Thursday, 21 July 2011

Con l'amore, l'Italia!

Recently, I went on a vacation to Italy, Switzerland and Paris, with my family.


We started off in Palermo, Italy!



Palermo lies on the northwestern coast of the island of Sicily.


A reasonable mix of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, including palaces, castles, and churches, the city has a lot to offer.



But we were on a slightly tight schedule. After reaching the hotel at around 9 PM, we went out for dinner at a nearby restaurant, and we had a sumptuous Italian dinner of fettuccine pasta, shrimp risotto and red wine.


The next day we took a hop on hop off tour of the city. Our hotel was close to the Teatro Politeama, which is located on Piazza Ruggero Settimo, in the center of Palermo.



We passed by the Teatro Massimo, Quatro Canti, Orto Botanica, finally stopping at Palazzo Realo di Palermo.


The royal palace of Palermo contains the Capella Palatina. The Chapel is an excellent example of the Arab-Norman-Byzantine style. The interior of the Chapel is enclosed by a mosaic of millions of gold tiles representing many stories.



After our short and exciting experience of 12th century Byzantine art, we stopped for lunch at a nearby bistro where we had baked chicken, Fried squids, and Grilled Swordfish followed by cappuccino.


After the hearty meal, we went for our next adventure at the death museum in Palermo, The Catacombe dei Cappucini.



The museum holds thousands of mummies of Sicilians, buried in the Cappucin catacombs which contained a preservative that helped mummify the dead bodies.



The mummies remain unharmed. You can still see bits of hair, their clothes give a clear indication of their professions.


Our next stop was the Duomo di Palermo.



Like many other Sicilian monuments, the cathedral displays a wide variety of architectural styles.


 From Gothic to Catalan to Islamic inspired, this stands as the most distinguishing feature of the cathedral.



Inside the cathedral lie the tombs of many of the Sicilian kings.



Me outside the cathedral.


Our short while in Palermo ended with an authentic Chinese dinner of prawn chips, chicken and corn soup, Chinese noodles, fried rice, prawns in Chinese sauce and fish in Chinese sauce.


The next morning, we took a flight to Rome and continued to Venice.