885, the French writer Guy de Maupassant arrived.
Another illustrious guest, Raymond Roussell, novelist and playwright, checked in in the early 1930s.
Renato Guttuso, the Sicilian painter; Carla Fracci, Burt Lancaster when he was filming the Gattopardo (The Leopard) in Palermo.
Arthur Miller and American Colonel Charles Poletti who made it his headquarters after the Operation Husky allied landings in Sicily in 1943.
The last infamous gathering in the hotel lounge was the alleged 1957 mafia summit organized by Lucky Luciano.
Cyclopride, an Italian association working to promote the joys of cycling in Italy, has organized two CycloPride Day cycle rides on May 11, 2014. One takes place in Milan, which is where I live, and the other is in Palermo in sunny Sicily.
The Milan CycloPride Day involves a 16 kilometre (just under 10 miles) cycle ride around the centre of the city starting from Piazza Castello. While the main ride starts at 11am, the get-together begins at 9am with all those taking part picking up their event bibs and bike bags. Don’t worry, it’s not a cycle race! [...]
Castelbuono is a small town in the mountains near Palermo, Sicily.
The unexpected things you see when you look up – like Arabic-inspired towers with shimmering blue fish-scale tiling …
Latin inscription over the gate to the 14th century Sicilian castle which gives the town its name. The castle was originally called Castello del Buon Aere – the good air castle – owing to its breezy position at the top of a hill. [...]
Culinary travel is the next big thing, from cooking classes in Tuscany to street-food tours in Istanbul. So where will you plan your next foodie adventure? Whether you prefer chasing Michelin stars or channeling your inner Andrew Zimmern, these global destinations will wow your taste buds. Here are the top seven places to eat around the world in 2013.
The other 6:
A tour of the noisy Palermo market resembles a visit to an Oriental bazaar. Here you can have all senses are battered by crowding, shouting and strange sights and odours as a reminder of Sicily’s historical ties with the Arab world and the proximity to North Africa.[...]
In Palermo dialect Vucceria means ‘confusion’ and the market generally lives up to this name. It is open long into the evening, which may explain the local saying ‘quannu e balati ra Vucciria s’asciucanu’ – when the Vucceria pavement becomes dry – as an indication of something that will never happen.[...]