We awoke at 9 AM! We were amazed by that until we realized that our bodies were on Connecticut time where it was 3 AM. Last night, my cousin Giuseppe told us not to miss the view from the rooftop breakfast room of our hotel. Giuseppe is a health inspector, so he is familiar with every food-serving institution in Palermo. He was so right! The view was fantastic! We could see the entire panorama of Palermo, including the sea, the mountains, many ancient cathedrals, and several apartment buildings whose dwellers were hanging their laundry out to dry. The breakfast buffet included croissants (both plain and filled), jams (pear, orange, and onion), cereals and granola with yogurt, eggs, oranges, and fresh cakes including lemon and pear. There were also several meats that one would typically find in an antipasto including salami and mortadella. To top it all off, there were fill-them-yourself mini-cannoli. That’s because cannoli that are filled in advance get soggy. We had a choice of either filling mini-tubes or topping mini-cones with with cannoli cream. Of course, coffee, cappuccino, a variety of teas, and juices were available.
We indulged. After breakfast, we needed a nap! When we awoke, it was time for lunch. Being that this was not the tourist season, many restaurants were closed, but we found a place called Franco U’ Vastiddaru that featured traditional Sicilian food. Nick had a salad of oranges, anchovies, olives and onions, while I had arancini (small balls of fried rice stuffed with meat or cheese), panelle (chick pea fritters), and crocchè (potato coquettes). My stomach began to tell me that perhaps so much fried food was not a good idea.
As we were about to leave, several tables near us were combined to make a large table for a group of students. They were very friendly! They wanted to know where we were from, and they were thrilled that I was of Palermitan ancestry.
The temperature was in the fifties and sixties every day. Rick Steves tells his tour-goers exactly what to pack. Following his directions, we were very comfortable in light jackets that fold up when they are not needed.
We walked to the Museo Archaeologico Regionale. A three storey building, two of the floors are being renovated. However, we had a docent on the first floor all to ourselves. She pointed out (In Italian, of course) that the sculptures always showed male dominance because the man always had one foot atop the woman’s foot.
On the way back to our hotel, we noticed an open door with someone selling tickets just inside. We couldn’t believe the beauty of this building! It was the Oratorio Santa Caterina d’Alessandra. An oratorio is a private place of worship for a group or community which may be opened to the public. The Oratorio of Saint Catherine is the seat of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, founded in 1099 during the Crusades. We were reminded of Indiana Jones!
Back at our hotel, we had another nap. When we awoke, it was time for dinner. At Trattoria Il Maestro del Brodo, Nick had an antipasto of eggplant, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, fresh sardines in olive oil, salmon in olive oil, a stuffed fish we could not in identify, stuffed mushrooms, and grilled swordfish with a small salad. I had pasta in a sauce of swordfish, shrimp, zucchini, capers, pignoli nuts, and bread crumbs. After ending our meal with limoncello, we enjoyed our leisurely walk back to our hotel.
We took about 15,700 steps!