Pleasures of PALERMO; Direct Flights Have Opened Up Sicily's Most Fascinating City - and These Days, Says MATTHEW KNEALE, You're Unlikely to Bump into the Mafia .
Byline: MATTHEW KNEALE
THERE are a handful of buildings around the world that steal your breath clean away. The Taj Mahal, Durham Cathedral and the Pantheon in Rome would all be on my list.
And here's another I'd add, though it's less famous than it should be: the Palatine Chapel in Palermo, Sicily.
Hidden away on the second floor of a dull-looking palace above a noisy square, you'd never guess it's there. But step through the doorway and you'll feel as if you are standing in a jewellery box - the walls are covered with glowing 850-year-old gold mosaics.
The painted wooden ceiling, built by Arab craftsmen, seems exotic and mysterious. And yet something feels familiar.
So it should. It was built by the Normans. Yes, the ones who came to England a-conquering in 1066 and all that.
Forget the Mafia - one of the most fascinating things about Sicily is that its history and ours are closely related.
When William …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Pleasures of PALERMO; Direct Flights Have Opened Up Sicily's Most Fascinating City - and These Days, Says MATTHEW KNEALE, You're Unlikely to Bump into the Mafia . . Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Mail (London). Publication date: March 26, 2005. Page number: 66. © 2007 Daily Mail. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.