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I have visited Palermo recently, only for one short day. I didn’t have any real expectations, haven’t even thought about the Mafia, I just hoped for a few good photo opportunities. I didn’t have much time for anything else.

The first thing that jumped to my eye when I started walking the streets of Palermo was… garbage. Piles of it. Next to every dump people collected heaps of garbage. Below picture shows one of such places – next day there was even more garbage everywhere. This unfortunate display of lack of any sense of community cleanliness covered for me everything else. Wherever I went, I just saw garbage. I wondered how people could live with it…

Anyway, I was told later that private companies collecting garbage simply went out of business and city government did not have a solution yet.

Here is another picture of this city – this one was taken next to my hotel, located right opposite the port of Palermo. If you’d look at this out of context, you could think that it was taken in Afghanistan…

Not bad, huh? But I don’t want to show you only bad sides of the city… Here are a couple of images from its better side:

And last but not least – I met a local guy, who took me to a local fish restaurant called Trattoria Temptation. Fantastic sea food, fish, salads and pasta served Sicilian family style. Really good food – and cheap! Only for that you need to speak Italian… 🙂

The same guide also told me that the city – which also has beautiful villas which I unfortunately haven’t found during my walk – was badly damaged by Mafia. Apparently construction companies in order to make money destroyed a few of  those villas in order to build apartment blocks and shopping areas.

I have mixed feeling after that short visit. A city with tradition,  neglected by its inhabitants, drowning in its own dirt. Was I witness to civilisation on its way to destruction?