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Category: Palermo (PA) Page 1 of 5

Palermo Botanical Garden – Green haven & Carl von Linné

If in Palermo do not miss the Palermos botanical Garden. Founded 1789, 10 hectares large, and one of the most important Italian academic institutions with over 5000 plants for studies. Plants were organized along the Linneian system of classification, a system created by Swedish Carl Linnaeus aka Carl von Linné.

It also holds a so called urban vineyard from 2018 where most important Italian wine grapes are preserved.

Palermo tour part 2 – Mosaics & Markets, strolling in Norman footsteps

This tour takes us to one of the most important places for us Normans, the Norman Palace with Cappella Palatina. After that random strolling in Palermo excluding the old markets as honestly they are not like before, but found a very nice food market close to the courthouse where I eat the classical Sicilian Anellini pasta on Sunday.

This walking tour goes: Porta Nuova – Palazzo Dei Normanni with Cappella Palatina and Giardini Reali – Porta Felice – Market – Courthouse – Market

Palermo tour part 1 – From the ground to roof tops in the Norman steps

The day in Palermo was sun, clouds, rain and colors shifting like the rest of Sicily. Due to own Norman DNA I followed most in the Norman footsteps, but also many other important sites to see. Walking as follows:Politeama, Teatro Massimo, Quattro Canti, Fontana Pretoria and Palermo Cathedral.

Palermo city central is closed to traffic or has very limited traffic, so it has become a delight to just stroll around different sites to see with wine and food paus spots in every corner and street. Part two coming soon!

The Cathedral of Palermo

Built in 1184 by the Normans to become a Christian church. I like to leave the sound on to hear the local atmosphere with voices, traffic and other sounds.

Follow Living In Sicily on Youtube where I will post videos from Sicily. Do note I am building the channel, have to e.g. photograph a new header. 🙂


Byggdes 1184 av Normannerna för att bli en kristen kyrka. Jag vill lämna ljudet på för att höra den lokala atmosfären med röster, trafik och andra ljud.

Följ Living In Sicily på Youtube där jag kommer att lägga upp videon från Sicilien. Observera att jag bygger kanalen, måste bl.a.fotografera en ny header bild. 🙂

Place that gives the shivers

Just outside Palermo you pass by one of the most horrific places historical wise in Sicily. The time when full blown mafia war between the clans and state was as at worst. But also the bravest when two people took the lead to fight these criminals, Falcone and Borsellino. Knowing they will pay for their work with their lives.

This monument by Capaci is the place where judge Falcone, his wife and body guards were killed by dynamite placed under the road 23rd of May 1992 by the Corleone mafia. Falcone worked to overthrow the power of the Sicilian Mafia building one of the most important legal cases in Italian history together with Bosellino, the Maxi Trial. The Maxi Trial was successful as 338 of 475 defendants were convicted, and 19 mafia bosses got life sentences including the most feared one Toto Riina, the Corleone boss.

This happening also lead to other legal changes. For the first time in Italy the privacy laws were changed and the guilty ones for this mass murder was found thanks to DNA in cigarettes left on the ground on significant spots for detonation. DNA connected to the Corleone clan members.

When you visit Sicily, avoid asking the locals about the Mafia and avoid being silly about the mafia. If you ave questions, ask a guide or us foreigners living here. It is a never healing wound here.

Do the Mafia still exist in Sicily? Most Sicilians says no, but yes, the Mafia exists. Not as brutal as those days, but it is a huge problem. Have I met the Mafia? Yes. You automatically do living here, but I as a foreigner do not have the same issues as a locals.

One example was my favorite restaurants by one of the offices I worked in. The owner was so kind and polite. We drank Prosecco and talked about life while waiting for my lunch to be ready. I borrowed him tools when they fixed things in their restaurant. I knew he had connections looking at all the allowances and licenses he got so easily from the municipality, while others had to work so hard to get anything done. He could create things a normal person never could. One day the restaurant was closed, the busiest month which was strange. I opened the newspaper and from many arrested faces I saw his face. Arrested for murder, extortion, drug- and weapon deals…the list was long. Do I have to be scared? No, I don’t have any business with them. Was just a neighbor ordering lunch. This is one side of Sicily!


Strax utanf?r Palermo passerar du f?rbi en av de mest fruktansv?rda platserna historiskt p? Sicilien. Tiden d? fullbl?st maffiakrig mellan klanerna och staten var som v?rst. Men ocks? de modigaste n?r tv? personer tog ledningen f?r att bek?mpa dessa brottslingar, Falcone och Borsellino. Vetandes att de kommer att betala f?r sitt arbete med sina liv.

Detta monument vid Capaci ?r platsen d?r domaren Falcone, hans fru och livvakter d?dades av dynamit som placerats under v?gen den 23 maj 1992 av Corleone-mafifan. Falcone arbetade f?r att st?rta makten i sicilianska maffiaorganisationen som ledde till ett av de viktigaste r?ttsfallen i italiensk historia tillsammans med Bosellino, Maxi-r?tteg?ngen. Maxi-r?tteg?ngen lyckades eftersom 338 av 475 ?talade d?mdes och 19 maffiabossar fick livstidsdomar inklusive den mest fruktade Toto Riina, Corleone-bossen.

Detta ledde ocks? till andra juridiska f?r?ndringar. F?r f?rsta g?ngen i Italien ?ndrades lagarna om integritet och de skyldiga f?r detta massmord hittades tack vare DNA i cigaretter p? marken p? betydande platser f?r detoneringen. DNA anslutna till Corleone-klanmedlemmarna.

N?r du bes?ker Sicilien ska du undvika att fr?ga lokalbefolkningen om maffian och undvika att vara en idiot om maffian. Om du har fr?gor, fr?ga en guide eller oss utl?nningar som bor h?r. Det ?r ett aldrig l?kande s?r.

Finns Maffian fortfarande p? Sicilien? De flesta sicilianare s?ger nej, men ja, maffian existerar. Inte lika brutalt som de dagarna, men det ?r ett enormt problem. Har jag tr?ffat maffian? Ja. Bor du h?r ?r det per automatik, men jag som utl?nning har inte samma problem som lokalbefolkningen.

Ett exempel var ett av mina favoritrestauranger vid ett av de kontor jag arbetade p?. ?garen var s? sn?ll och artig. Vi drack Prosecco och pratade om livet medan vi v?ntade p? att min lunch skulle vara klar. Jag l?nade honom verktyg n?r de fixade saker p? sin restaurang. Jag visste att han hade f?rbindelser p.g.a. alla tillst?nd och licenser han s? enkelt fick fr?n kommunen, medan andra var tvungna att arbeta s? h?rt f?r att f? gjort n?got. Han kunde skapa saker som en normal person aldrig kunde. En dag var restaurangen som st?ngd, den livligaste m?naden som var konstigt. Jag ?ppnade tidningen och fr?n m?nga arresterade ansikten s?g jag hans ansikte. Arresterad f?r mord, utpressning, drog- och vapenhandel … listan var l?ng. M?ste jag vara r?dd? Nej, jag har inga aff?rer med dem. Var bara en granne som best?llde lunch. Detta ?r en sida av Sicilien!

The Sicilian cart – Carretto Siciliano

These lovely Sicilian decorated carts and accessories for horses are originally from Greece. The ancient Greeks introduced this tradition to Sicily. They got popular in the 1920’s and are sold also as decorations made of wood all over the island. You can find the Sicilian Cart museum in Terrasini, Province of Palermo. The carts are handmade and painted by hand with images telling about Sicilian folklore and history. Horses were used in the city and plain terrain, mules and donkeys in the countryside. This beautiful craft goes as heritage from generation to generation.


Dessa vackra sicilianska dekorerade vagnar och tillbeh?r f?r h?star kommer ursprungligen fr?n Grekland. De gamla grekerna introducerade denna tradition p? Sicilien. De blev popul?ra p? 1920-talet och s?ljs ocks? som dekorationer av tr? ?ver hela ?n. Du hittar det sicilianska vagnsmuseet i Terrasini, Palermo-provinsen. Vagnarna ?r handgjorda och m?lade f?r hand med bilder som ber?ttar om Siciliansk folklore och historia. H?star anv?ndes i staden och i platt terr?ng, mulor och ?snor p? landsbygden. Detta vackra hantverk g?r som arv fr?n generation till generation.

Quattro Canti

Quattro Canti in Palermo is also known as Piazza Vigliena, built between 1608-1620 in Baroque style. The piazza has four sidea, a form of a octagonal with four streets crossing. The four facades are identical and has fountains and statues of the four seasons, four Spanish kings of Sicily and four patronesses of Palermo.


Quattro Canti i Palermo ?r ocks? k?nd som Piazza Vigliena, byggd mellan 1608-1620 i barockstil. Piazzan har fyra sidor, ?ttkantig form med fyra gator som korsar. De fyra fasaderna ?r identiska och har font?ner och statyer av de fyra ?rstiderna, fyra spanska kungarna p? Sicilien och fyra beskyddarinnorna av Palermo.

Driving in Sicily – How to survive

One golden rule about Sicily is Law says one thing – Reality is something else.

Sicily is filled with cars and the situation is not getting any better. Generally if a family has four family members, there are four cars, perhaps also two vespas and a motorbike. Now when I think of it also I have one car and two vespas. If you look into the sicilian cars you often see just one person in it, they do not plan to go together.

The traffic situation changes very much dependning on where you are in Sicily. In Ragusa area you find calmer traffic, order, people using seat belts, children in car seats, people using helmets and so on… Ragusa has always been the Germany in Sicily. Then you start to move towards Catania and Palermo and there you find vepsas on the right and left, a car for five people may have eight sitting inside, a whole family on a vespa with no helmets and cars parked all over. In Messina five cars ignored the red light in 20 minutes.

For guests renting a car in Sicily I always advice the following “You have to drive like only you exist in the world. No one will give you priority and if you follow north european rules, you will never reach your destination. In road crossings if turning left, you have to sneak out slowly, stopping the cars on the left field and continue slowly forward stopping the cars from right side. This way you cross a road in Sicily. If parking confuses you, check how other cars has parked in the area. If they have a paid ticket in the window, then pay. If not, just park there. You can also ask the closest shop or bar for advice. Or park on the side of the road checking that you do not block the traffic.” In Sicily many times fast parking means parking on the sidewalk and put emergemcy lights on.?Double and triple parking is more standard than exception. I recommend not to do this.

The city of Catania got tired of double- and tripple parking in central city that stopped even the public transport, so the municipality put some cameras in the streets and sent the fines home. In one month they collected over 80,000 fines.

For safety: always drive with locked doors especially in Catania and Palermo. No one will point a gun on you, but open doors means e.g that someone can steal you bag on the seat. Bags always keep on the floor. Never leave anything in the car if you are not there; put shoppingbags in the trunk and papers ecc under the seat. In Taormina area I drive more safe, but when I got to Catania I lock the steering wheel with a chain that goes under seat if I leave the car for longer hours. Your items in the car may be stolen or the car itself, but you do not have to worry about someone treathening you. Same with Vespas, lock the rear wheel with a chain.

In the sicilian traffic you will notice sicilians anger and frustrations; lots of shouting, hand gestures and using the car horn. Do not stress! It is always the same.

If you have an accident, never move the car, leave the scene as it is even if you block the traffic, as it is the police who will report what may have happened. Never listen to the counterpart what to do, wait for the police. Insurance frauds are alarmingly high in Italy and an accident is a perfect occasion to milk extra money from you. In small accidents the sicilian custom is to solve the issue there by giving some cash to the other party to solve the damages without dragging in the insurance companies.

If you rent a car many companies offers full insurance, it means that for a small amount you have full cover and can return with just one wheel not paying anything at all, they call it Full Kasko. And if you get a parking ticket, or a fine, pay it. Paying it within five days gives you up to 30% discount. If you do not pay it will get more expensive as they will deduct the money from your card and often add an extra fine of 50 euro.

Good luck out there laughing well, you’ll see things to remember for life!


In Catania red light is only a suggestionI Catania ?r r?tt ljus bara ett f?rslag



En gyllene regel om Sicilien ?r Lagen s?ger en sak – Verkligheten ?r n?got annat.

Sicilien ?r fylld med bilar och situationen blir inte b?ttre. Generellt om en familj har fyra familjemedlemmar finns det fyra bilar, kanske ocks? tv? vespor och en motorcykel. Nu n?r jag t?nker p? det har jag ocks? en bil och tv? vespor. Om du tittar p? de sicilianska bilarna ser du ofta bara en person i den, de planerar inte att ?ka tillsammans.

Trafiksituationen f?r?ndras v?ldigt mycket beroende av var du befinner dig p? Sicilien. I Ragusa-omr?det finner du lugnare trafik, ordning, personer som anv?nder bilb?lten, barn i bilstolar, personer som anv?nder hj?lmar och s? vidare … Ragusa har alltid varit Tyskland p? Sicilien. Sedan b?rjar du flytta mot Catania och Palermo och d?r har du vepsor till h?ger och v?nster. En bil f?r fem personer kan ha ?tta sittande inuti, en hel familj p? en vespa utan hj?lmar och bilar parkerade ?verallt. I Messina ignorerade fem bilar det r?da ljuset p? 20 minuter.

F?r g?ster som hyr en bil p? Sicilien, rekommenderar jag alltid f?ljande: “Du m?ste k?ra som om bara du existerar i v?rlden. Ingen kommer att prioritera dig och om du f?ljer nordeuropeiska regler kommer du aldrig att n? din destination. I v?nstersv?ng m?ste du smyga l?ngsamt ut, stoppa bilarna p? v?nster fil och forts?tt l?ngsamt fram?t och stoppa bilarna fr?n h?ger sida. P? s? s?tt korsar du en v?g p? Sicilien. Om parkeringsplatsen f?rvirrar dig, kolla hur andra bilar har parkerat. Om de har en betald biljett i f?nstret, betalar du det. Om inte, bara parkera d?r. Du kan ocks? fr?ga n?rmaste aff?r eller bar f?r r?d. Eller parkera p? sidan av v?gen och kontrollera att du inte blockerar trafiken.” P? Sicilien inneb?r m?nga g?nger snabb parkering parkering p? trottoaren och s?tta p? n?dblinkers. Dubbel- och trippelparkering ?r mer regel ?n undantag. Jag rekommenderar att du inte g?r det h?r.

Staden Catania blev tr?tt p? dubbel- och trippelparkering i centrala staden som stoppade ?ven kollektivtrafiken, s? kommunen satte upp n?gra kameror p? gatorna och skickade b?terna hem. P? en m?nad samlade de in ?ver 80 000 b?ter.

F?r s?kerhet: k?r alltid med l?sta d?rrar, s?rskilt i Catania och Palermo. Ingen kommer att peka med en pistol p? dig, men ?ppna d?rrar betyder till exempel att n?gon kan stj?la v?skan p? s?tet. V?skor har man alltid p? bilgolvet. L?mna aldrig n?gonting i bilen om du inte ?r d?r. L?gg shoppingkassar i bagaget och papper ecc under s?tet. I Taormina-omr?det k?r jag s?kert, men n?r jag ?ker till Catania l?ser jag ratten med en kedja som g?r under s?tet om jag l?mnar bilen l?ngre tid. Dina saker i bilen kan bli stulna eller bilen sj?lv, men du beh?ver inte oroa dig f?r n?gon som skulle hota dig. Samma med Vespor, l?s bakhjulet med en kedja.

I den sicilianska trafiken kommer du att m?rka sicilianarnas ilska och frustrationer; massor av skrik, handgester och tutande. Stressa inte! Det ?r alltid s?h?r.

Om du har en olycka, flytta aldrig bilen, l?mna scenen som den ?r ?ven om du blockerar trafiken, eftersom det ?r polisen som kommer att rapportera vad som kan ha h?nt. Lyssna aldrig p? motparten vad man ska g?ra, v?nta p? polisen. F?rs?kringsbedr?gerier ?r orov?ckande h?ga i Italien och en olycka ?r ett perfekt tillf?lle att mj?lka extra pengar fr?n dig. Vid sm?olyckor ?r sicilianska stilen att l?sa problemet p? plats genom att ge n?gra pengar till den andra parten f?r att l?sa mindre skador utan att dra in f?rs?kringsbolagen.

Om du hyr en bil erbjuder m?nga f?retag full f?rs?kring, det inneb?r att du f?r en liten summa har full t?ckning och kan ?terv?nda med bara ett hjul utan att beh?va betala n?got, det kallas Full Kasko. Och om du f?r parkeringsb?ter, eller annan b?ter, betala den. Betalar du inom fem dagar ges upp till 30% rabatt. Om du inte betalar blir det dyrare eftersom de kommer att dra av pengarna fr?n ditt kort och ofta l?gger till en extra b?ter p? 50 euro.

Lycka till d?r ute och skratta gott, du kommer se saker att minnas f?r livet!

Palermo- Italian Capital of culture 2018

The fires in Cefalu – What happened?

The fires in Cefalu has been news all around south Europe. Over 5,600 hectars has burnt down and areas around Cefalu and Madonie mountains looks like a war zone. The fire was set by purpose, rumours says it was ex-employees from the Forestale (the Forest Protection Organisation). Sicily has the largest number of employees in all public offices and the italian government tries to cut down the expenses by not hiring more and not renewing contracts. And this year the government made a large cut in the budget and those who did not get the contract renewed got of course angry. So it seems that some of those who did not get a new contract, set the fire on purpose on the very dry soil. This is quite common in Sicily. Unfortunately.

The result is that hundreds of houses, schools, restaurants, hotels ecc has burnt down and thousands has been evacuated, including tourists. This hits also the tourism much as the area in tourist areas is just black and ashes. All this to press the government to hire people that at the end does not do anything in the office. Just sitting there caused by nipotism, or perhaps do not even show up at work, on government salary.? — Videos below —


Br?nderna i Cefalu har varit p? nyheterna runt s?dra Europa. ?ver 5600 hektar har brunnit ned och omr?den runt Cefalu och Madonie bergen ser ut som en krigszon. Branden var anlagd, rykten s?ger att det var tidigare anst?llda fr?n Forestale (Forest Protection Organisation). Sicilien har det st?rsta antalet anst?llda i alla offentliga insitut och den italienska regeringen f?rs?ker sk?ra ned kostnaderna genom att inte anst?lla mer och inte f?rnya kontrakt. Och i ?r gjorde regeringen en stor s?nkning i budgeten och de som inte f?r kontrakten f?rnyade ?r naturligtvis arga. S? det verkar som om vissa av dem som inte fick ett nytt kontrakt har s?tt eld p? det redan torra marken. Detta ?r ganska vanligt p? Sicilien. Tyv?rr.

Resultatet ?r att hundratals hus, skolor, restauranger, hotell ecc har brunnit ner och tusentals har evakuerats, d?ribland turister. Detta drabbar ocks? turismen mycket eftersom omr?det i turistomr?den ?r bara svart och aska. Allt detta f?r att pressa regeringen att anst?lla m?nniskor som i slut?ndan inte g?r n?gonting p? kontoret. Folk som bara sitter d?r p.g.a nipotism, eller kanske inte ens dyker upp till jobbet, p? regerings l?n. – Video nedan –


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