Day 1: A FEAST OF FOOD AND CUL­TURE

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Pocket Guides Short Break -

Get your comfy walk­ing shoes on and start at Mer­cato il Capo mar­ket, beat­ing the tour groups who pass through later in the day. If you’ve got a mid-morn­ing ap­petite, try a freshly fried arancini, then go to Mer­cato delle Pulci, the flea mar­ket lin­ing the road near the cathe­dral, with cu­riosi­ties fill­ing the shops. Next, head to the Palazzo dei Nor­manni ( pic­tured; €12/£10.50), the for­mer seat of Si­cily’s kings. Once you’re in the Pala­tine Chapel, look up; ceil­ings don’t come much grander. Stroll down to Fon­tana Pre­to­ria and mar­vel at its sculp­tures, then head over to La Mar­torana (€2/£1.75) on Pi­azza Bellini, with its golden ceil­ing.

A cou­ple of streets away, visit the Mod­ern Art Gallery (GAM; €7/£6) on Via Sant’anna for di­verse art­works, in­clud­ing life­like mar­ble sculp­tures by 17th cen­tury artist Lio Gan­geri.

Scrub up at your ho­tel be­fore head­ing to Teatro Mas­simo (teatro­mas­simo.it; prices vary) for a night at the opera. If peck­ish, grab a slice of pizza on the sidestreets sur­round­ing this im­pos­ing build­ing. Many of the operas show sub­ti­tles on a screen above the stage.

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