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Palermo, Sicily: A Local's Guide

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A prominent cooking school owner and food historian shows us her insider favorites in Palermo.
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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...
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Piazza Verdi, 90138 Palermo PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza Palermo’s opera house, built in the 19th century and inspired by ancient Greek ruins in Sicily, is the largest in Italy and the third largest in Europe. You can catchRigoletto,La Traviata—I love all of Verdi and Puccini; I’m...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza A restaurant built within Palermo’s ancient walls, where chariots were once housed. Under these enormous vaults there is a library, a garden, and a bar—it’s a fantastic place for drinks. Foro Umberto I This story appeared in the...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza Palermo’s art museum, which houses medieval and modern works, is around the corner from the Mura delle Cattive (Wall of Widows). It’s in a well-preserved palace of the 15th-century Gothic Catalan epoch—we belonged to Spain at the...
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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...
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Southern Europe
by Fabrizia Lanza People line up at seven or eight in the morning to order a big dish of soup made with tripe and intestines. You can getpanelle(pancakes made from chickpeas) hot from the vendor. They also sell the most famouspanino—spleen stuffed...
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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...
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90010 Ficarazzi PA, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza This central square is famous for carts that serve Sicilian antipasti in front of the Oratorio di San Lorenzo, which has amazing 18th-century sculptures, perhaps the most extravagant art Sicily produced at the time. Via dell’...
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93100 Caltanissetta, Province of Caltanissetta, Italy
by Fabrizia Lanza

At her cooking school in Regaleali, Fabrizia Lanza (right) learns from Sister Lidia how to make zuccata, a traditional candied squash dessert.

Name:Fabrizia Lanza
Age: 49
Hometown:Palermo, Italy
Occupaton:Formerly an art historian...