Saturday, August 27, 2011

Paradise on Earth

This sounds like an improbable possibility in a chaotic and modern city like Palermo (the 5th largest in Italy today), but there was a time in the past, during the reign of the Norman Kings of Sicily, when miles and miles of the area outside the medieval city walls carried this title in Arabic. I'm referring the the "Genoard" as the Normans called it giving its Arabic name "Gennat-al-ard" a French sound easier to pronounce in their native tongue.

Travellers during the twelfth century have left us descriptions of the palaces, pavillions (like the one shown here) and vast park. A visit to these places today really puts our imagination to the test, but you can still see the Zisa castle, the Cuba and more.

Read about all this in my new article in the September issue of Best of Sicily Magazine.

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