While in Palermo, I experienced something that I still don’t fully understand. It’s one of those experiences that I replay in my mind when I find myself alone and thinking about past travels. Hopefully this set of photos and a little description of what can’t be seen will help paint a more complete idea of what I saw and felt.
While walking through the heart of the city (Palermo is up there on my list of favorite cities I’ve visited), I came upon the Piazza della Pretoria which was spectacular. While circling the fountain, I began to hear what seemed like vases being shattered. Every 30 seconds, more and more of these sounds echoed in the plaza. In one corner of the plaza, I saw debris on the ground. I looked on top of the building and there was a man in crutches. He was systematically picking up shingles off the roof of a government building and throwing them on the ground.
A crowd began to gather. I was one of the only tourists in the area. It was a strange feeling since I had no idea what was happening. Why was this man doing this? Was he laid off from his work in the government? Why were the police just standing idly? Does this usually happen in Palermo? Am I having some weird dream?
I stayed there for four hours. I went through two rolls of film, one color and one black and white. We all just stared. It was mesmerizing.