Collected by Genevieve, AFAR Local Expert
Via dei Biscottari, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza In the area of the Norman palace, near the market, there are still some little medievalbotteghe(shops) below the level of the palace. Via dei Biscottari is where they used to make the pastries and cookies for the king. There is...
Via dei Benedettini, 20, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza This 12th-century Norman church [St. John of the Hermits] has five Arab-inspired red domes. It’s a narrow little church with a garden filled with jasmine and succulents— a very peaceful place. Via dei Benedettini 3 This story...
Piazza Indipendenza, 90129 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza Within the Palace of the Normans, there’s a chapel of the kings. “It’s sumptuous,” Fabrizia says, “all covered with mosaics. It’s like getting inside a golden box of jewelry.” Piazza del Parlamento 1 This story appeared in the...
Via generale Magliocco, 19, 90141 Palermo PA, Italy
Seeing the locals and businessmen slowly sauntering in for their espresso or lunch, you get a sense that these locals don't realise what great food they have at their fingertips. Whether you are after a coffee, sweets, something for lunch or a...
Via Vittorio Emanuele, 327, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
The Centrale Palace Hotel is a beautiful 18th century grande dame hotel, centrally located at the Baroque Quattro Canti, "four corners," with a gorgeous dining terrace on the roof, and fabulous menu.
Piazza del Duomo, 90015 Cefalù PA, Italy
Legend has it that a forlorn sailor (Roger II - King of Sicily) traveling in the early 1100's in the midst of a massive Mediterranean squall made a pact with Jesus - spare his life, and he would build a Cathedral in his honor. And washed ashore,...
97100 Ragusa, Province of Ragusa, Italy
We drove into Ragusa - Sicily in the late afternoon, walked the cobbled streets, devoured a locally made nougat gelato and on the drive back down from the old town were met with the beautiful sight of the traditional houses lit up by their...
Corso Umberto, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
Taormina is an ancient town, with an at-times Bohemian reputation (the writer Harold Acton once referred to Taormina as "a polite synonym for Sodom"). The town sits atop a steep seaside promontory roughly an hour or so south of the port city of...
via, Via Ducezio, 1, 96017 Noto SR, Italy
'The best gelato I have ever tasted' - a big statement but true. I've heard that the true test of an artisan gelato maker is their pistachio flavour and Pasticceria Mandolfiore in Noto did not disappoint. With pistachios and almonds from the...
Via Etnea, 270, 95100 Catania CT, Italy
I keep coming back to Sicily for more. This time brings me to Catania, the more overlooked of the island's two large cities. Its unique charm and beauty merits an overnight visit for sure. Spinella, a local institution, attracts Catanians and...
Salina, 98050 Province of Messina, Italy
There is one place known for the best Granite on the island of Salina and it is called Da Alfredo. We took a scooter ride down to this hole in the wall cafe (scooter hire was AUD$30 for three days!) on the waterfront esplanade and did not regret...
Via Ombrone, 1, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
Where's the beef? Who cares - when you come to Orvieto the thing to eat is "porchetta" and they do it in so many different ways that you'll just have to try them all. Either hit a restaurant or just go to one of the butcher shops and try a bit of...
19, Corso Pietro Vannucci, 06123 Perugia PG, Italy
Like any destination worth seeing, Italy is more than meets the eye. Sure, you could visit on a cruise and see some highlights and landmarks in the big cities, but to experience authentic Italy, it takes time and a willingness to leave the...
Umbria's main cheeses are: Pecorino (young), pecorino (aged a bit), and pecorino (well aged). It can grow a tad tiresome. So I was thrilled to discover this goat cheese farm outside of Orvieto. In our visit, my children helped herd the goats,...
Strada S. Rocco, 06089 Torgiano PG, Italy
Tuscany gets all of the press about wine but its sister Umbria is well worth a visit. Terre Margaritelli's chef not only provides locally-sourced, delicious food (I had this plate of meat but also a stinging nettle pesto that was fantastic), but...
06038 Spello PG, Italy
The Spellani claim that their olive oil is the best in the world. The hills that surround the town are the perfect elevation, and perhaps their trees are just charmed, but one thing is for sure—the people of Spello sure love their olive oil. They...
Via Campo di Marte, 134, 06124 Perugia PG, Italy
Perugia, home to Perugina chocolates like Baci (chocolate "kisses" with hazelnut bits that come in starry wrappers with love sayings in several languages), is also home to Eurochocolate, Europe's largest chocolate festival. For nine days every...
06038 Spello PG, Italy
Tourists descend on Spello on Sunday morning to witness the glorious carpets of flowers that line the main streets and piazzas of the town. But come Saturday night to very early Sunday morning to watch the work in action to get a whole different...
05018 Orvieto, Province of Terni, Italy
It's a little over the top, I'll admit. A real "wedding cake" of a cathedral, the Duomo's facade is resplendent with Italian Gothic architectural elements that some might find just a little too rich. But that's perhaps the source of its charm. The...
Via del Duomo, 05018 Orvieto TR, Italy
Orvieto, a gorgeous medieval town, was a treat to visit on the tail end of the tourist season. This, the Cathedral or "Duomo" is the city's star attraction. Intricately, ornately, devotedly decorated, this building sparkled in the crisp autumn...
Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
We finally found it! Officine Del Gelato Milano; a modern, absolutely delicious gelato parlor. They had us coming back (three times in one day) until we had tried every flavor—including every kind of gelato popsicle. It was a guilt-free treat and...
Via Santa Radegonda, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
There is a reason the locals line up down the block at this place come lunchtime: the pomodoro panzerotti. It's a perfect little pocket filled with fresh, warm, gooey mozzarella and local tomatoes. I tried several other sweet and savory items...
Brandenberg Alps, 6234, Austria
My husband and I visited Italy in May, flying into and out of Milan. It was our first trip to Italy, and I knew as we flew over the stunning Italian Alps that it was going to be a trip to remember. We both love to be outdoors and have hiked in...
Via Arancio, 1, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
Climbing up the narrow, steep steps, anticipating the views that awaited us, we were not disappointed when we reached the top. It's kind of like the ocean, you can stare for a long time and not get bored. The views of the city of Lucca with the...
55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
The quaint Tuscan town of Lucca is filled with butcher shops similar to this one (known as a "macceleria" in Italian) selling delicious fresh meat like rabbit and pork, fresh poultry like pheasant and quail, and cured meats like salami and...
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