Sicily Day 2 / Palermo / Walking Tour (Market)


Well, this is maybe the worst jet-lag I’ve had.  I again couldn’t sleep until my husband left for his work then slept quite a few hours, even though now and again the thunder and heavy rain sort of woke me up I kept going back to sleep.  I have  nothing on today or tomorrow, which is nice in a way but in a way also bad because nothing forces me to get up and stay awake except my own will!


シチリアに到着して2日目は、朝から早速プライベートのウォーキングツアーに参加。パレルモのストリートフードと歴史ツアー、軽食付き。前日空港でピックアップしていただきホテルまで送っていただいた Europass に申し込んでいました。ピックアップはご主人だけでしたが、ウォーキングツアーはご夫婦で。あまりに写真が多くなったので、ストリートフードを含むマーケットと建物の2つの記事に分けようと思います。

On our 2nd day in Palermo, we took a private street food & history walking tour in the morning.  I booked it through Europass and the guy who picked us up at the airport and his wife were our guides. There are so many photos I’d like to upload so I’m going to make this in 2 postings – one with photos from the market and the other of buildings and streets.


We used to hate the idea of being a part of tour but recently we quite enjoy taking this sort of tour – either a private one or a small group tour that is led by a professional guide or some expert in the field.  This way, you can learn a lot more about the place than just reading some guide book or a leaflet and it’s easier to try things like street foods with someone local.  Also my husband doesn’t research or read about the holiday destination at all while I do a little, he likes reading about the place after visiting there.  Although I understand it’s more interesting that way, I feel you miss a lot if you don’t know anything about the place while you are there.  This way, he can also get some information on histories etc of the places we are visiting,


Usually, the tour meets at the Massimo Theatre but they came to our hotel because it was close and they knew which hotel.  We met at 10.00am at the hotel, walked to Teatro Massimo and started the tour.  The guide had told us it was going to be cool that day but getting hotter from the following day but unfortunately for me it ended up being a very hot day.  As it wasn’t humid, I was able to walk around with my parasol to protect my skin and keep a little of the heat away.  I still got very hot now and again but it was comfortable enough when we walked in the shade.




Palermo was originally the country of the Phoenicians but it was subsequently colonised by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and then Normans, so the buildings and their food shows all of these influences such as Arabic looking buildings, beautiful Baroque churches, Art Nouveau buildings. The buildings were in general very dark so I didn’t find the streets very beautiful or pretty to be honest but they were very interesting.






From Teatro Massimo, we walked in one of the famous markets and tried a few street foods.  There were so many different kinds of beautiful vegetables – many different sizes and colours of artichokes, very very long courgettes, huge pumpkin-shaped aubergines, wild asparagus, wild fennel…  so interesting!  We also saw lots of olives, dried tomatoes, dried nuts – all sorts of things.  As I’d been warned to be careful with my camera (so someone doesn’t snatch it) I put my big camera in my bag and used only my iPhone, and even then I was trying to be careful.  I so wished I could spend a lot of time to take more photos of the vegetables and herbs etc.






















The first type of street food we tried was Sfincione, which is bread (crispy outside and fluffy inside) with some tomato sauce on, which was actually delicious.  I remember having something that looked similar in Venice or somewhere in the north and it wasn’t very enjoyable so this surprised me.




Then we had the famous Arancino.  These are like a rice (risotto with saffron)  croquette with either cheese filling or ragu filling inside.  Until I started searching information for Sicily, I thought that arancino were very small size things (like a golf ball or smaller)  that you have for a starter but the real things are very large.  They can be round like balls or have pointy top and sort of tear drop shape, but they were all big – some bigger than others but even the smaller ones were enough to fill you up.  These were specially crunchy outside and very nice.  I had just a half of the one with ragu inside and my husband had a half of both.




I wasn’t able to take photos but we also had something like deep-fried chick pea dough and potato croquettes.  Although they were all tasty, they were all starchy and often deep-fried so very filling!  They also offered us the famous spleen burger but we declined.  We also had some fresh orange juice, coke, coffee and cannoli (our first cannoli in Sicily).





We came across these colourful carts in a small back street.  These were used to carry vegetables etc in olden days – I think that’s what they told us… Not sure if they are still used now or not.






We then went a little further from the market and visited a few places – I’ll write about it in a separate article.  We had plenty to eat and some drinks and 3 hours of walking with explanations of the history of Sicily and of some of the buildings; I thought 25 Euro per person was very good value for this.  Our tour had tastings of street food but they also have a walk without the tasting and also one with a lunch included.


Street Food Tours & Airport Transfers





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