Trip Start Feb 21, 2007
46Trip End Ongoing
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Palermo itself is pretty cool though. The weather followed me here, but actually is coming N-wards so it sort of sweeps over us in the true definition of inclement weather - sunny for an hour, pouring for the next two. one outta 3 aint bad, but it makes for difficult planning.... htat and the fact that the whole city literally shuts down for 3 hrs for lunch, if not longer for the churches. So its a bit tricky, but I've been able to tour their own Archeology Museum - fascinating and most extensive collection of Etruscan artefacts, thanks to this guy Silenas or something like that. The museum is home to the famous and really and truly not a copy of the Bronze Ram. Wow! Something real that isn't a copy located in a city halfway across the country! They also house another famouse copy statue which of course is in the Louvre... ah well.
Got a tour of the Teatro Massimo (3rd largest opera house in europe after Paris and Vienna, and the 2nd largest stage itself).... a beautiful place though, with original flower shaped, rose colored edged glass around the lgihtbulbs, an opening roof for ventilation, cushy and actually comfortable seats!!! Found a couple puppet making places and nearly got to tag along w/ a school group for a show, but the group never showed.... tahnks inclement weather!!!! Apparently Sicily and Palermo especially are known for the crafts, ceramics, puppets ---- active art, I love it!
I walked past this little courtyard that a ceramic place opened onto, and watched people at work making statues (similar to the Santons statues of Provence for creche sets). Eventually they let me come in and watch up close and the owner showed me around, and conveniently led me to the super expensive gift shop. Good thing she wasn't around when I left! But the people here are so welcoming, and raelly want to share their art with you... it is such a good place to be right now.
And just when I was beginning to feel lonely and dance class deficient, I went to their Museo Internazionale delle Marionette - the most extensive collection of puppets in Europe I think, and started to look around. Next thing I know, slightly cheesy waltz music is coming from acouple rooms away, so I think, hey maybe it's a puppet show! Better yet, it was a group of older people taking a Sicilian folk dance class (not unlike Ceili or square dancing but to different music... in fact some things are done exactly in the same manner!). So after watching and laughing along from the doorway for about 5 min, suddenly oh come in, take off your coat, we need an extra person! ah you will you will... hahah. So I'm partnering the hilarious teacher who finds out I'm American but know French and teaches partly in Sicilian and French and occasional English.... Attention, Attention, adiamo a gauche.... along those lines... it was so hilarious. And you had the usual confusion that goes along w/ learning new parts of the dance.... all the while to this great Italian waltz and polka music. Too funny....