An urban trekking in Palermo

The city and the water

Rivers, rapids and stream waters cross the Sicily island. In many cases, the sea also comes plays a significant role in the city. In Palermo’s case, the sea and freshwater have an equal relevance somehow. In the past, the Kemonia and Papireto rivers represented the best source of life. It was widespread to see wide lands of trees and plants. Indeed, Palermo seemed more like a countryside than a city. Today, you can’t see the two rivers because they have been completely covered to broaden the city. Anyway, the water continues to flow underground Palermo: an old city still lives and you’ll have the opportunity to discover it.

The Qanat channels, the underground water excursion

Probably, you are wondering what is Qanat and what it means. ‘Qanat’ means ‘channel’ in the Arab language. It is a continuous body of surface water flowing within the underground channel. This kind of infrastructure goes through the city centre and reaches the countryside where the cultivated fields begin. If you are thinking to know the historical centre of the city, our Palermo apartments are located in an extraordinary context where you’ll find elegant and likable neighbourhood. From this area, it is very easy to find the enter for the Qanat paths. Usually, the visit is organized by the CAI (Centro Alpino Italiano) and the speleology group.
The origin of Qanat is linked to the Arab kingdom which has occupied Palermo during the IX century. They had realized cutting-edge water system, useful for water supply in private homes and Hammams. In many cases, the water channel also loads to the Camere dello scirocco (Scirocco rooms), a fresh and high rooms where the people can still rest and relax during the hot season.

All you need to know before to start

The excursions are by appointment only with a ticket of 10 euro. The groups are minimum 15 people. The duration of the guided tour is about an hour and a half. Considering the wet ways, the visit includes comfortable clothes, waterproof boots, harness and helmet. It is recommended to bring a second dress in case of the high rate of humidity wets your clothes. In general, the visit is not recommended for claustrophobic person.

This article was written by Giulia Sofi
Today, she creates editorial content for cultural magazine and exhibition project.
Her articles have been published in some art magazine like CityRivista and Insideart.