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Published: August 5th 2007
Palazzo Normanni Courtyard
The columns and arches of the palazzo.
Palermo was sizzling. The Scirocco (winds) from North Africa are blowing and temperatures were
going up and up (and yes sand is in the air). We are averaging about 2-3 water bottles per day
minimum each. Blackouts are becoming a common theme due to the overload of the electrical system because of widespread A/C use. But all is not lost....the A/C in our Golf continues to work like a charm.
guided us into the world of the Normans (of french Normandy) and Saracens of the 9th - 13th centuries. We are beginning to understand why Sicily was so prized (and invaded) over the past 20+ centuries. Palermo, for example, was literally an oasis set between two rivers. The Saracens piped the water into an elaborate complex of palaces and pleasure gardens with fairly exotic plants and animals. Little remains of this paradise today but visiting the Palazzo dei Normanni and the Monreale Duomo allowed us to see the richness of Arabo-Norman art first hand through the fantastic mosaics, archecture and gardens. Of course you can more quickly gain an appreciation this cultural blend by eating granita or gelato, Pasta alla Normanna, etc. which we also did in Monreale.
Triumphant Norman King Roger II
King Roger II receiving the keys the keys of the City from the Saracens.
We spent most of the day simply basking in the richness of the art shown below and presented to us by our expert guide
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