La Porta Nuova in Palermo, Sicily

It’s Palermonday again!

Porta Nuova, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

After visiting Teatro Massimo, La Fontana della Vergogna, and Quattro Canti, we’re now continuing along on Corso Vittorio Emanuele through la Porta Nuova (left) in Palermo.

This is one of my favorite photos of Palermo. I love how it captures the history, the hustle and bustle of the city, and even a Smart car–essential for any European street scene.

Plus I’m pretty proud of myself for not caring that I looked like a total tourist while stopping on that tiny sidewalk (believe me, the photo makes it look *gigantic* compared to the reality), burning my eyes looking into the strong midday sun, and snapping away.

I used to have issues with that, but I’m apparently past them.

The original Porta Nuova was built in 1583 to commemorate the victory of Charles V (known as Carlo V in Italy) over the Turks, but was destroyed in an explosion in 1667. Two years later, architect Gaspare Guercio redid the entrance to the city, adding a majolica-tiled pyramid with an eagle on the top (as always, click on photos to enlarge):

Porta Nuova, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

For centuries, Porta Nuova was the most important entry way into the city of Palermo, but Cherrye and I had a few moments of doubt as to whether we could actually pass through it on foot and continue along Corso Vittorio Emanuele without taking a detour.

We are living proof that you can indeed walk through the Porta Nuova.

Sure, it’s against traffic, but don’t worry, it opens up a bit inside to about the same width as the sidewalk outside. In fact, I felt safe enough to stop and take a photo of the inside of Porta Nuova, something you’re not going to find just anywhere:

Inside Porta Nuova, Palermo, Sicily on Flickr

Adjacent to the Porta Nuova is the Palazzo dei Normanni, the seat of the Regional Parliament in Sicily and also home of the Cappella Palatina, the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily and one of the most beautiful and impressive sites in all of Palermo.

Or so we’ve been told.

It was closed the day we were there, which means we have yet another reason to return to this beautiful city.

On to the Duomo next Palermonday!

12 Beans of Wisdom to “La Porta Nuova in Palermo, Sicily”
  1. 05.19.2008

    First! Again! I love when it starts getting hot in Badolato and you have to wake up earlier and earlier to blog…

    I have a guilty pleasure concerning the trappings of the Regno dei due Sicilie – I know right? My socialist butt, venerating dead Bourbons! One does have to admit, however: they did leave some awesome public buildings and art behind. Once you get past the corruption and misrule and all that, of course.

    But, I mean, the flag!!!! I mean, come on! Imagine that on a T-shirt…

    keep cool.

    Paulus Maximus’s last blog post..“Always should be someone you really love…”

    Now *that* is a flag.

    And I always knew you liked Bourbon(s).

  2. Gil

    Great pictures and story. I wonder how many “porta nuova” there are in Italy as I seem to remember others.

    Yes Gil, I think there *are* quite a few.

  3. 05.19.2008

    The opening and closing of museums in Italy can really put on damper on visits. I actually made an Excel spreadsheet of the days museums in Florence were open and closed, it was so complicated. And still got shut out of the Bargello Museum on my first trip! I guess that it must be part of the plan to get us to return… I think it’s working!

    Homebody at Heart’s last blog post..Arezzo – Part 2, Pottery Obsession – Part 1

    Yeah we knew things would be closed, but that was the schedule we had…we still did pretty well I think πŸ˜‰

  4. 05.19.2008

    Wait … stop. The memories are all rushing back! lol

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Be a Star: European Travel Commission Contest

    Hope they’re good ones πŸ˜‰

  5. 05.19.2008

    Again, lovely photos. I am always struck by the plam trees next to those historic buildings. That must be a sure sign that you are in Southern Italy, non? You wouldn’t find that in Florence!

    My Melange’s last blog post..Brimfield Show Photos

    Very true Robin…and wait until you see some of the Duomo photos. You might think you’ve left Italy entirely πŸ˜‰

  6. 05.19.2008

    Plus I’m pretty proud of myself for not caring that I looked like a total tourist while stopping on that tiny sidewalk (believe me, the photo makes it look *gigantic* compared to the reality), burning my eyes looking into the strong midday sun, and snapping away.

    I used to have issues with that, but I’m apparently past them.

    Haha. That’s pretty funny. You remind me of myself! When I am out and about with Bryan I usually make him take photos under the guise that he takes better photos than me. In reality I don’t want to look like a dorky tourist! Too funny.

    Autumn’s last blog post..Inter Wins Serie A

    I still have bouts of not wanting to look too touristy, Autumn, but at this point, I already do so many things that are odd to Italian, I often figure what’s one more?!

  7. 05.19.2008

    I just love the blend of Italianate and Spanish-looking architecture in Palermo. It feels almost otherworldly to me.

    Ann Arbor has just started getting a number of Smart Cars. I’m considering one once my current car dies.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..Music Monday – “Hero” – Jupiter Rising

    The architecture throughout southern Italy is always so interesting to me as well…there’s also plenty of Arab influences as well. Truly beautiful πŸ™‚

    Good on you for the Smart car! They’re *so* cute πŸ˜‰

  8. three-legs alice

    Beautiful city!! I don’t think there’s a part of Italy that I don’t love…
    But I’m in love with the pics you took of that adorable dog!!!!

    three-legs alice’s last blog post..I Need Inspiration

    Thanks–the dog (or maybe the dog’s mamma?) did most of the work πŸ˜‰

  9. 05.20.2008

    I *LOVE* that! It’s so beautiful! I can’t wait to see it!

    I’d have walked right through the Porta Nuova too. Absolutely.


    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..spring cleaning

    Hope I’m there with you πŸ™‚

  10. 05.20.2008

    Oh Michelle – I am sooo glad you got past that whole *standing in the street snapping pics like a total tourist* thing…. otherwise, the rest of us wouldn’t get live vicariously through YOU! lol :o)

    Dory’s last blog post..Swallow it!

    Hah, thanks Dory πŸ™‚

  11. I know what you mean about not wanting to look like a tourist… I often have to keep telling myself (silently, of course), “This is for work. This is for work. I have to do this. Keep taking pictures. Ignore the staring.” Having a really great zoom lens helps, too, so I can hide in dark corners and still take pictures. Is that cheating? If so, I don’t care. πŸ™‚

    Jessica, Italy Logue’s last blog post..New Flights on AirOne: Milan-Boston & Milan-Chicago

    Hey whatever gets the shot Jessica–at least you have work as an excuse!

  12. 02.17.2010

    These contributions are sensational

    Thank you!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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