Last May, for my birthday, I received plane tickets from my Italian family sending me to Sicilia for the first time. They had booked the flights for halfway through October, two weeks after my semester had started. To be honest, the trip could not have come at a better time. If you know anything about me, you know that I prefer to travel alone. And after two weeks of sitting through lectures, meeting new people in my program, and trying to rework my brain to study again, I was eagerly awaiting my trip down south.
I woke up early on the morning of October the 14th to catch my flight. I had booked a room in an AirBnB for quite cheap. As you go further south in Italy, the prices grow increasingly cheaper (the perfect excuse to keep returning to the south). After dropping off my things in my room, I walked around the center of Palermo for the afternoon. I had a list of sites to see and foods to try and I was determined to do as many as possible in three days.
After a few hours, I sat down at a café and met some locals. I spent the next few hours walking around with them, eating a second lunch (because-Sicily), and seeing some of the main monuments. I took a nap to catch up from my early morning and then met up again with my new friends in the evening.
The week before my flight I had posted on a Palermo Erasmus Facebook page to see if anyone was interested in meeting up for a bit over my weekend there. A girl responded and we made plans to go to the nearby town of Mondello for the beach on Sunday. We met in the morning and on our way, met five Americans who were also studying abroad in Italy. The group of us went to the beach for the afternoon. Mondello was beautiful, with incredibly clear water. I also crossed some more items off of my food list while there.
The following morning I checked out of my airBnB and met up with my newfound girlfriend for a short tour around more of the city.
This included the beautiful Cathedral of Palermo. I walked around the square and then entered inside and also climbed all the stairs to the top. This cathedral was originally constructed in 1185. But it wasn’t until 1771 that a Neapolitan architect added the Neoclassical style of today. It was completed in 1809.
That morning also marked my first proper cannoli. It was a nothing short of life-changing, to say the least.
I had a late night flight out of Palermo, so I made the most of out of my last day and decided to take a train to Cefalu, a nearby city (thanks to the American boys for the recommendation!). The sky and the water was clear blue. I ate more arancini’s, walked around the pretty streets and then sat seaside for a few hours before heading back to Palermo to pick up my luggage and catch my flight.
I would go back to Sicily in a heartbeat and I hope my next chance comes sooner than later. These winter months in Milan have me seriously wondering why I chose to live in the north. Arrivederci Sicilia. xx