January 18, 2013

Palermo is truly a special city. It’s ancient, well loved, proud and gritty. It’s often chaotic and always unapologetic. It’s got sass.
Ben and I have visited Palermo a few times, and each visit we feel more comfortable and less intimidated, and so our exploration expands. This time we entered into new territory in the form of a cooking class, which was unbelievably brilliant. But that’s for the next post. For now, I’m going to blast you with pictures of this passionate city, this city that gets under your skin and never lets you forget. I’ll never forget, Palermo.

Ballaro Market, our favourite. Local love, right here.

In 2009 we tasted divine ricotta with arrabiata topping. Oh man, it was good. It’s been on our mind ever since… And so, on our honeymoon, Ben and I made a beeline for this delight, hoping our beloved store would be there still. Of course it was. With an even greater array on offer this visit, we chose a breadcrumb, onion, anchovy mixture and a tomato oregano topping. I must admit the marmalade and pistachio caught my eye…

Ricotta and figs were breakfast. Damn….it was good.

Ok, let’s explore a little before lunch. Look out for cars…

Salad, Sea Urchin and Swordfish at Trattoria Da Salvo. This was one of our most beloved meals of our entire trip. Getting stuck into fresh, grilled seafood and mopping up the juices of the platter and lovely fresh tomato salad with bread was truly one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had in my life, I’m not going to lie.

Evening eats at Kursaal Kalhesawere really delicious. The nut-crusted swordfish was classy and comforting at the same time.
Watermelon gelato, what is more spectacular, truly?
Ciao, Palermo. Your true beauty shines through your tarnished exterior more and more with each visit. And, quite frankly, you take my breath away.


Heidi xo

Palermo Notes

Length of stay:

1 night. We were already familiar with Palermo from previous visits and so one sufficed. I would recommend at least two nights for first timers, and more if you want to just hang out and live like a local for a few days.


Ambasciatori Hotel – we stayed in this hotel’s cheaper apartment rental, and still used their rooftop bar, which afforded stunning views of the city. I favour this location, certainly for first timers, and the staff were very helpful. Next time I’d absolutely stay with our cooking class hostess, Nicoletta, in her rooms Butera 28.

Where we ate:

Kursaal Kalhesa, gelato at Bar Touring and Lucchese Gelateria and seafood platters (love) at Trattoria Da Salvo.


: the cooking class with Nicoletta, seafood platters on our last day in Sicily, buying season 1 of The Simpsons and watching it in bed late at night with bellies full of gelato, wandering the Teatro Massimo (I recommend a tour) and exploring the markets – Ballaro and Capo

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  • Lesdad January 18, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Absolutely want those sea urchins !

  • Leah January 18, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Stunning and dreamy.
    Honestly the food stalls with all that fresh produce looks so good. I can just imagine the smell! Delicious.

  • Yasmeen January 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Dying over those markets. And the figs! Such a divine flavor of summer.

  • Not Quite Nigella January 18, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Oh look at that fig! And I'm intrigued by ricotta with arrabiata sauce now! 😀

  • jac January 19, 2013 at 12:00 am

    The ricotta with figs looks amazing! Looking forward to the cooking class post 🙂

  • Heidi January 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Lesdad – thought that'd be your fav part 😉

    Leah – such a dream!

    Yasmeen – oh man I miss those figs…

    Lorraine – it is such a great idea!

    Jac – can't wait to show you!

    Heidi xo

  • Dayna January 20, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Everything is so beautiful and colorful and I've said it before but these posts give me so much wanderlust!

  • The InTolerant Chef January 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Wonderful, wonderful markets indeed! Watermelon gelato- yummo!!

  • Heidi January 22, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Dayna – I love that, thank you 🙂

    InTolerant Chef – so yum!!

    Heidi xo