Capo Market in Palermo

Like other travelers, I quickly learned that the Vucciria market so vividly described in guidebooks was merely a memory in Palermitan life; something that thrived years ago and today barely remains.  Our favorite thing to do in Palermo was walk the winding streets for hours taking in the city's unique and at times overwhelming personality.  We did stumble upon the Capo Market which made up for our unsuccessful attempt at "finding" the Vucciria market.  The mercato di Capo was so lively and chaotic and reminded me of the market atmosphere in Tunisia.  
Just as we came out of the market, workers were taking down the decorations from the most recent patron saint festival.  If you have ever been to Italy, you know how celebrated the saints are, and if you are there in the summer in particular, it is nearly impossible to miss one.  
A walk around the La Kalsa neighborhood, an old, crumbling quarter of Palermo was both depressing and fascinating as poverty was prominent and many of the old buildings were falling apart after having been bombed in World War II.  Many of the apartments used these huge outdoor curtains to keep out the sun and heat.
The waterfront near the Foro Umberto I (just past La Cala) becomes a very happening place in the late afternoon and early evening when the Palermitans come here for their jog.  I saw quite a few serious runners every day, even before the sun had gone down and it was still almost unbearably hot to run in.  I must admit the sunset makes for a pretty backdrop during a workout.
The restaurants along the waterfront all specialize in grilling fresh fish right in front of you.  They are casual and very family-friendly and you can expect to eat something that was caught very recently.  You can go over to the table of raw fish and point at which one you'd like them to cook up for you.  They don't over-complicate the food as the focus is on the seafood--all you need is a little lemon squeezed over it and you are in for a treat.

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