In Palermo, the sea is in the city, in the historic center
When wandering the ancient streets filled with old town churches and markets, what is the best place to relax and watch the sunset? The sea!
The ancient port, “La Cala”, once under the control of the Phoenicians and later Arab rule, today is our little port where sailors from all over the world moor their crafts to enjoy Palermo.
“La Cala” is reached from the historic quarter of the Kalsa, the main area inhabited by Arabians during the Norman period. The Kalsa is rich in history harboring such places as Palazzo Abatellis, Palazzo Steri, and the Gothic-Catalan church of Santa Maria of the Chains, which dates from 1490. The name comes from a chain attached to the side of the church which was pulled tight to close the port. La Cala today is full of bars and little eateries to add a little extra pleasure to the scene day and night.
You can wander further to the Foro Italico, a large green area on the city’s waterfront. The sea view is amazing! Walking all the way down Corso Vittorio Emanuel brings you to the eastern end of La Cala and the twin towers of the Porta Felice, constructed between 1582 and 1637. At the foot of the gate, stairs lead to a promenade known as the Passeggiata delle Cattive, or “Walk of the Bad”, referring to the widows who used it. Sounds cruel, but there’s an explanation: “Cattive” means “Bad”, but comes from the Latin root “Captivae”, which means “Prisoner”. And widows were considered to be prisoners to their own sorrow. By confining themselves to the raised promenade, they were able to enjoy views of the sea without having to mingle with others.
From this same area you too can enjoy fantastic views of the entire Gulf of Palermo!
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