In 1995, the airport was nicknamed “Falcone and Borsellino”, names of two men. And when these guys get an airport named after them, it’s obviously not a couple of anyone, so here’s some info about them.
Giovanni Falcone, born in Palermo in 1939, was an investigating judge in the fight against the Sicilian mafia, Cosa Nostra. He was the mastermind behind the first Maxi trial, a lawsuit in which more than 400 people connected to the mafia were indicted. His work was not always equally appreciated by the surrounding high lords, as several of these themselves were infiltrated into the mafia. He was – of course – also wanted by Cosa Nostra and after countless assassination attempts and the killing of two police officers who were his bodyguards, the police gave up protecting him in Sicily, and he and his family settled in the guest ward of a disused prison on the island of Asinara, north of Sardinia. From here, however, he continued his tireless investigation of the mafia. They hit him on May 23, 1992 in what has gone down in history books as the Massacre at Capaci. Under the highway that runs from the airport to Palermo, a cargo of 1 ton of trotyl had been placed near the town of Capaci. The large explosive charge did not actually hit Falcone’s car, but the one in front, in which his three bodyguards were sitting. They all died. But the violent explosion pushed Falcone’s car into the crash barrier with great force and Falcone, who had just this day decided to sit behind the wheel himself, was thrown through the windscreen and into the crash barrier because he was not wearing a seatbelt. The same was true of his wife, Francesca Morvillo, as well as the investigating judge sitting next to him. The driver, who was sitting in the back seat wearing a seatbelt, was only slightly injured.
From the beginning of the 80’s, Falcone worked closely with another investigating judge, Paolo Emanuele Borsellino, born in 1940. He had grown up in one of Palermo’s poor neighborhoods, where the later repentant mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta also spent his childhood. Borsellino’s collaboration with Falcone meant that Falcone and his family also had to live in isolation on Asinara.
On May 19, 1992, Borsellino gave a television interview in which he talked about the connection he had discovered that existed between the mafia and northern Italy, among other things. to the Milanese industrial magnets, and he mentioned several people, among them, incidentally, Berlusconi. Two months later, on July 19, Borsellino went to visit his mother. In Via Amelio, where she lived, a parked Fiat Panda was waiting for him with a load of 100 kg of trotyl (one had probably learned to save). Borsellino was blown up along with five bodyguards, one surviving.
From the airport, the Trinacria Express train departs with two trains per hour towards Palermo. Despite the name, the train ride takes a little over an hour – much for 35 km; but the train stops in many places.
If you want to stay at Le Terrazze, you have to get off at a station called “Palazzo Normanno Orleans”. It is the third last. The station just before is called “Palermo Notarbartolo”. From the station it takes a small quarter of an hour to walk to Le Terrazze. From the station, use the exit towards Piazza Indipendenza.
The pension is housed in a large mansion furnished with antiques. Rejoice! It’s a real gem.
As the station name suggests, the pension is not far from the city’s large Norman palace. Even closer is the mighty cathedral.
Casa del Brodo
If you are ready to try something very local, Casa del Brodo can be recommended. From Le Terrazze, follow Via Vittorio Emanuele, cross Via Maqueda and Via Roma, then enter the first alley on the left. From here, a dull glass door leads into the room.
One can hardly call the place a restaurant, the term a restaurant will probably fit better. The place is not what you as a Dane mean by cozy; but the food and atmosphere are very special. The eatery has existed since 1890, when an epidemic ravaged the city. The owner offered a good, warm brodo, ie. a clear soup, to tighten up on, and that at a reasonable price – free to the poor. The soup gained such a great reputation for its invigorating effect on the ailing Palermitans that the then owner Salvatore was nicknamed Il Dottore (the doctor). It is still the same family that runs the restaurant and you can still get brodo cooked on different kinds of meat, which are then served with different spicy sauces. In addition, classic dishes from the area are offered, including more fish dishes.
It is important to book a table, as people, Palermitans, not tourists, often stand in line far out on the street to get a seat – well, when it’s time to eat for the city’s citizens, because a real Sicilian does not dream of eating before. 20.30.
The antipasto is a large buffet with a wealth of exciting dishes, from which you can take everything you want. It may be advisable to share to taste as much as possible. The fresh fish are on display on ice in a display case. You can avoid choosing by asking waiters to make a selection of different fish – it is the best way to be presented with something new and exciting. The house white wine is excellent.
Risi e Bisi
Risi e Bisi is a completely different restaurant: a nice, peaceful place where you can choose to sit inside or outside. Inside, the restaurant is divided into several small rooms, so you sit very privately. There are plenty of waiters, they are discreet but helpful. The food is exciting and surprising.
This restaurant is located in Vicolo Gesù E Maria a Palazzo Reale. From the front door of Le Terrazze, turn left at the bend in the road to Via Biscotta. Follow it to the right to the square with the police station, Questura. From here, the aforementioned viccolo goes down to the left. From the outside, the restaurant may well look more or less closed. But just ring the bell by the terrace and the gate will open.