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Saturday, 11 August 2007

Palermo : The coolest city in Italy

Recently, the national magazine Panorama described Palermo as "the coolest city in Italy.
With wide avenues lined with palm trees, stylish shops, restaurants and nightclub where everybody dresses up, Palermo transpires style from every angle.
Think of Palermo and its baroque, opulent fashion. People like Dolce & Gabbana, Marella Ferrera or Fulco di Verdura, who popularised the use of coloured stones in creations for clients like Greta Garbo and Coco Chanel.
Palermo is really "Cool". Not exactly in the Milanese way, but in that reflection of pomp and grandeur that is in the air and above all in the Palermitani themselves.

Still do not believe me?
Wander around Via Principe di Belmonte, a pedestrian area right in the commercial district. Or enjoy an aperitif at La Cuba inside Villa Sperlinga.
Tanned, graceful girls in stilettos and stylish handbags, men in dark colour suit with wide silky ties and sunglasses enjoys their aperitifs and coffee breaks at the pretty outdoor cafes.
These are not Mafiosi, they just love to dress well.
Fare bella figura, which roughly translates to "cutting a fine figure," endures as one of the highest Italian virtues, on a par with making a pilgrimage to the Pope. As the Sicilians say, L'onuri è fattu a li robbi, Honor is measured by your dress.
Yes folks, it is all about appearances here.
It wouldn't be fair to i Siciliani to say their obsession with clothing springs from narcissism. Elegance in Sicily shows civic altruism: you are prettifying the landscape for the delight of your fellow citizens. As the old Sicilian saying goes, Mancia a gustu , càusa e vesti a gustu d'àutru;
Eat to please yourself, but dress to please others....

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