Palermo: Elegant Lobbies, Wooden Panels and Marble Floors

Palermo: Elegant Lobbies, Wooden Panels and Marble Floors


Text and Photos by Fabienne Ayina

Let’s get lost

I never read anything about the city I am about to visit. Who needs to know in advance how a new lover is going to embrace you. Traveling is such a personal experience I don’t want nobody’s impressions to steal mine. And never mind if I don’t see what I’ve been told to see. Unless it is the Taj Mahal –which was my dream monument to visit — I won’t get out of bed to join the long lines full of Instagrammers ready for their close up. I had a list of exotic food to try, bars to drink at and palazzi to visit but it was impossible to get my mind around it. All these excursions feel like work. Instead I’m getting lost, my favorite thing to do in the world.


The untitled and unknown

Diving in the unknown is so pleasurable. There is a bonus for a destination where I don’t understand a word. I finally can be in the now and disconnect myself from the strange world where everybody seems so busy living. Call it escape if you wish. The truth is I’m finally alive. I found pleasure of not knowing nothing about nothing. A liberation of a sort.


P as Pepe, Pasta, Palermo

Palermo has been on my mind for a while as a few friends came back so enchanted about the Sicilian capital. I, myself was craving for a new enchantment, a new landscape, a new affair. A simple life and its charms I thought. An hipster-free spot without clinical coffee shops. Sicilian’s life seem to turn around food, love, la Madonna and fresh laundry.


I walked a lot in company of stray cats and dogs, waited for buses with no destinations in mind, collected men nude silk socks at some outdoor markets –I could never find the directions again–, bought outdated colognes and green stuff to make your hair super greasy and shiny, fell in love with everything with the word pepe on it–pepe rosso, peppe verde,…–drunk strong coffees with some older locals wearing Coppola hats, met with a Romanian gypsy beggar with the most beautiful eyes and avoided my fellow travelers the best I could. Within a few days in the Sicilian capital I developed an obsession for lobbies, elevators and stairs and interiors looking like a decor of an old movie from the 70s.