Palermo, way to many churches for Mike's taste ...
Trip Start Sep 03, 2006
50Trip End Aug 15, 2007
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And , believe it or not, Sicilians do not have central heating. Hotels have no heat, nor do private houses and restaurants practically all have outdoor terraces only. Sicily is a paradise island, but a rather chilly one in November despite the gorgeous weather. The moment, the sun is out , the big chill takes over...
Another peculiarity of Sicily lays with the public toilets : it is apparently customary for bus stations, or even restaurant toilets, not to have locks, toilet paper, or even any evidence that a toilet paper dispenser what ever installed.
Sicily largely compensate this state of things by a staggering collection of tourist sights : Greek temples, roman villas, Arab palaces, medieval castles, Baroque cathedrals, Churches, convents and the craziest and most unpredictable opening hours you can imagine. When getting to a site, it is fair to assume that it is going to be closed for restoration, public holidays , lunch, siesta, decontamination or no reason whatsoever. La Dolce vita, take it easy, work as little as possible.
Museum sections are often closed for lack of guards. Yet, we never saw any guard doing his job : they all congregate and chat or nap, or knit , leaving entire wings without surveillance.
Sicily is a vast construction site : its priceless monuments have been left crumbling for centuries and now that the EEC is showering money on the island cultural treasures, they are catching up on everything at once. Practically 1/3 of historic Palermo is under tarp, another third is crumbling away, ferns and trees growing from Palaces balconies and Palermitans are busy damaging the last third to make sure they meet the criteria to receive government funding for repairs.