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36 Hours in Palermo, Sicily

CreditAndrea Wyner for The New York Times

Palermo is a city marked by past con­querors, each Baroque church and Norman-Romanesque facade a reminder of prosperous eras past. But while many of the Sicilian capital’s architectural landmarks could best be described as crumbling, amid the cracks are hints of progress: like a budding contemporary art scene and forward-thinking restaurants energizing rundown neighborhoods.

Now, during the holiday season, the rough-edged port city is at its liveliest, with festive lights brightening labyrinthine alleys, Christmas markets bringing cheer to even the most pugnacious Palermitani, and family-run restaurants serving traditional Sicilian feasts. And here the celebration extends well into the new year, continuing until Epiphany on Jan. 6.
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