A Tour of Palermo, Sicily




crystal surround picturesque
awake catch (2) catch/caught/caught
harbor convince bring/brought/brought
visible climate good/better/best
filling basilica beautiful/more beautiful/most beautiful
tour decorate intersection
hub match (2) panorama
reach made of architecture
taste carriage drawn (2)
piece cathedral drive/drove/driven
statue round off build/built/built
bar (2) break (3) eat/ate/eaten
local mosque stand/stood/stood (2)
power spot (3) offering (2)
fresh form (3) corner (2)
ricotta Baroque consistency
ancient decorate thoroughly
mix mixture atmosphere (2)
fill acoustics sing/sung/sung
full point (3) big/bigger/biggest
tenor add (2) feel/felt/felt
view dessert present (3)
decide enchant fall in love
place reflect (2) marvelous
stay profound immediately






The picturesque capital of Sicily, Palermo, is surrounded by mountains and crystal-blue sea. Early in the morning, only fishermen are awake, bringing their catch into the historic harbor.

They themselves are convinced that this is the best place in the world.

Giovanni Daroma, Fisherman: “Sicily is the most beautiful place on Earth: the climate, the people, everything: the vegetables, the fruits, the fish — everything. We have everything, including beautiful women.”

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Beautiful women are also visible in Palermo in the form of statues.

A stroll around the historic city centre is best begun where they are: at an intersection called Quattro Canti or Four Corners, after the four, richly, decorated, matching corner buildings. The traffic hub is a high point of Baroque architecture.

You can also take a tour around the city in a horse-drawn carriage. Palermo is geographically closer to Tunis than it is to Rome.

Carriage driver Nicola Sutara says that’s reflected in the architecture of the old city centre.

Nicola Sutera, Coach Driver: “Arabs, Africans and Normans all helped build this cathedral.”

From the 9th to the 11th century, Palermo was under North African rule. The Saracens used the old basilica as a mosque. After them came the Normans who built the present Cathedral Maria Santissima Asanta, which is also known as the Norman Cathedral.

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Cafe Spinata is a popular spot for a lunch break. If you want to do as the locals do eat while standing at the bar.

The offerings include cannolis perhaps the most famous Sicilian dessert. It’s made fresh here every day.

So what is the filling actually made of?

Cannoli Maker: “We take ricotta, add sugar and then mix it all together thoroughly. When the recorder has reached the right consistency, we add little pieces of chocolate. And then we fill the cannoli shells with the mixture.”

So how does it taste?

Customer: “This is good cannoli!”

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After a bite to eat it’s time to visit the nearby Teatro Massimo. Trom Maria Callas to Luciano Pavarotti, many of the world’s opera stars have sung here. It’s one of Europe’s biggest opera houses.

Tenor Alessandro Luciano loves the acoustics and the atmosphere of the theater.

Alessandro Luciano, Tenor: “I have been singing for 15 years, so I’ve sung in a lot of important theaters. And every every time I sing in a new one with this kind of history, I can feel that the power of the ancients. It’s beautiful.

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The best way to round off the day is on Monte Pellegrino, with its perfect view of Palermo.

Gala Ruvolo all came here ten years ago as a tourist from Russia. She fell in love with the city and decided to stay.

Gala Ruvolo, Palermo Resident: “It’s a marvelous place. When you stand here with this beautiful panorama, you immediately fall in love with the sea and the land. There’s such a rich and profound history. It’s just great!”

With views like this, Palermo is sure to enchant many more visitors.

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Sicily. Palermo is located in a valley in the middle of Sicily. True or false?

Sardinia. Do Sicilians only eat lamb and beef? Does the fisherman want to live in London, Paris or Berlin?

Corsica. Is Palermo and entirely new, modern city? Is Sicily and entirely European island? What example is shown that Sicily is crossroads of cultures?

Ibiza. The most popular dessert in Sicily are pies. Is this right or wrong? What is cannoli made of?

Majorca. Is Palermo famous as a center of House and Techno music?

Cyprus. All Russians only like snowy and icy weather. Is this correct or incorrect?

Rhodes. Why is Sicily popular? Why do people love Sicily?
Ikaria. I have visited Italy. Yes or no? Have your friends visited Italy?

Spain. What do you associate with Sicily? What comes to mind when you think of Sicily?

Are there cathedrals and opera houses and theaters in your city? Are opera, ballet and drama performances popular?

Greece. Is fish popular where you live? What are some popular foods?

Lebanon. My friends and I would like to live in Sicily or an island. Yes or no?

Crete. Would you like to go on a Mediterranean cruise?

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