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Palermo celebrated its splendid glories and cured its bleeding wounds. “Travelers come from everywhere, merchants and dealers from every city and metropolis, and all agree in praising it, and praise its splendid beauty, speak of its happy circumstances, its various advantages and the good things Sicily attracts from every other country of the world”, said Al Idrisi in the 12th century. The Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Carthaginian, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Spanish and even a bit Italian leave underpasses, signs and crypts to Palermo survivors in the magnificent Cathedral, the Palatine Chapel of the Norman Palace, the Capuchin Catacombs, Church of S. Maria dell’Ammiralgio or “Martonana” and the constant Christian devotion to Saint Rosalie appearing from in time to save the Palermitani.
Palermo with its prestigious past evident in the magnificent architecture and its natural and cultural beauty. Surrounded by the rugged mountains and washed by the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea; it is the most attractive piece of the Paradise on our earth passed through various historical periods and dominated by various peoples. Palermo celebrated its splendid glories and cured its bleeding wounds. “Travelers come from everywhere, merchants and dealers from every city and metropolis, and all agree in praising it, and praise its splendid beauty, speak of its happy circumstances, its various advantages and the good things Sicily attracts from every other country of the world”, said Al Idrisi in the 12th century.
There is only one way to discover Monreale and Cefalù is to cross it and you need comfortable shoes, a strong desire to get to know the place and a perfect visual memory to capture the beauties of this splendid land and some space in your heart to bring back home the Sicilian hospitality and generosity. Recall in your memory the old Italian films where life goes by slow dimension with no excitement, only with silent admiration: simple doorways and well decorated portals, gates and windows adorned with flowers, jutting balconies supported by grotesque masks, sumptuous decorations of churches, deformed simplicity of narrow steps, small quiet alleyways. The visual effects are even prettier and stronger that we imagine. Your feeling is “dreaming stupor”.
Strange but fascinating landscapes of Trapani represent the peculiar environment where history, culture and nature create something unique. Saturn, the God of agriculture came down from Olympus to found Trapani, or the old Drepano – the shape of a scythe. The city separates the Tyrrhenian and the Mediterranean Seas creating intense shades of colours and colourful hints playing intriguing games with our imagination. Going further up and trying to reach the feeling of eternal happiness we reach Erice, a small mediaeval village with cobbled streets, castles, ancient smells and unvoiced wisdom. It is considered the city of Elimi and it was the most important religious centre for the Carthaginians which built up the sanctuary to Astarte (Roman Venus) where the beautiful priestesses of the Goddess practiced the most devoted rites; no wonder, Erice became an important destination for religious pilgrimages from all over Mediterranean. The ancient temple was not forgotten, but on the same place the Norman knights erected the Castle, the military fortress of Venus to defend the Sicilian border and to control the situation in the Mediterranean.