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San Gandolfo Festival
The 7th Wednesday after Easter and the 3rd week end in September
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The Most Holy Crucifix
Starts May 1st
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La Sagra delle Nocciole (The Hazelnut Festival)
Always in August usually after the 15th, a moveable date

Lo Sfoglio
Late August

Santa Lucia
December 13


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Wandering Palermo early one June morning

Posted by Suzanne on 17 Jul 2015

I had spent the night of June the 3rd this year in a first floor room of the small, charming Palermitan hotel BB22. The windows of my room, Il Cedro, faced towards the port of Palermo.

Tucked in behind Piazza San Domenico, in the historic quarter of La Vucciria BB22  was a perfect starting point to walk Palermo early on the morning of the 4th before heading into the Madonie Mountains; to return to Polizzi Generosa.

To wander a few Palermitan streets quietly: to discover near empty streetscapes; silent monuments; and to pull up a chair at Antico Caffe Spinnato for a breakfast of coffee and cannolo as the city stirred, was a pleasurable way to return to the Sicilian capital.

As I waited at the corner of Largo Cavalieri di Malta (just down from BB22) two travellers, dressed for summer, wheeled their cases over the cobblestones and passed the Serpotta filled Oratorio del Rosario di San Domenico and turned the corner; out of sight.

Sauntering, we (a couple of The Sicilian House team were on hand) entered Piazza San Domenico, past the shuttered jewellery shops in Via Giovanni Meli.

And the early morning light threw the 17th century church of San Domenico into shadow against the facade of a gracious palazzo fronting Via Roma.

Once over the arterial of Via Roma, empty and stretching to the Palermo railway station in the distance, we ducked down a tiny side street, Via Monteleone.

Monteleone was quiet except for the hurried footsteps of a woman, partially shielding her face from the camera lens.

And further down Monteleone I entered the semi darkness of the late 16th century Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio All’Olivella, next to the Antonio Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum.

In the first side chapel of Sant’ Ignazio a portrait of an elegant cardinal hung to the left of the altar. And, a woman was kneeling in prayer as I searched for the cardinal’s name. 

The portrait was unsigned.

Outside the gates of Sant’Ignazio the view down the narrow thoroughfare, Via Bara All’Olivella, to the dome of the city’s adored opera house, Teatro Massimo, was uninterrupted.

Teatro Massimo stood in the undisturbed silence of Piazza Verdi.

A block or so down from Piazza Verdi the soft fall of a runner’s feet on Corso Ruggero Settimo, as he passed the corner of Via Mariano Stabile, was barely heard in the stillness.

And a  flower seller was working solo at a low bench, trimming long stemmed roses, as we turned off Via Ruggero into Via Principe di Belmonte heading towards Caffe Spinnato.

The doors to Spinnato were open. 

It was nearly 8 am and Palermo's silence was stirring.





All photos by L.Turrisi except Via Monteleone and the Cardinal.


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