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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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Antico Caffe Spinnato Palermo

Posted by Suzanne on 13 Jun 2014

A young woman, evocative of  Renato Guttuso’s dark haired beauty in his famous 1970’s painting “La Vucciria,”  walked with a confident air passed the shaded outside tables of  “the salon of Palermo” – Palermo’s  Antico Caffé Spinnato on the pedestrianised Principe di Belmonte.

It was lunch time on a Saturday in early June, the tables were almost full and Spinnato, founded in 1860 the year that Garibaldi chose Sicily as the starting point for the unification of Italy, was animated.

Shoppers, fumbling with full bags, pulled up chairs and ordered cool drinks: glasses of processo, limonata, wine, iced water and chinotto were brought out on trays held level by the unhurried, uniformed waiters.  Bowls of pistacchios and almonds toasted and salted, potato chips and tiny squares of bread topped with olive spread and chopped tomatoes came with the drinks.

A Tunisian trader, dressed in traditional Jalabiya and white cap quietly hawked his wares on the side: lighters, balloons, umbrellas and tissues. He moved slowly near the tables on the edges initiating sales.

A jean clad Palermitan man, his wavy grey hair pushed back, bought a lighter for a Euro lit his small cigar and casually beckoned the waiter. Two small Sicilian children called to their grandmother as they enjoyed cones of almond and strawberry gelato.

Tables of relaxed tourists ordered Italian beers as the waiter discreetly ushered a beggar away. The beggar returned and continued to move through the tables hand outstretched. A table of three dark haired women placed a few coins the beggar's palm and within minutes the waiter once again spoke in hushed tones telling him to move on.

As the waiters returned inside over and over to offload trays of used glassware, shoppers left Spinnato with parcels of Sicilian sweets: cannoli, biscotti, pasta di mandorle and cassata wrapped in printed paper tied with coloured  ribbon.




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