Our last day in Palermo was a bit of a peculiar one.
We spent the morning wandering around an art gallery which occupied an old building, stripped of most of its interior decoration, with wardrobes hanging from the ceiling. The effect was a little dreamlike, a little disturbing but the golden sunlight flooding in stopped it from being too creepy.
So in order to find a stronger hit of spooky, we hit the roads and went off in search of the catacombs. It took us about twenty minutes of brisk walking to get there and it was lucky we hurried as we caught them fifteen minutes before closing.
I couldn't help but chuckle at this butchers advertising genuine horse meat. So fellow Brits, what's the likelihood of cow DNA being found in there?
Inside, the catacombs were cool and still. At first it was such a strange feeling to be surrounded by hundreds of the dead but after a while I became used to it and stopped following Magro so closely on the heels.
Some of them were still covered in tight, cracked flesh that hadn't yet given way to the decades and centuries.
It was incredibly disquieting at times, especially when some of them looked caught in the middle of some passion or emotion. Some made death seem calm and easy, others looked caught in eternal pain.
If I were a corpse though, I'd want to be left with these guys. They look like they're having a laugh!
Back in the real world, we were surrounded by colour again after a half hour amongst the greys of death. Carts and vans for carnivals were left to await the next festival down sidestreets where stray dogs ran about and played.
With only a couple of hours before our coach back to Palermo left, we grabbed a quick lunch in the market. I had this delicious pizza, made on sweet briochey bread with tomatoes, anchovies and origano. We shared a plate of marinated and fried vegetables with a slice of mozzarella and shoved it in before tearing through the city and back to get a cake to take home for our hosts (it was incredibly good cake and well worth the mad dash!)
Then for a sleepy (sweaty) coach ride all the way back to Catania where Etna errupted casually into the dusk. Beautiful!