Palermo is a city of decay and of splendour and, provided you can handle its raw energy, deranged driving and chaos, has plenty of appeal. Unlike Florence or Rome, many of the city’s treasures are hidden, rather than scrubbed up for endless streams of tourists. Be prepared to explore: this giant treasure-trove of palaces, castles and churches has a unique architectural fusion of Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Renaissance and baroque gems. Palermitans themselves have inherited the intriguing looks and social rituals of their multicultural past. Life here is full on: a very public, warm-hearted and noisy affair.
Photo: jungle travel [OS]