The first book by London-based publishers Lolli Editions takes the reader on a cultural, historical and architectural walk through Palermo, Sicily. Despite being photographically led on the inside, the book’s cover is an illustrated mock-up of a tiled floor, the type you’d hope to have in an AirBnb of dreams if visiting the city yourself.
Described as a “nifty companion” by the publishers, Walking Through Palermo is a curated selection of 33 cultural sights in what was formerly a “city of closed doors”. This year marks Palermo’s turn as Italy’s city of culture, also hosting the 2018 edition Manifesta Biennale of European Art. Seeing this as an opportunity to explore, Lolli Editions’ holiday companion fills the gap “between highly specialised literature that is not often available in English and the generic guidebook advertorials and too-commercial recommendations.”
The publication mirrors a relaxed Italian way of life. Noting that many of the recommended museums and galleries close at 1pm, and include three-hour lunch breaks, it recommends bracing yourself “for spontaneous exploration with your trusty travel companion and fold-out map at hand,” it explains. “Follow our suggested walk through the city or plan your itinerary as you go, relishing fragrant Sicilian oranges, pistachios, granita, and slices of cassata along the way. And remember that in Palermo, the severest churches have the plainest doors.”
Compiled by Oskar Kohnen, a German/Italian-raised architect, and writer Denise Rose Hansen, suggestions are thoughtfully paired, with photography captured from positions you would stumble across if aimlessly wandering around the city or with a touristic organisation. Shots begin from the edge of a street tunnel, featuring towering palm trees, and often just look up to highlight “the allure of Palermo” flowing “from a strong cocktail of Liberty architecture, medieval markets, Sicilian carts and Byzantine mosaics, served with a dash of lemon and bright green pistachios.”
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