Narrow streets,
small shops and
centuries old patina

Birthdays are a celebration of life and cities are the ultimate expression of living.

So, what better way to celebrate one’s 31st birthday than a stroll through the ancient city of Palermo. This is a city of contrasts: the crystal blue sky against sandy stone buildings, soaring mountains butt up against the ocean, Christian architecture is overlaid on Islamic foundations, and crumbling buildings sit next to centuries old monuments buzzing with touristos.

We woke up early and our BNB host, Philippa, while using Google Translate, prepared breakfast. Our decadent breakfast treat, that judging by the bums of locals is not eaten by them, was a creamy pistachio white chocolate filled croissant.

Palermo is an ideal city to stroll through, especially on a birthday. Narrow streets, small shops that spill onto the road, beautiful architecture with centuries old patina, people sitting sipping espresso, smoking or passionately talking to a friend – it’s a celebration of life. It’s a great place to get swept up in. We stopped at the Olympian Fountain, took a few shots at the Cathedral, had a beer on the rocks by the port, wandered to one of the city gates then found ourselves navigating a chaotic market. Vendors yelling, the smell of raw fish, vespas beeping their way through the crowd, 5ft long zucchinis and piles of cherries next to vendors selling fried octopus.

We tasted a bit of everything then had a quick nap and change before setting off for an evening stroll.

We stopped at a bar within view of the Theatre and made quick friends with a British couple, when Andrew nearly fell through his chair on the patio. We had a few laughs that went along well with our pints, were served complimentary chocolate crepes, and chatted about Mod culture and the Italian style of living. We said our Instagram farewells and continued on. We found a narrow street with 5 restaurants selling pizza and beer. We settled in at one and enjoyed the atmosphere – a very beautiful and memorable birthday stroll.