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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Palermo - Too Short a Stay

Our two hour drive to Palermo from San Vito Lo Capo was along the ocean and quite pleasant. We tried to get gasoline along the way, but we could only find fully automated stations - which were too confusing to figure out. Our destination was the Palermo airport - to return our rental car. We figured there would be a gas station close to the airport. We were wong. Some friendly police officers gave us directions (in Italian) to the nearest station - 20 kilometres away! Lesson learned. 

Our hotel in Palermo, the Centrale Palace Hotel, had graciously pre-arranged a private taxi to pick us and it was right on time. Joe had enjoyed the Alpha Romeo we had rented, but was happy to no longer be driving. It was about a 40 minute drive from the aiport into the centre of town. Palermo is the largest city in Sicily with over 1 million population. The "suburbs" are full of large apartment buildings. 

The Centrale Palace Hotel was an old grand building. The desk staff wore formal suits andwere both   professional and helpful. Our room was spacious and included an outdoor patio surrounded by flora. 

The food at the Centrale Palace was not a highlight. We had one dinner there and sent back one of the entrees. The breakfasts were fine, but after so many wonderful breakfasts at other hotels these were adequate.

We did however have one of the best meals of the trip at a nearby restaurant that we highly recommend. The Osteria dei Vesperi is stuated in a square surrounded by old buildings which actually provide a quite intimate feel. We ate outdoors and the night was perfect. The service was more than excellent and the food esquisite. We also enjoyed two conversations with the chef. This restaurant deserves a Michelin Star!

Sadly because of Air France cancelling our original tickets we only really had one full day in Palermo. The hotel was well situated and we were able to wander the streets, see a few markets and museums and shop. We had decided we needed a third suitcase to bring back all our wine and other goodies. 

We would definitely return to Palermo. 

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