It feels like we were in Palermo just yesterday. For me, it was love at first sight. Maybe it was because I took the trip right in the middle of a burn out. So it felt like… breathing again?
It isn’t a city that’s easy to absorb, if you just want to chill. It’s a very crowded, nasty from time to time, busy-buzzing city.
I’m obviously loving this charming side of it and I feel the noise and chaos is perfectly natural.
But you’ll love Palermo because of its rich culture, diversity and food scene.
You’ll find fascinating and abundat veggie, fish and flea markets and the figs I’ve tried here are some of the sweetest and flavourful I’ve ever tasted (so sweet I had to drizzle some lemon juice on them...)
You’ll also love it because you can have a small city break and beach break too.
Mondello is just 15 minutes away by bus and Cefalu (a city where you’d definitely like to live) is 30 minutes away by train.
I was so in love, I barely took pictures. When visiting Cefalu I didn’t even take my camera with me and I’m glad I didn't. We had oven baked pizza with a close sea side view, cold beers on tight streets, wandering around town and literally stared at Cefalu beach which is right in the center of the city and has a spectacular view.
But hey, this trip is my most precious one, so at least let me tell you about what (amazing & vegan) food you can have while around.
Sfincione - somewhere between pizza, focaccia and bread. The traditional version has only tomato and onion sauce on top, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and olive oil. Nowadays vendors add anchois and caciocavallo, but you can still find the vegan version, just ask for the ingredients. This was by far my favourite thing.
Crocche or cazzilli - these are round shaped fried potato croquettes. Traditionally vegan
Arancine - fried rice balls stuffed with various sauces, from tomato and mushrooms to cheese and meat. All vegan options I’ve tried were amazing. Some are vegetarian and contain butter in the rice, so better ask before their vegan option.
Brioche con Gelato - well... actually I didn’t find a place that sells vegan brioches, but they had vegan cornets. Ice Cream was over the top and had lots of vegan options (based on soy).
Pizza / orecchiette with cime di rapa. Cime di rapa or broccoletti di rapa is a cruciferous vegetable with buds that resemble broccoli heads but smaller. It is slightly bitter and all markets are full of it in the summer.
Fresh homemade pasta with tomato and eggplants - Eggplants are very common in Sicily during summer and they make an excellent vegan tomato and eggplant pasta.