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    • Day 7


      August 6, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Heute sind wir mit dem Bus in die Altstadt von Palermo gefahren und haben die Stadt erkundet. Vorallem haben wir die Märkte begutachtet und haben uns frisches Obst und Gemüse gekauft. Außerdem hat Anna heute mit einer App angefangen italienisch zu lernen. Wenn wir aus dem Urlaub zurück kommen, sollte sie also fliesend italienisch sprechen können 😉Read more

    • Day 82

      Palazzo Conte Federico

      July 23, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

      This palace has been owned by the family of Count Frederic for 400 years. 16 generations have lived in it and we were given a guided tour by the son of the current count.

      It is built on and around the remains of an old Norman and Arab tower that was once part of the walls that surrounded the city.

      The family still lives there and it was fascinating to see such family history.
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    • Day 315

      Die Stadt Palermo

      February 9 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Um ehrlich zu sein, erst war ich nicht überzeugt. Die Stadt ist sehr dreckig und stinkt. Aaaaber desto weiter wir vorgedrungen sind, desto schöner wurde sie! Leider gibt es hier noch Pferdekutschen, das gehört endlich abgeschafft.
      Der Verkehr ist super stressig und es gibt quasi nur Einbahnstraßen, aber wenn man sich mal seinen Weg durchgekämpft hat, wird man belohnt!
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    • Day 43

      Opera dei pupi teatro Argento

      Yesterday in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      The Opera dei pupi teatro Argento is a small theater of the Sicilian pupeteer tradition. It is owned by the Argento family, hosted in Palazzo Asmundo, in the heart of the historic center, opposite the Cathedral of Palermo.

      The Argento family, master puppeteers since 1893, has been disseminating the history and art of Sicilian Pupi for five generations. The last remaining artisans, in their theater you can observe the canvases painted by their ancestors.

      It is also possible to watch the making of the puppets in the laboratory located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 445.

      The Sicilian Puppet Theater of the Argento Family, still today, stages the works of the paladins of France and many original shows, inspired by the tradition and stories of Sicily.

      We watched a performance this evening and it was very funny, the children jumped up and down to the drum beats.

      The patrone, whose grandfather and father ran the theater, briefly summarized the history of the theater before the performance began. He's probably 85 years old, but his voice and skill are still going strong.

      After the performance we were allowed to take a quick look behind the scenes. A truly rare experience, how great that this family business can survive 😍❤️.
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    • Day 3

      Cappella Palatina

      March 5, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      The Cappella Palatina is the Royal Chapel in the Palazzo dei Normanni (see another post), the royal palace in Palermo. This chapel contains examples of Byzantine, Norman and Fatimid architectural styles, reflecting the 3 principle cultures making up Sicily in the 12th century when it was built. And they work together harmoniously.
      I was blown away in here. These are just some of the pictures I took. If anything, these pictures seriously understate the beauty of the place. These are all mosaics. That is gold, not paint or brass or anything. The tesserae are all precious materials. The effect is stunning, even overwhelming.
      There isn't much I can say except that each section is either a saint or has some biblical reference. Or it may have other significance. For example, in the 2nd picture that shows part of the ceiling, there are 8 pointed stars, a typical Muslim design. What you can't see is that they are placed in the shape of a cross. I truly appreciate this kind of interplay among faith traditions.
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    • Day 3

      More Palermo

      March 5, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      There is so much to see in Palermo. So I've selected a few more examples: some churches, some architecture, some street life.
      The 1st 2 pictures are at the cathedral which dates to the 12th century. It is built upon an older church reportedly dating to Gregory I. During the Muslim period before the Norman conquest, it was used as mosque. That becomes important in the 2nd picture which shows the entrance to the cathedral. The columns are reused from the previous church/mosque. If you enlarge the picture and look at the far left column, you will see a plaque of the same stone. This contains a verse from the Koran. Muslim decoration at a church, demonstrating once again that mutual respect is possible and has precedent.
      The 3rd and 4th pictures are at the Chiesa del Gesu, the Jesuit church here. The 3rd picture is the exterior that is somewhat iconic for Palermo. The 4th picture is the ornately decorated nave. The church dates to the 17th century, though most of what is here is a restoration after extensive bomb damage during world war 2.
      The 5th picture was taken from the roof of St. Catherine's Church (see another post). The most significant thing to see is the building with the 3 red domes. This is another example of the Arab Norman Byzantine architecture found here. The domes reflect Muslim architecture, but the building is a church (Chiesa di San Cataldo). And it was built as a church; it's not a converted mosque.
      The last picture switches to street life. Palermo isn't just a city of churches. There are many street markets around town. I visited most of them and even had a really good sandwich for €5 at one of them. The problem is that I don't remember which one I was at when I took this picture. They are all wonderful. I would be a regular.
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    • Day 6


      May 22, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Heute ist der alte weiße Mann mit dem grauen Klapprad nach Palermo gefahren… oder ist der klapprige, graue Mann mit dem weißen Rad gefahren? Aber ich besitze doch kein weißes Rad… Ich weiß es alles nicht mehr so genau, vielleicht sollte ich auch nicht mehr so viel Rotwein trinken…Read more

    • Day 43

      Cattedrale di Palermo

      Yesterday in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      The Cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta (Most Holy Mary Assumed into Heaven) in Palermo is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Palermo of the Roman Catholic Church in the ecclesiastical region of Sicily. It is close to the Norman Palace.

      The current building was built in 1184/1185 in the Norman-Arabian style and underwent several renovations over the centuries. Due to its first construction period, it is also known as the Norman Cathedral.

      The cathedral is of particular importance for Germany as the graves of the Staufer emperors Henry VI, Frederick II and Queen Constance of Sicily are located there.

      Anyone who has the time and the entrance fee can visit the treasury. The entrance to the treasury is to the right of the Chapel of Saint Rosalia. Liturgical vestments in particular are exhibited in the treasury.

      The showpiece of the collection is a crown that was modeled on the crown of the Byzantine emperors (Kamelaukion). The side pendants (pendulums) are characteristic. Frederick II gave this crown to his wife, Constanze of Aragon, with her tomb.

      I didn't have enough time for it because the puppet theater on the other side of the road called 🤪.
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    • Day 4


      November 16, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Eftersom våra hop-on-hop-off-biljetter var giltiga hela förmiddagen i dag så tog vi första bussen och steg av vid den botaniska trädgården. Var man över 70 fick man reducerat pris på inträdet och man måste bevisa det med legitimation. H behövde alltså betala fullt pris medan jag fick rabatt.

      En väldigt stor trädgård och jag tror att paradnumret var stora fikusträd för de fanns överallt. Stora bjässar som slängde ut luftrötter som när de nådde marken utvecklades till kraftiga ben.

      Så här års är det mest bara grönt men lite blommor fanns här och var. Behagligt att strosa omkring i den 24-gradiga värmen.

      Sedan hittade vi marknaden vi hade sett från bussen i går. Den fick Hötorget att se ut som en liten filial. Här fanns fisk, kött, frukt, grönt och allsköns krimskrams. Jag köpte ett kaktusfikon som blev mitt mellanmål på hotellet. Otroligt sortiment och allt såg fräscht och friskt ut. Nära 1/2 km lång!

      Onda fötter, höfter och ländryggar fick välförtjänt vila vid lunchen som avåts i solen på ett trivsamt torg. Sedan hasade vi oss tillbaka till hotellet för en behövlig siesta. Nu är också veckans mat beställd från MatHem och den levereras hem till oss på lördag fm. Mycket praktiskt.

      På kvällen gick vi till en restaurang vi såg i förrgår och den visade sig vara precis en sådan som vi har letat efter. Mysigt med proffsig personal och god mat. Vi åt di-gris (om det heter så) respektive kalv. Det är konstigt - ett glas vin kostar alltid 7 pengar. Detta oavsett om det är ett café där ’vinlistan’ består av rött, vitt och bubblande eller som här där det finns många olika viner, personal som man kan resonera med och man dessutom får provsmaka.

      En väldigt bra kväll som vi avslutade med en glass på gågatan.
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    • Day 43

      Orto Botanico Palermo

      Yesterday in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      The Orto Botanico di Palermo
      (Palermo Botanical Garden) is a garden complex that is used by the University of Palermo as a teaching and research facility and is open to interested visitors.

      In 1779, the Accademia dei Regi Studi (Royal University) founded the Chair of Botany and Medicine. This chair was assigned a piece of land on which plants could be cultivated and examined for possible use as medicinal plants. However, since the allocated land soon turned out to be too small, the complex was moved to its current location in 1786 next to the then existing Villa Giulia.

      In 1789, construction began on the neoclassical administration building, the Gymnasium, based on the plans of the French architect Léon Dufourny. Two outbuildings, the Tepidarium and the Calidarium, were designed by Venanzio Marvuglia. Dufourny also designed the oldest part of the garden near the high school.

      The garden was opened in 1795. In the following years, the complex was expanded to include the Aquarium (1798), a pool with aquatic plants, and the Serra Maria Carolina (1823), a greenhouse.

      In 1845, the Ficus macrophylla, now the garden's landmark, was imported from Norfolk Island (Australia).

      The current size of around ten hectares was achieved through many smaller expansions in 1892. In 1913 the Giardino coloniale ("Colonial Garden") was opened, but it no longer exists today. Since 1985, the garden has been managed by the Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche (Institute of Botany).

      The garden is definitely worth a visit and impresses with its beautiful greenhouses and the peace and quiet in the middle of this turbulent city.
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