When looking to have local souvenirs, Palermo craftwork is the best place to shop as they have a wide variety that you can choose from. Here you can get high quality products that have been made by experts over many generations. All the products are original and unique and express the tradition and culture of Palermo.
One of the most popular items is the “pupi” puppets that were declared to be the masterpieces of intangible and oral human being heritage by UNESCO. The puppets are typical Sicilian marionettes that the master puppet shows specialists locally known as “pupari” use to demonstrate the medieval knights actions that were encouraged by the French “Orlando Furioso” and “Chansons de Geste” in their shows.
The “pupari” families have been passing this art down to each novel generation in Palermo. When strolling along the Corso Vittorio Emanuelle, you will find the Mancuso, Greco and Cuticchio family crafts workshops. On a good day, you might observe the marionette being made from scratch by real artists who are part painters, part carpenters, part blacksmiths as well as actors which is one of the most important skills. The Palermo puppets weigh 15 kg and are 80 cm high, an important factor to note when purchasing them to get the right ones. They also have sparkling armor that is placed on wood and clay bodies, the faces are painted with extremely strong expression to accentuate their roles in the show.
Another popular item that one can get is Sicilian cart which was used in the previous years by traveling salespeople as well as other travelers and can be found and bought today in a wide range of sizes. “Chansons de Geste” influence is also important as the carts are entirely adorned with photos that show the heroic exploits of the French champs. This takes time and is tiring and one needs to have art and experience to get through it, The decorations can be sculptured or painted and need to be worked on by a number of craftsmen and a few layers of background that has been painted.
Other items that Palermo is famous for are painted pottery like jugs, vases and wall plates as well as recipients in tin or copper that can be bought in the prehistoric Via Calderai.
To get the real shopping experience, individuals can take a tour of the 4 most popular and crowded markets in the area. It is important to note that they are not crowded by tourists. These are Capo found at the back of Teatro Massimo, Vucciria located in the middle of Corso Vitorio Eamnuele and Via Roma, Borgo Vecchio amid Piazza Ucciardone and Piazza Strurzo and Ballaro that is close to the central station.
If you don’t like local craftwork, there is no need to worry as you can get work that has been done by other famous people. You are advised to take a walk through the well-designed Via Liberta a place that has numerous boutiques of items that have been made by renowned Europe and Italy designers like Hermes, Dolce and Gabbana, Cartier, Tod’s and Luis Vuitton.