I’m in Sicily. That enormous island that the toe of Italy is trying to kick.. I’m here to do some voluntary wildlife conservation work, but had the opportunity to check out Palermo yesterday.
Like all Italian cities, there were endless quantities of beautiful historical buildings. Some in good condition, some being restored, and some extremely shabby or tumbling down. The cathedral was spectacular.
There were a lot of horse and carts ferrying tourists around. No matter how healthy the horses looked, seeing them belt along city streets at full throttle, their iron shoes hammering the tarmac – well it just didn’t seem right to me. The guys driving these carts were all quite young, and a bit chavvy. It felt wrong. It looked wrong. And it sounded wrong.
My over-all lasting impression of Palermo, I’m sad to say, was filth. Litter and debris was everywhere I looked. It could simply have been worse than usual as nobody collects the refuse or cleans the streets over easter weekend. But this didn’t look like it had happened in one weekend!
We went for a wee walk through a park where we met a few cheeky monk parakeets. That cheered us up lots. Oh and the train station dogs too, flat out snoring in the sunshine, scattered around the platforms.
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