Just a short bus ride from Palermo, the small seaside resort of Mondello is far more than just a beach. Head out to the resort in the morning and by the late afternoon, after a day of people-watching, you will have a far better understanding of what makes Sicilians tick. This is where families, teenagers and young couples slip away from the pressures of work, school and every day life and indulge in a day of social chit-chat, sun-worshipping on a fine, sandy beach and idly splashing in the waves.
One of the main attractions of the town today are the elegant Liberty-style villas along the seafront but it was not until the end of the 19th century that the wealthy Palermitans started to take an interest in them. Prior to that, the area was essentially a marshy wasteland.
Top sights include the Charleston, the striking Art Nouveau building on the pier which is now home to a smart restaurant and private beach.
In fact only a small part of the beach is taken up with private lidi where beach goers can rent a sun lounger and umbrella for the day although there are a large number of pastel-colour changing cabins which are often rented out for the entire season.
The main street is lined with street stalls selling everything from typical local street food such as arancini and panelle to refreshing ice granite.