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A Sicilian Tea House

Posted by Suzanne on 06 Feb 2015


There is a tea house in Palermo which serves deliciously decadent Sicilian pastries and it makes for a quiet interlude when discovering the charming chaos of the capital. A little down from Piazza Politeama, in Via Nicolo Garzilli, it is a nice edition to the decades old Palermitan institution, La Pasticceria Cappello.

At number 10 Via Nicolo Garzilli, the best Palermitan pastries, made by one of the city’s leading maestros, can be enjoyed along with some seriously good tea from La Via del Te in Florence.

The original La Pasticerria Cappello shop, headed by the expert pastry chef Salvatore, has been creating Palermo’s favourite pastries since 1940; it is near La Porta Nouva in Via Colonna Rotta.

The newer Cappello café at number 10 Via Nicolo Garzilli was opened in 2008 by Salvatore’s son Giuseppe.

Fitted out by the designer Giuseppe Catalano it is smart with cabinets full of Cappello’s celebrated pastries: cannoli, paste di mandorla, trancio con frutta, cassata Siciliana, savoy cake and the legendary sette veli: a cake layered with light ‘veils’ of cream: hazelnut and chocolate.

And with dozens of types of loose leaf teas to choose from it brings to mind some of the illustrious English families who fill Palermo and Sicily’s history: the Whitakers, the Inghams, the Hopps and the Woodhouses.

All were involved in 18th and 19th century Sicilian life and influenced a diversity of things from unification, archaeology and ornithology to the founding of Sicily’s renowned wine industry and I suspect, they may all have been drinkers of tea and would have been content with a café like Cappello’s Sicilian tea house.

The enthusiastic waiters know how to serve tea: piping hot, perfectly brewed and in teapots; even the most particular tea drinker would be happy. And, for the non tea drinker they do make coffee.

Sit at the tables on the footpath or in the secluded back salon colourfully furnished in Louis XVI style furniture and retreat.

When you leave this lovely Sicilian tea house head down Via Dante and spend a while enjoying Villa Malfitano, the grand Art Nouveau home of Joseph Whitaker.




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