Villa Garibaldi and La Cala port

Palermo has many public spaces and gardens. One, very close to our B and B is Garibaldi garden, also called Villa Garibaldi.

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The garden was built between 1861 and 1864 by the architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile in Piazza Marina in Palermo ‘s historic district of Kalsa.

It was dedicated to the national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi to celebrate the recent birth of the Italian nation .

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It is famous for its spectacular collection of exotic trees including an ancient ficus tree – one of the oldest and largest in Italy, with a height of 30 meters, a trunk circumference of over 21 meters and a crown with a diameter of 50 meters

There are  groves of these spectacular, slightly sinister trees that I also know as Bayan.

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The last time I saw these types of trees, with their amazing aerial roots, was in the temple complex of Ta Phrom in Cambodia.P1060520

Apparently the garden and piazza also has a more sinister past as well, being a site of executions.

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Next up we saunter along to La Cala, the old port, as the man loves a bit of boat action.

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The horseshoe-shaped La Cala port was the main fishing port in Palermo until the 16th century when receding waters saw its demise with much of the maritime traffic moving to other areas of the shoreline.

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In September 2007 work was completed of dredging of the basin with the removal of 19 ship wrecks from the bottom.

A reinvigoration master plan has seen a lot of work done, to deal with sewage and sanitation issues, and the port is now home to lots of high end yachts and boats.

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We can but wander wistfully past and image life if we had (a lot) more money!!

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The port is a nice, refreshing little spot to escape to when the hectic grimy pace of Palermo gets a bit too much . . .

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