Take a short bus ride from Palermo to the delightful resort town of Mondello where wealthy Palermitani erected splendid art nouveau villas. It is surrounded by Monte Gallo and Monte Pellegrino. The 15th century watchtowers protect the bay. Here’s a link to an interesting video about the area
Dine on the terrace of Ristorante Charleston in Mondello on Via Regina Elena overlooking the bay for an incredible “Vino con Vista.” Order the “Risotto ai Sapori di Sicilia” (Sicilian flavored risotto) and earn your Buon Ricordo plate covered with hand-painted citrus fruits. Have a glass of Bianco D’Alcamo as you gaze at the incredible Conca d’Oro hills that curve around the bay. Go to the beach and swim in the delightful azure water. There is an annual beach festival in the second week of May.
Then travel to Monte Pellegrino. Perched at the top of Monte Pellegrino you can visit the sanctuary of Saint Rosalia. Her statue welcomes visitors to the sanctuary that was erected over a cave where she lived and prayed. She dedicated herself to a life of prayer and penance.
She died in 1166 and was beatified and adopted as the patron saint of the city of Palermo. One of the miracles attributed to her is the end of the Plague that ravaged Sicily in the 17th century. It was brought in by a Tunisian ship in 1624.
Faithful followers climb to the sanctuary every September 4th on a pilgrimage. The water that drips from the cave is believed to be miraculous. The marble figure of the Saint is clothed in a golden cape donated by Charles III of Bourbon. An annual procession in July carries Saint Rosalia through town. Her statue is carried on a float drawn by oxen from Monte Pellegrino into town.
To learn more about Sicily read www.vino-con-vista.com Sicily Travel Guides and
- Ten Reasons Why I Love Palermo Sicily (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Wine Spectator’s Maps of Italy’s Major Wine Regions (vinoconvistablog.me)