The third of our walking tours will show you more of the city and introduce you the modern Mafia, which started at the beginning of the 20th century in Palermo and New York City.
For this guided walk we will meet you up in front of the Church of San Domenico in Piazza San Domenico (or we may pick you up from your hotel or b&b) to head to the Vucciria, the iconic open-air marketplace depicted by one of the greatest contemporary Italian painters: Renato Guttuso. The area is in daytime a marketplace indeed, but at nights it turns into an open-air pub, so it is worthwhile to come back after dinner to enjoy some drinks with the locals.
Down Via Vittorio Emanuele we get to the Passeggiata delle Cattive (literally Promenade of the Bad Women): we walk along the old city walls on top of which stands a huge palace which belonged to kings and other top nobles, hence used to host other kings and emperors. Memories of a time when Palermo was one of the most important cities in the world… What are the Bad Women about? You’ll get to know!
Few minutes separate us from Giardino Garibaldi, which hosts the largest tree in a European city: it's a Moreton Bay Fig Tree. With its 25 metres (82 feet) in height and 22 metres (72 feet) of girth, its enormous aerial roots and its huge canopy, it is an attraction for everybody! But, hey, it is high time we met the Mafia... inside the giardino there's an engraved brass plate on a pole to remind us of Giuseppe 'Joe' Petrosino, a New York City police officer who was a pioneer in the fight against organised crime. On the 12th of March 1909, after arriving in Palermo, Petrosino didn’t meet the informer he was supposed to talk to: the Mafia was already very powerful at those times...
We then head to Piazza Magione, as in this neighbourhood two prosecutors made the recent history of the war to the Mafia: Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both killed in 1992 (and we still don’t know the whole truth). If you’d like to know what happened in the Mafia war during the 1980s, that is the war between the different Mafia clans, and go to what used to be one of the most important centres of the Mafia power, book the Corleone tour: it's not only about the film The Godfather, it is about the bloody truth the Mafia is!
At the end of the walk, being lunchtime, we may suggest you a lovely restaurant or where to enjoy some delicious street food: any walk had better end up with some tasty Sicilian dishes!
Why touring with Palermo Walks? We have been awarded the patronages of the Sicilian Parliament and of the City of Palermo, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can always talk to one of our managers. Our style is based on storytelling, our unique way of sharing with you the history and stories of people, art, culture, food, traditions. Book your walk now to enjoy the best of Palermo!
- 9:30 Piazza San Domenico
- 9:45 Vucciria open-air marketplace
- 10:15 Church of Santa Maria della Catena
- 10:45 Porta Felice
- 11:00 Passeggiata delle Cattive
- 11:30 Giardino Garibaldi and the American Mafia
- 12:30 Piazza Magione and two important Mafia victims: the prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino
- 13:30 End of the walk or we may take you to a restaurant