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Shopping in the workshops of old and new artisans in Palermo

Shopping is one of the favorite activities by tourists, everywhere they go. Bringing home a tangible memory of the holiday is a desire that we all share, and it must be, preferably, a special object, something that reminds us of the place where we have been in a unique and unmistakable way. So this week we want to suggest you to make your purchases in the shops of the many artisans from Palermo, people who follow a family tradition handed down for centuries and new creatives who come back to populate the old neighborhoods, giving new vigor to activities that were threatened to disappear.

On the occasion of the festival Le Vie dei Tesori a guide book has been created to the craft activities of Palermo, a Baedecker that allows you to discover one of the treasures, in fact, of the city. Tailors, ceramists, engravers, puppets, craftsmen working with leather, fabric, paper and even, for those who prefer a greedy souvenir, chocolatiers and candy makers. The guide also signals old inns and grocery stores where to stop for a meal or a snack.

The selected activities are a hundred – but they plan to add more – and there’s something for everyone. In the Bellomo sisters’ Putia, you will find linen bags and silk caftans, straw bags (the typical Sicilian “coffa”), Christmas tree balls, all handmade (via Aragona 4), while in Antonino Piscitello’s shop you can choose ceramic statues like the matrangela, half angel and half woman, Sicilian nineteenth-century character who is now appreciated by customers all over the world (via Libertà). And then there is Artificium, where Cristina Buccellato and Dario D’Arpa make jewelery in brass, copper, aluminum but also macramé (salita Castellana 8); Cittacotte, the workshop in which Vincenzo Vizzari creates miniature reproductions, in terracotta, of palaces, churches and monuments of Palermo (via Vittorio Emanuele 120); Domus Artis where the ancient art of the “bambinai” is kept alive, that is the craftsmen who created figurines in wax of saints and madonnas, perfect in every minute detail (Via N. Basile 6).

Speaking instead of gastronomic specialties we recommend the Cioccolateria Lorenzo, a chocolate shop, where to go for a cake, a cup of hot chocolate, cookies, all handmade and fresh (via IV Aprile 7); the Gelateria Ilardo where the “giardinetto” was born, a typical Palermo ice cream made of strawberry, lemon and pistachio, with which the Italian flag was to be honored upon the arrival of Garibaldi in the city (Foro Italico Umberto I n.1); the coffee roasting shop of the Stagnittas, where to taste the “real” coffee (Discesa dei Giudici 42) and, again, the Gastronomia Minà, an almost centenary activity in the Vucciria market, the right place to eat Palermo typical specialties such as bread with panelle (chickpea fritters), stuffed sardines, and seafood salad (via Pannieri 28).

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