Palermo: A Very Cannoli New Years

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Palermo made all of my cannoli dreams come true. But before I get to that, I must apologize for my four-month hiatus from the blogosphere! When you’re falling asleep reading anthropological texts for school at 1am and waking up at 6am to read some more before you head into work, there just doesn’t seem to be any time to blog. Luckily, I finished up my coursework last week and now only have my master’s thesis and regular work to occupy my days, so it’s catch-up time! I’m going to go a bit out of order, but for now I’ll start with our most recent adventure: Palermo, Italy.

I was so incredibly lucky to ring in the New Year with my mom, dad, sister and, of course, Guillaume on the island of Sicily. January is part of Sicily’s off-season, so finding flights from the USA and even within Europe proved to be a little tricky, but we all made it to Palermo in good form. Sadly, we didn’t all remain in good form — everyone except Gui and his hearty Canadian constitution befell some sort of malady — but it was wonderful to all be together.

Highlights included the amazing view from the rooftop of the Cattedrale di Palermo and the incredible mosaic ceilings of Cappella Palatina, La Martorana and Cattedrale di Monreale (in that order in the photos below). Food-wise, you do not want to miss the delicious street food from Francu u Vastiddaru — I recommend the panelle, a fried chickpea patty, and the caprese panini — and Antica Focacceria San Francesco, where I consumed four of my favorite cannolis during our stay (yes, you may have picked up that I am sort of a huge cannoli fan, so visiting Sicily — the birthplace of the cannoli — was basically a pilgrimage.) Still, one of my favorite moments of the trip was our low-key New Years Eve celebration, where we hung out in our AirBnb, ordered pizzas and played board games to the music of Italian VH1 until midnight, when we caught glimpses of Palermo’s fireworks from the roof. A perfect evening.

As for Palermo itself, Gui and I found it incredibly underrated. We loved the mix of Moorish and Italian architecture, graffitti-covered and brightly painted buildings, traditional and chocolate chip-topped cannolis — though I digress. It’s a little gritty, but has a unique charm, and we would highly recommend a visit. Enjoy the photos!

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