A long cruise - Palermo, Sicily - part 3

jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)July 15, 2014

We are back in Palermo heading to our next significant stop (one cannot count a stop light as significant). I saw these apartments and noted that almost all of the balconies on one had plants and barely anything on the other.

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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Our first stop were the catacombs. We were not supposed to take pictures, so I didn't. One of the men in our Cruise Critic group did take several. I emailed him to ask for copies and he never responded.

It was 'different' being in a place like this. There was definitely a distinctive aroma down there. The bodies were grouped. Professionals were together as were babies. Some still had hair and others had their hair fall out. Many were wrapped in burlap, and it held up quite well; whereas others were dressed in the appropriate clothes that we would see as someone might be in a coffin.

The missus did not stay there long; I was in the catacombs for at least 30 minutes. I was fascinated.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:00PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Next to the catacombs (which are under a church that we did not enter), there is a Cappuchin cemetery. Only a couple of us went there. Again, I was surprised at the way they buried their dead.

On this headstone, there are many pictures; however, a few of them do not have names or dates. I don't know if they are still alive, or had been buried some other place. None of the dates were more than 100 years old.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:04PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

This one is nearby. Not as many pictures, but there is evidence of a vault. It is my understanding that when a family purchases a plot, they have an option as to how deep they want to place family members (stacked on each other with the newest on top). It is different than I have seen in the western hemisphere.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:06PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

This is another view of the Capuchin cemetery in Palermo. Mausoleums are everywhere, but there are many plots similar to those in the previous two photos.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:08PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

The Palermo Opera House opened in 1897. The first performance was Verdi's Falstaff. It is a source of pride for the residents of Palermo to have such a facility in their city.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:09PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

As you can see by the sign, it is still used extensively. It seats almost 1400 and is located on Verdi Plaza. We did not enter.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:11PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Carriages for hire at the opera house; and tour buses all lined up. This was a huge draw for tourists.

Note the buildings in the background. All have balconies.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:13PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Of course, if there are tourists, then there will be vendors trying to sell souvenirs. I noticed this gentleman using a unique wheels to move around.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:15PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

On the side of the opera house, I saw these huge windows. When one opens these, a lot of air can come into the building.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:17PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Not too far away, I noticed these palm trees. One is barren. Beetles have come from Africa and are destroying palm trees in many cities. It would be too expensive to try to completely remove the tree. Almost all are left this way.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:19PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

I had to take a photo of this taxi. I just cannot figure out how the driver got this parked in such a tight space!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:20PM
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lilosophie

Interesting buildings, most people live in apartments and are having a balcony to enjoy the outdoors, not a bad way to live.
The opera house looks like a smaller version of the Frankfurt Opera, which I used to pass on my way to school.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:46AM
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anneliese_32(6)

Every day, after looking at your pictures, I end up googling something or the other. Today it was the bugs which kill the palms, but did not have much luck.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 7:06PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

I consider myself a good researcher; however, I could not locate much information either.

I believe that they are called north African beetles and they are also evident in Spain. Both of those countries are not that far from Africa. I searched many names of beetles, but could not make all the information come together in one place.

Next step for me would be to contact an entomologist over there and get clarification.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:10PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

You're brave, visiting Sicily in July! I was there in January and found it too warm! Then again, I am Canadian...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:15PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

I found this article (highlighted at bottom). It appears that it might be "Red Palm Weevil"

Also this one: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/7786925/Italys-coastal-palm-trees-under-attack-by-army-of-weevils.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Weevil information

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:46PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

Our port time on our cruise in Sicily was November 18 & 19. Many of the locals were wearing jackets. See the photo of the gentleman offering souvenirs on Piazza Verdi (above).

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:48PM
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