Palermo – Watch out for the Mafia. What a cliché!
The city at the western most end of Sicily once had a doubtful reputation. But some do not realize that the city has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. It is at the top of the list among the safe capitals of Europe. To understand, you just have to get to know the city better.
Palermo is an onion! That’s how a famous author describes Palermo. The Sicilian capital is a place with a complex and colorful story that you get to know layer by layer.
These days you will find a young, rich, and vibrant city. In the mid ‘90s Palermo started to rejuvenate itself, casting off the old ways and the mafia influence. A lot of this was thanks to Leoluca Orlando, a key figure and current mayor of Palermo. The doors of Palermo are open wide to the world.
Solemar Academy shows you the busy world of Palermo with two very popular tours: Palermo by Night and The Palermo Markets.
Palermo by Night
The tour begins in the early evening in the Kalsa Quarter, following the streets near the Foro Italico and reaching the Piazza della Magione, a hub of the summer nightlife and birthplace of the famous judges Falcone and Borsellino. We will eat at the famous Focacceria San Francesco, a symbolic place in the struggle against the mafia. The owner, Fabio Conticello, an old friend of ours, is happy to chat about his experience.
The tour continues to the three other quarters in the historic center: Vucciria, Ballaro, and Capo.
There are several reasons why our tour is so successful with our guests and with students. Definitely the biggest reason is the role played by our outstanding guide, Thomas. His experience and knowledge are unmatched by anybody, and he brings the old town to life in all its color and vibrancy. Ours is a certified anti-mafia tour, we are happy to announce!
The Palermo Markets
The tour of the markets shows a wonderful, basic fact of the daily lives of the people of Palermo. These markets are large and the quality and variety of what you find can be amazing. The atmosphere is reminiscent of Arab countries and the secret to find what you’re looking for is to rely on local people. This is a big reason why the tour is so appreciated. Francesco, our guide, knows these markets like the back of his hand.
To get a feeling for Palermo, check out this video of one of Palermo’s unique and colorful characters, Rocky della Vucciria, a meusaro.
Finally we would like to remind you that the Solemar Academy is a proud member of Addiopizzo, the anti-mafia association of entrepreneurs.