Monday, April 6, 2015

The Land of Our Fathers


We arrived in Palermo today, and it was love at first sight. This was a city that was totally off my radar until around 2007, when I found out my mother's great-grandfather was from here.

Italy is one of the few countries in Europe with fairly lenient regulations for acquiring a dual passport, and we thought it would be great for us and our kids to be able to easily live and work in Europe if we wanted, without having to give up our American passports. So, since my mother fit the requirements, we followed through on the process. 

We found all kinds of documentation on this ancestor, including his naturalization papers, but never even came close to finding his birth certificate - which, of course, we needed. So we thought, whenever it might be possible, that maybe a trip to Palermo might be in order. 

When my mother died, however, our opportunity was gone. And I never really
gave Palermo a thought after that. It was Martha who put it on the itinerary, and I was vaguely interested enough to go along. 

We were both surprised at how much we immediately loved the city and felt so at home here. I guess it always possible that all of our Sicilian genes just like being back home again, but it is a truly a beautiful city that is very well tended...at least, the most central part is, which is all we've seen in the five hours we've been here. 

All we've done is had dinner, walked the main drag near the big theater to get dessert and coffee, then walked back home. But everything I see makes me want to take a picture, and none of them do the subjects justice. 

Although I have to say, I've read about the city and seen photographs, and none of it has done the city justice either. I didn't have a clue that it was this fabulous. 

Weirdly, though, it's mostly  so stereotypically Italian that it doesn't seem real. Parts of it feel like Epcot. But we've yet to see something we don't like. 

Even the super ultra modern place we had dessert and coffee somehow
managed not to look completely out of place. Palermo has just, unexpectedly, made the list of our favorite places to visit. 

(This is posted from my phone, so I have no idea what the formatting will look like. Apologies in advance.)

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