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Out of Palermo

The BBC goes to Palermo

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Il capo market in the morning

Il Capo street market, Palermo, 11 a.m. Photo: Rosa Maria Zito
One of Palermo's historic street markets.
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Fruit vendor at the Capo market

I have bought some of the best strawberries of my life in this market. It is a wonder to walk through these market streets. You often see strange African fruits here too. Like squash with bumpy bristles. It is the best place to buy small souvenirs to take home to friends, like exotic spices and Sicilian capers. Read More 
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Bakery gives out free food to the needy

The La Spiga d'Oro bakery in Palermo says the following on its Facebook page today:
To you who are having a hard time....
To you who have a family to feed....
To you who can't stretch the budget to the end of the month...
Don't grovel!
Evenings from 8 p.m. to to 9p.m. stopby and we'll make available everything we did not sell in the line of bread, pizzas, savory buns, foccacce and more...
Our small gesture is just a little help for your life!!!!
The Spiga d'Oro Bread Bakery.
(It's name means "Golden Grain" Bakery.)
Bravi.  Read More 
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Rick Steves at the Ballaro` suq in Palermo

Rick Steves did a good job on this short clip of merchants singing their wares.
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The poor give to the Poor. BRAVI!!

In just under 24 hours, one of the poorest and toughest neighborhoods of Palermo mobilized to welcome and care for the 717 refugees, including survivors of shipwreck, who arrived in Palermo yesterday, according to La Repubblica. Volunteers from the Falsomiele neighborhood brought clothes, shoes and tee shirts to distribute to thewomen and children, people who arrived,  Read More 
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LaRosa Works offers tours to Sicily, more

Karen LaRosa is Sicily's biggest booster, and she takes some excellent photos of the island. Share her enthusiasm at her site: http://larosaworks.com/
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Rough looking

These ancient wooden doors lead to a flat above the Capo market.
Many southern Asian immigrants live in this, the Capo market neighborhood. These rough wooden doors looked positively medieval. Often, univiting, creaking, forbidding, even, heavy wooden doors lead to enchanted colonnaded courtyards filled with sunlight and a fountain, such a surprise. In Palermo, you never know what is behind the next closed door.
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Last Night in Palermo: Chicken on a Chain

Chicken on a chain, photo by Irene Campagna
I went out on the Danza delle Ombre meals- on-wheels run for the homeless with Chiara and Irene Campagna this evening, for the last time.
You see the strangest things. Drunken Europunks sleeping on the cold hard sidewalk where they urinate, surrounded by a pack of large mongrel dogs, one of which just had seven puppies. Across the street was this forlorn, lonely roosting hen on a leash, tied to a garbage can, waiting for her homeless master to get back from whatever it was he was doing. Different kind of pet.
When we ran out of food to deliver, the sisters, who volunteer to deliver food every week, asked me what food I liked. Pizza, crostini, cannolicchi. Then they talked about their favorite arancine, which are fried rice balls containing, traditionally, either butter  Read More 
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Antica Focacceria San Francesco

Antica Focacceria San Francesco serves the best traditional Sicilian food at moderate prices.
I went to the focacceria today to ask fo an interview with Fabio Conticello, the brother of owner Vincenzo Conticello. Vincenzo, back in 2007, stood up in court and pointed the finger at the mafioso who came to the restaurant and demanded protection money. This was an unprecedented act of courage. Five Mafiosa went to  Read More 
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