My journal reads, October 18, 2007, we are on a train bound for Palermo right now, left Catania half an hour ago. We change trains at Caltanisetta xirbe. This train takes us to the interior. This trip we saw a lot of the interior, we're going to the lesser sights in the interior, but not less interesting. They are very much interesting and unusual. Even in Palermo, there's still a lot of great sights we missed the first time. I don't mind seeing again some of the sights we've seen before in Palermo. They're wonderful and unusual.
But we won't have the time for a do over, alas.
Arrived in Palermo on a hot and humid afternoon. We went to the hotel we stayed in before. Palermo is a mixture of old, decrepit, dirty and smelly buildings, among some gorgeous monuments and churches. We went to the Carmine, a 17th century church with its gorgeous dome but it is in the midst of the very lively Ballaro market, there's trash strewn every where, dog pop, smell of urine and dead and rotting fish permeate the whole atmosphere. It's in a scary neighborhood but just the glimpse of that gorgeous dome was worth the trip. The whole area is so built up, we couldn't get a better picture of the dome, it is different than the others, most are just colorful majolica tiles. This dome stands out, the tiles are bright and the base is beautifully carved with giants holding up the dome, incredibly beautiful, these pictures does not do it justice. Only Rough Guide mentions this church and described it exactly like I just did. It was worth getting hurt (we weren't) just to see it. The place surrounding it was appalling. That's Palermo, one has to come prepared for the filth because there's a lot of it. In spite of it, this is my second visit.
'This island was deadly beautiful, very old, most powerful and strange', Theresa Maggio in the 'Stone Boudoir'
To this I add, 'it charms you and puts a spell on you'.