the armchair traveller
STEFANO ALDERUCCIO SHARES HIS PALERMO SECRETS
Via Dei Mille founder Stefano Alderuccio shares his insider secrets of Palermo, the jewel of Sicilly
Where should we stay?
Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes
Where’s the best place to get a cocktail or two?
Without doubt, Caffè del Teatro Massimo, the Palermitan caffe Belle Époque, which is now open to cultural initiatives, art exhibitions and music thanks to a collaboration with the Teatro Massimo, the Opera House of Palermo
How about the buzziest restaurant table?
I would recommend the very crowed and noisy “Taverna Azzurra”, a tavern founded in 1896 and located in the historical street market of the Vucciria
Where to go for Palermo’s best Caponata?
Antica Focacceria San Francesco”. It is not a main dish there, just an appetizer, but the aubergines are perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and fried in the best way, served cold, as the tradition demands, and with some almond flakes for a very Sicilian touch
What’s the one shop you couldn’t be without?
Maestri Caramellai Terranova. A candy manufacturer founded in 1890. The shop produces the famous “caramella al carrubo”, a carob candy icon of the Sicilian confiserie
Where can we find the coolest local artists work?
I would suggest a visit to the “Museo Riso”, which is part of the Museo Regionale d'Arte Contemporanea di Palermo
Is there a hip label on the streets right now?
Nhivuru is a “made in Palermo” fashion brand and quite hip at the moment
Your perfect Palermo day?
July 14th is the perfect day to be in Palermo. It is the culminating and most euphoric moment of “Il Festino”, a colourful religious festival lasting 5 days. Every year, on the night between 14 and 15 July, Palermo celebrates the cult of the patron saint of the city, Santa Rosalia, in memory of the miracle that
saved the city of Palermo from the terrible epidemic of 1624. Over the years "Il Festino" has been enriched with events, street performances and dance developing a very strong symbolism linked to the Sicilian cultural and religious traditions. On the night of July 14, the celebrations reach their peak: a huge procession, starting from the Cathedral, proceeds along the main Cassaro road down to the sea, passing through Porta Felice, following a symbolical itinerary from death (the plague) to life (the light of the fireworks by the sea)
How does Palmero influence your work?
VIA DEI MILLE is an independent artisanal perfume brand that creates perfumes inspired by indigenous Sicilian fragrances, by its family history in perfumery and by the Sicilian natural and cultural universe. Our origins are in the town of Noto, where Salvatore Scorsonelli, our grandfather, installed his neroli distillery, in Via dei Mille, just in front of his house. As we founded our brand with the aim of reviving the Sicilian tradition in perfumery, we have made extensive research on the manufacturing past of the island and have developed strong ties with the Palermo Botanical Garden
Best trip out of town?
There are so many places: Monreale, Mondello, Castellammare, the ruins of Solunto... I would recommend Villa Palagonia, a patrician villa in the town of Bagheria, a few miles away from Palermo. Construction of the villa began in 1715 and its one of the earliest examples of Sicilian baroque. Its popularity comes from the statues of monsters with human faces that decorate its garden and its facades, and gave the place its nickname "Villa of the Monsters"
Don’t leave without seeing?
The Botanical Garden, of course, designed in the late 1700s by the French architect Léon Dufourny, with its amazing buildings, the Gymnasium, the Calidarium, the Tepidarium, and its greenhouses
Something we must take home?
Sì, una cassata siciliana!