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Collectively, they are an outstanding example of a socio-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic, and Byzantine cultures. This interchange gave rise to an architectural and artistic expression based on novel concepts of space, structure, and decoration that spread widely throughout the Mediterranean region. The monuments that comprise this 6. Each illustrates important aspects of the multicultural Western-Islamic-Byzantine syncretism that characterized the Norman kingdom of Sicily during the 12th century. The innovative re-elaboration of architectural forms, structures, and materials and their artistic, decorative, and iconographic treatments — most conspicuously the rich and extensive tesserae mosaics, pavements in opus sectile, marquetry, sculptural elements, paintings, and fittings — celebrate the fruitful coexistence of people of different origins. This interchange generated a conscious and unique combination of elements derived from the architectural and artistic techniques of Byzantine, Islamic, and Western traditions. This new style contributed to the developments in the architecture of the Tyrrhenian side of southern Italy and spread widely throughout the medieval Mediterranean region. The property does not suffer unduly from adverse effects of development or neglect. Authenticity The cultural value of the property and of its individual components is truthfully and credibly expressed through attributes such as their locations and settings, forms and designs, materials and substances, and uses and functions. The authenticity of the mosaics in particular has been confirmed by experts in the field of Byzantine mosaics.

Sami & Jeremy

This is not hyperbole. So where else would a die-hard culture vulture and history lover go on a 2-week odyssey? I hope this 1, mile journey from Naples to Palermo, the capital of Sicily will inspire you to visit these sites and absorb the history that has gone into making southern Italy what it is today.

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Staff was extremely helpful with recommendations for items to see, and with help with parking and storage of our car, and retrieval of it for a very early departure. Well preserved antique building in a very local neighborhood with super trendy, industrial interior. The room and common area looks exactly like the photo on booking.

Huge breakfast and nice coffee. Alaina , Taiwan The property was on a lovely street and it was quiet. The staff was amazing, taking the time to go through a map of the city at check in. He also parked our oversized vehicle for us and even took us right into the main intersection at check out to help us navigate the local roads.

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Opulent and decadently falling down churches, romantic fountains, Baroque flourishes and sunglass-clad locals lounging in cafes in piazzas- these all characterize Palermo. The town lies in a spectacular natural setting, enclosed by Monte Pellegrino and beautiful Capo Zafferano in the south. Palermo is the main point of entry in the west of the country with Catania on the east and the perfect place to start your gourmet tour in Sicily.

Be aware that traffic in Palermo is traffic is fairly insane and drivers and pedestrians seem to have nerves of steel in maneuvering around this fascinating and chaotic city. History Historically, Palermo was as harried as it is today. Throughout the centuries, a parade of invaders — the Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Spaniards, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Austrians, to name a few — marched through the city, eventually converting it into a cocktail of mixed cultures and traditions.

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Sami’s best friend was dating and then engaged to Jeremy’s best friend. Through all the years of their friends’ dating, they had never really talked. It wasn’t until the night of their friends’ wedding that their story truly began. Jeremy was the best man in the wedding, Sami was a bridesmaid. As if it was fate, Sami caught the bouquet and Jeremy caught the garter.

Not many people can say that this symbolic wedding tradition that is supposed to identify the next two people to wed would be the start of their relationship and eventually lead to their own wedding! The Proposal It was Christmas time! Sami’s favorite time of the year! A few weeks before, Jeremy suggested a new Christmas tradition of going to Kennywood to see the Christmas lights on Friday December 23rd.

It seemed like any other Friday night date. Jeremy picked Sami up at her house and they went to Mad Mex for dinner. Mad Mex is always a favorite pick for both of them. It was were they ate on their first date. When they got to the restaurant, there was a small wait.

The cruise port of Palermo

Palermo A city of magnificent architecture, authentic Sicilian cuisine and beautiful landscapes. Palermo is the capital of the island of Sicily and is the gateway to a truly authentic Italian experience. With its vibrant markets, impressive beaches and a rich tapestry of history, Palermo really should be at the top of your bucket list of places to see. With flights from Malta to Palermo only taking 50 minutes, you can easily see the city in a weekend getaway.

Palermo has a unique history that has shaped everything in the city from its skylines to its people.

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Palermo Stone The Palermo Stone more correctly known as the Royal Annals is one of the most important primary sources in the study of ancient Egyptian history. The exact date of the stone’s creation is in doubt, but it is thought to have been towards the end of the fifth dynasty Old Kingdom in the twenty-fifth century B. The Palermo Stone lists the mythical predynastic kings of Egypt followed by the pharaohs of the first five dynasties.

It records information on taxation, religious ceremonies, the levels of the Nile, building works, trade and military expeditions during this early period of Egyptian history making it the world’s oldest history book! It was one of the primary sources from which Manetho compiled his history of Egypt. It is composed of black basalt and it is estimated that it was around two metres high when complete, but unfortunately its significance was not immediate recognised and at one point it was allegedly used as a door stop!

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Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale

Church of San Francesco d’Assisi. Located at Corso Vittorio Emanuele, corner Via Matteo Bonello, its long history has led to an accumulation of different architectural styles, the latest being the 18th century. Cappella Palatina , the 12th century chapel of the Palazzo dei Normanni , has outstanding mosaics in both Western and the Eastern traditions and a roof by Saracen craftsmen.

John of the Hermit Order: Located near the Palazzo dei Normanni , a 12th-century church notable for its bright red domes, a remnant of Arab influence in Sicily. Elliot described it as “

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Cathedral Introduction Palermo is about 30 centuries old now. It became an important land to conquer for the Greeks and Carthaginians. In the Greeks times it was Panormus, which means port in their language. At the end of the 9th century in Arabs hands it became a prosperous port and city and at the end of the 12th century when the Normans took it, the city became the capital of their kingdom and flourished wonderfully.

Then one after the other the Hohenstaufens, the Angevians, the Aragonese and the English tried but failed to emulate the heydays of the Normans. The Spanish only gave Palermo a different organization by adding baroque domes among the maze of Moorish style narrow streets. But the two wars, immigration and mafia activity turned it into a decadent centre. Last century in the 80s murders were terrifying and Palermo seemed to be in a no-win situation. After the Mafia trials Palermo began a period of recovery thanks in part to its mayors.

Cappella Palatina

The city is built on an inlet of the Mediterranean and is partly surrounded, to the south, by a semicircle of mountains and hills, of which the highest are Catalfano to the east, and Montepellegrino to the west. Among the churches are the Duomo, Built in by the Archbishop Gualtiero Offamiglio on the site of an ancient basilica which had been changed into a mosque during the Saracen domination. The walls are decorated with frescoes and mosaics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

In the first chapel on the right are six tombs of kings and queens of Sicily. Other objects of interest in the cathedral are sculptures by Gagini and by Villareale; an Assumption by Velasquez, and other paintings by well-know masters; the crypt with 21 tombs of archbishops of Palermo, and the tabularium , or archives with interesting Latin, Greek, and Arabic documents.

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Army Sicily Campaign ribbon Prelude to War Nobody ever commended George Patton for his tact, but he was one of the best “motivational speakers” of his day. The hapless Axis soldiers who found themselves in Sicily in the hot Summer of had only a vague idea of what awaited them, and it was far worse than what anybody – even Patton – could put into words. Ill-advised and disastrous it may have been, but Italy’s entry into the Second World War was no accident, nor did it reflect exclusively Fascist policies, though these were certainly involved.

It was prompted by an expansionist foreign policy rooted in earlier nationalist aspirations to establish an “Italian Empire” at the turn of the century, thus it was hoped aiding the economy and making Italy a “great power” on a par with Russia, Germany, France and Great Britain. Italy had seized some east African territories beginning in the s only to be checked by Ethiopian forces at the Battle of Adwa in – a landmark defeat for a European colonial power.

In , the Italians occupied Libya , formerly part of the fading Ottoman Empire, following unexpectedly heavy fighting against a ferocious enemy. The Italian occupiers subsequently undertook a civilian massacre. This action shocked even powers such as Great Britain and France, whose own colonial exploits often led to high civilian casualties. There’s no escaping the fact that as colonialists the Italians were inept, and no great power took the “new” nation united only in the s seriously, either militarily or politically.

The First World War and its immediate aftermath led to acquisition of new territories in what is now northeastern Italy, but to this day the Germanic Tiroleans of “Trentino-Alto Adige” and the Slovenians of Trieste hardly consider themselves “Italians. Initially, the Sicilian secessionist movement sought restoration of the exiled House of Bourbon of Naples ousted in Decades later, with the increasing poverty of a region which until the s had been more prosperous than most northern regions now industrialized , the more radical Sicilian separatists desired full independence.

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At one time it was a favorite haunt of writers, poets and artists, who were enraptured by its eastern atmosphere and beauty. Built and grown over the course of centuries, Palermo conveys a range of diverse cultures and traditions. It suffered heavy damages during the Second World War bombings, its old quarters destroyed and never been completely rebuilt. Nevertheless, it has preserved much of the priceless heritage handed down by the peoples who populated it.

I’d recommend it for a date, so it’s on my list of the best Date Spots in Palermo. After pizza, we headed over to the Vucciria market to get more wine. More wine was good.

If you do not opt for one of the horse carriages waiting at the port, you can leave the docking area on foot and discover the city while walking around. The city center of Palermo is very dense and compact with small and winding streets. Most landmarks are located close to each other, which makes walking a fine option. Most cruise line companies also arrange a shuttle bus to the city center. A more expensive, but faster option is to take a taxi.

Don’t forget to fix a price before you go. On a cruise to Palermo you can also visit Monreale. It is a small town situated on a hill about 10 kilometers from Palermo and especially famous for its 12th century Cathedral and great view over the bay. When you have sufficient time, a combination of both is a very good choice to spend your day. It is possible to see more of the island outside Palermo. A shore excursion to Selinunte at about km from Palermo, will take you back in history when visiting one of the most important Greek archeologic sites.

Or what about Menfi at the south coast of Sicily to taste some great wines and local specialties. It is often referred to as the pearl of the Thyrrenian Sea. From the Medieval town of Erice you have a great view over Trapani and surroundings in the westerly corner of the island.

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