11 August 2017 | Palermo
Geoff/cooler and cloudy
10th August - Castellamare del Golfo to Marina Villa Igiea, Palermo
We left about 11.30 for Palermo and had a largely uneventful trip. We passed under the airport flight path and the planes came in very low above us as they landed. Our route took us close alongside the runway and airport buildings and it was strange to think that on Sunday we would be looking out from the terminal on the boats passing by.
We made Marina Villa Igiea, just north of Palermo by 6 but it took a little time to get the marina to respond on the radio. Eventually we were allocated a berth.
We are a little way out of Palermo and the taxi ride in is rather expensive. Overall the city is in a sorry state. The marina has a number of unfinished buildings including the new office and what we took to be the showers. These are still in temporary accommodation which leaves a lot to be desired. Palermo itself is in a similar state. In some areas the streets, houses and shops are in a squalid condition, reminiscent of tenement slums. I would hate to walk around there at night. Just a few blocks away there are magnificent public buildings and churches, some TLC needed though to address the all too evident dilapidations.
The cathedral dates from the 12th century. It is huge and mixes architectural styles in a form dubbed 'arab-norman'. This mix of Moorish, Norman/Romanesque and Gothic gives a combination unique to Sicily, which is repeated in many of the other religious buildings. In later buildings, characteristics of the Baroque appear, increasing the fascinating complexity of styles.
Nevertheless the whole city has an air of neglect with projects half complete and many fine buildings showing neglect. A bit like Italy itself.
Summertime will stay in Palermo until our return in September, when hopefully it will be a little cooler.