All we needed to do was pick up our rental car and drive back to our hotel on Piazetta Lucretia Brunaccini. We just wanted to be ready to head off the following morning on our adventure around Sicily. It sounded simple enough.
We had a choice of car. Andy and I fancied ourselves in the sporty two-door Audi convertible, adventuring through the Sicilian countryside. But as the 15 year old pointed out we needed to practical. The larger Fiat was much more suitable for a family with luggage. So that’s what we did. I’m not sure if Andy will ever get over it.
Anyway, we’re staying in old Palermo. Very beautiful, very old. Cobbled streets, lots of one ways – but not the same way up an entire street! Many streets are closed to vehicles completely and the ones that aren’t are ruled by pedestrians. Some roads are more like cobbled footpaths. Our hotel is up one of those.
We got a GPS just to be on the safe side. Unlike in New Zealand, rental cars do not come with maps! A quick drive back to our hotel and we were off to the Royal Palace. Well that was the plan!
Our GPS sent us all over the place. We got tooted at frequently. We went up tiny, narrow streets. We drove through street markets. We went around in circles. We were tired. We were hungry. We were grumpy. We were stressed. We gave up. We parked and walked. We ate. A glass of vino russo and a birre. And the restauranter gave the nice tourists a lemoncello each, on the house. We felt much better after that.
We did an open air bus tour of old Palermo. Between the commentary we got our bearings; which streets to go up, which to go down and which to avoid. We went back to find our car. And just before dark we made it back to the little cobbled square up the little cobbled street outside our hotel.
Having done some quick googling, we can see the general advice is DON’T DRIVE in Palermo. Apparently, the roads are like a jumble of toothpicks. But the scenery and the food is amazing!