Sicily, Palermo street food and botanical garden

Author & Photographer: Alessandro Del Ben

The land of Trinacria:

Palermo Street Food & Traditional Market




Market  “Capo”

Capo and Ballarò are the oldest street markets of Palermo. Founded in the 9th century by the arabs, Capo market is the main fish market of the city.

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The “Arancina”

Arancini (arancini or arancine in Sicilian), are stuffed rice balls which are coated with breadcrumbs and fried. They are said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century during Kalbid rule. Arancini are usually filled with ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas. There are a number of local variants that differ in fillings and shape. The name derives from their shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange , although in eastern Sicily, arancini have a more conical shape.

ArancinO? IT has a pine cone shape. It’s stuffed with minced veal, tomato, carrots and onion

The arancino should be called Suppli. It was invented in the late XVIII century by a sicilian cook.

He took inspiration from the french tradition of “La feve du Roi”. A cake, prepared in french on the 6th January , which hides inside a bean. The child who finds it becomes King for a day!

The sicilian cook made the same thing with rice. The “surprise” is the tomato.

The french word “surprise” (surprìs) changed into “supplì”.



The “Panielle & Cazzilli”

Panella (or Panella di ceci) are Sicilian fritters made from gram flour and other ingredients. They are a popular street food in Palermo and are often eaten between bread or on a roll, like a sandwich.   Panella are believed to be of Arabic origin.

Cazzilli (potato croquettes)

Mashed potato croquette with mint and parsley.

The name comes from Cazzo, Penis… little penis!   Cazzilli and panelle are usually eaten in a soft sandwich topped with sesame.






Ballarò Market

The longest street market of the old city, also most multicultural one. Palermitans, Arabs, Africans and Indians work together one close another. It offers the largest variety of fruit and vegetable.




Marco with a friend that sell fish in the market

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This man with his peddling sell the autentic Sfincione in Palermo

From latin “spongiam” = sponge

Soft pizza with onion and tomato sauce. The sfincione from the streets is sold by street vendors. It’s warmed on the kart which has a gas oven, finally served with some olive oil, oregano and black pepper.

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Characteristic person walking in the street




Here you can drink the traditional wine of Palermo, like Zibibbo, Marsala & Sangue

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Pane ‘ca Meusa .    Spleen sandwich

Spleen,lung and throat carthilage of veal, boiled and slightly fried in pork fat. Served in a Vastedda (rounded sandwich). Most lungs!

Jewish recipe. A big jewish community was based in Palermo until 1942, when Ferdinando The Catholic ordered the expulsion of the jews out of spanish territories.

The jewish butchers used to butcher the veal, but instead of being paid, clients were leaving them the inner organs of the animal.

The jewish butcher could make money by frying and selling the spleen and lungs.

Married Pani ca meusa: spleen and ricotta cheese

Single Pani ca meusa: spleen and lemon

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Seller of entrails

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The best cheese in Palermo, like cacio, ricotta & provola

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How to make the traditional “Cannolo”

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By Alessandro Del Ben





Church of Immacolata Concezione Al Capo

In 1569, a noblewoman from Palermo, called Donna Laura Barbera Ventimiglia, gave a building, with a piece of land attached, to create a convent for 40 Benedictin< nuns.

Attached to the convent there was a chapel enlarged and embellished in 1612 according to a plan by Orazio Nobili. It was completed in 1738. The church dedicated to “the Immaculate Conception” is the highest example of the Baroque style blassomed in our town. The external architecture does not allow to imagine how the internal part is rich in marbles, gold, frescos, precious stones, plasters, wrought irons, in a fantastic parade that left the poor people of the borough astonished and aweful. On the major altar is the Immaculate Conception’s canvas painted by Pietro Novelli. The lateral walls are very precious. They are covered by polichrome marbles, angels, arabesques, twisted columns. In each wall there are two chapels, alternating with 16 marble statues representing saints, Sicilian Papes, Kings and Emperors.

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Another Church in Palermo






Palermo’s harbour

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The Botanical Garden

The earliest beginnings of the gardens go back to 1779, when the Accademia dei Regi Studi created the chair of “Botany and medicinal properties”. A modest plot of land was allocated to develop a small botanical garden dedicated to the cultivation of plants with medicinal benefits, for the twin objectives of general learning and improving public health.



This man studied in Siberia with shamans and he practice a mix of yoga and internal martial art aim to increase spiritual power and defeat the internal enemy by using the energy. the discipline called AstroKarate.





A variety of plant and tree from all around the world

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