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Introducing Palermo

Sicily's main city is draped in a mantle of unpredictability and adventure: its streets are chaotic, its buildings are magnificently dishevelled and its residents – many of whom have a penchant for rule bending and a healthy suspicion of outsiders – can be an inscrutable lot. To gain an initial understanding of the city's unique culture, start by wandering the streets of the old city. The mix of architectural styles points to the wave upon wave of invaders who have claimed the city as their own, as does the look of the locals. Put simply, there's no one style or people in this urban melting pot, and there never has been.