December 29 was our last full day in Sicily. So sad! We started the final day off right with cappuccinos and pastries near the Massimo.
Aldus made a friend with one of the baristas who treated him to a cone.
I think I've mentioned this before, but I really need to say it again because it was such a fun aspect of our whole holiday with Aldus: Sicilians love babies. It doesn't matter if they're male, female, young, old. We just couldn't get over how many people - on the street, in restaurants, in cafes, everywhere - so many people stopped to talk to Aldus, hold his hand and greet him with a cheery "Ciao ciao!" We loved it!
Anyway, Aldus liked interacting with this guy and sure did like the (ice cream-less) cone. He just gummed it and gummed it and gummed it...
...for about five minutes until it just became too soggy to hold its structural integrity, and we thought he might choke on a piece. Ew. You can see the disappointment in his eyes when we took it away.
Our first sight-seeing destination was La Martorana. We visited the piazza outside the church on our first and second days in Palermo but didn't have the chance then to go inside. Saturday was our big day!
In true Palermitan fashion, it was both impressive and gorgeous on the inside:
There were mosaics galore, of course, with plenty of gold leaf, on walls, ceilings and arches:
This mosaic of a night sky, a beautiful azure tiled backdrop for glittering gold leaf stars, was one of my favorites:
In addition to mosaics, La Martorana features beautiful frescos, as well:
After La Martorana we walked back toward Teatro Massimo to take a tour of the famous opera house.
We weren't allowed to take photos inside, but their web site offers a virtual tour. (Warning, their site "features" an audio fanfare and bells that you can't turn off. Turn down those speakers if you're at the office!)
After our tour, we met up again with Giuseppe and another friend of his. (I'm so sorry I've forgotten his name. And such a nice guy, too!) It was time for lunch, and none of us had had our fill of Palermitan street food yet, so we headed into the Capo neighborhood. Our first stop was for warm sfincione, a soft, bready pizza. Yum!
After more food and walking around the Capo, we went our separate ways for the rest of the afternoon. Charles and I were tired and needed to pick up some gifts before we left for home, so we gave up on sightseeing and headed back toward the hotel. Along the way we noticed some interesting use of English. It's nice that the mafia doesn't discriminate against girls, but they sure do start them early in Sicily:
That night we went to dinner at Il Mirto e La Rosa around the corner from the hotel. We'd asked for a recommendation for someplace casual for pizza with Aldus, but the restaurant was fairly nice. Fortunately for us, Aldus was on his absolute best behavior through dinner. He charmed all the ladies who waited on us, as well as several other diners, including an older woman at the next table who seemed initially appalled at having a baby nearby. The food itself was great, and the whole evening was an excellent way to top off the whole trip!