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28th April 2015

A Local’s Guide to Palermo with Marco Romeo

Palermo local Marco Romeo launched the StrEat Palermo Tour in 2013, offering walking tours through the exotic and mysterious squares and markets of the Sicilian capital. Visitors are invited to explore 2,000 years of history “in two bites, two steps and a couple of sips”, via street vendors and old-fashioned inns that are loved by locals and overlooked by most tourists. If anyone knows where to find Palermo’s hidden gems, it’s Marco.  So what are his top tips for a trip to Palermo?  Let’s find out…

 

A Local’s Guide to Palermo with Marco Romeo

“When a friend visits me in Palermo, the first place I take them to is Capo Market because it’s authentic and unusual, even for Italy. The uniqueness of street food from Palermo lies not only in its variety and in its goodness, but also because every dish represents a chapter in the history of the Sicilian capital.

 

capo market palermo1

Capo Market

 

Spring is the best time of the year to visit Palermo because flowers are blossoming, the sea is clean and beaches aren’t spoiled by tourists. You get the best view of the city from Monte Pellegrino, from here you can see all of the so-called: Conca d’oro, “the golden shell of Palermo.”   You only need to drive 20 minutes from anywhere in the city to get to the beach or the mountains.

 

Ancora il golfo di Mondello . . .

Monte Pellegrino

 

Walking is by far the easiest way to get around Palermo because otherwise you just miss out on a lot of the sights and drive yourself crazy in the traffic – one of the best things to do for free in the city is to walk around the alleys of Kalsa. People think Palermo is dangerous but it’s actually very safe.

 

kalsa palermo

Kalsa, Palermo

 

In Palermo, the sun is always above your head, food is excellent and cheap and the rhythm of life is relaxed. Palermo is authentic, not sold yet to mass tourism, so it still offers 100% local experiences.

 

Where to Eat in Palermo

cannoli sicilian wines

Cannoli and traditional Sicilian wines

 

A Genovese pastry with ricotta at Bar Amato is my favourite breakfast in Palermo because it is still old style: tasty, rich and cheap.  Vin-Tage restaurant in Monreale is excellent for lunch. I always order “pane cunzato” (local bread with olive oil, oregano, anchovies and tomato) and a glass of Grillo wine. The view is unique. Osteria Lo Bianco is great for dinner because they keep recipes authentic. Meanwhile, Taverna Azzurra is a nice place to have a drink in the evening because you are in the old centre with its laid back environment. Try the sangue siciliano.  Later, head to Al Gelatone, they serve some of the best ice-cream in Palermo – I recommend the figues flavour.

 

Street Food in Palermo

 

street foods palermo

pani ca meusa (spleen sandwich), stigghiole (veal intestine) and panelle (chickpea fritters)

 

There are  several street food dishes that you can only find in Palermo, such as the “pani ca meusa” or spleen sandwich, “frittola” (cartilage and fat of veal), “stigghiole” (veal intestine), “panelle” (chickpea fritters), “quarume” (veal entrails) and “sfincione” –  soft, spongy pizza. The street food in Palermo is cheap and available  24/7. It’s more than food, it’s culture. Palermo is ranked in fifth place in the top ten cities for street food in the world. So, if you come to Palermo, don’t miss the chance to enjoy its extraordinary cuisine!
The best souvenir? Find out local recipes and take them home with you –  you won’t find them anywhere else.

Before you visit Palermo

 

palermo city centre

Palermo’s honey-coloured architecture

 

Read Vicoli-Vicoli by Alli Traina – it unveils the secrets of the city’s ancient alleys.  Watch the 2008 movie Palermo Shooting. You’ll see the beauty of Palermo from a different perspective.”

 

These are Marco’s tips for Palermo.  Are you a Palermo local? Have you recently visited the Sicilian capital?  We’d love to hear your tips and advice in the comments section below.

Fiona Hilliard

Fiona Hilliard

A love of new cultures is what drives Dublin travel writer Fiona Hilliard to explore the cities of Europe and beyond.

6 Comments

  • La Travelera

    It looks nice but I would have put more pictures of Palermo to convince me to visit it!
    btw I am going to Italy this summer with Ryanair, I can’t wait!

    28th April 2015 at 11:35 pm
    • Fiona Hilliard
      Fiona Hilliard

      Check back soon, we’ll be following up with more posts about Palermo and Sicily in the coming weeks – plenty more to inspire you 🙂

      1st May 2015 at 8:25 am
    • Francesck

      follow streatpalermo on
      facebook http://www.facebook.com/streatpalermo twitter and instagram @streatpalermo

      2nd May 2015 at 7:09 am
  • Miriam Carbery

    WISH i HAD READ THIS BEFORE VISITING PALERMO LAST YEAR.WE TOOK THE HOP-ON HOP-OFF CITY TOUR. A TOUR WITH LOCALS WOULD HAVE BEEN NICER AND MORE FUN AND MORE INFORMATIVE.
    CEFALU IS SUCH A PRETTY TOWN-WELL WORTH A VISIT. YOUR PHOTOS BROUGHT BACK SO MANY MEMORIES CANT WAIT TO GO BACK

    15th May 2015 at 7:12 pm
    • Fiona Hilliard
      Fiona Hilliard

      There’s always next time Miriam – glad we brought you right back!

      18th May 2015 at 4:40 pm

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