Did you know that there is a tiny village in Sicily whose architectural style recalls the Spanish city of Barcelona?
I’m referring to Borgo Parrini, a very small hamlet near Partinico, roughly 50 kms away from Palermo.
It is curious how this place has just recently acquired popularity among visitors – also thanks to the social media word of mouth – becoming one of the most instagrammable places in Sicily!
This peculiar resemblance to the city of Barcelona, and more specifically, to the modernist style of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudì, is to be referred to the idea of Giuseppe Gaglio, an inhabitant of the town, who really wanted to give life back to the uninhabited houses of the village and, for this reason, decided to renovate them, inspired by the colorful creativity of Gaudì’s genius.
Giuseppe and the local people belonging to this place, worked very hard to redevelop the district, giving it a second birth after it had got abandoned during the ‘70s.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BORGO PARRINI?
The word Parrini literally means “preasts”, and it is connected to the origin of this area where, in the XVI century, the Jesuits fathers (“parrini”) founded the village – with its Church titled to Maria SS. Del Rosario – which was devoted to agricoltural activies.
Borgo Parrini’s facades and more
As soon as you enter the village, your eyes are captured by an explosions of colors which suddenly teleport you to the famous Park Güell garden in Barcelona! The buildings facades are decorated with majolicas and paintings caracterized by the typical white and blue mediterranean colors.
The visit to Borgo Parrini mostly consists in walking among the painted houses, stopping at each corner to read on the walls the quotes of worldwide famous idols, such as Gandhi, Dante Alighieri, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and, of course, taking tons of pictures from infinite perspectives that this “small Barcelona” offers to visitors.
The street art here is predominant, there is also a beautiful murales of Frida Kahlo titled “Frida alla Luna” by artist Peppe Vaccaro.
Some of this colorful renovated houses are open to visitors (with a small fee of 1€ per house) and you can see how they have been accurately restored inside out recalling Gaudì’s famous buildings Casa Battlò and Casa Milà, with many colored ceramic tiles and “azulejos”.
Recently, a literary cafe has opened in the village and it is venue to many cultural events.
How to get there
If you are planning to get to Borgo Parrini via public transports, from Palermo you can either take the train to Partinico and walk roughly 2 kms (30 minutes) to the village or catch a bus (check the timetable here) from Palermo to Partinico and then continue walking.
Unfortunately, as often in Sicily, the small hamlets are not quite connected through the public transport, so drivingcan often be the easiest way to reach Borgo Parrini. The driving distance from Palermo is less than one hour and you can follow the highway E90 to SP1bis in Terrasini, and exit Montelepre from E90. Follow SP1bis and take Via Parrini until you reach the village. There is also a parking space in front of the village entrance.
Have a look at the map above to see details on how to get to the Borgo.
WHERE TO EAT AND ACCOMMODATIONS IN BORGO PARRINI
Bearing in mind that Borgo Parrini is a very tiny neighborhood, it is worth mentioning a few places where you can stop for lunch or to taste the food specialties of this area:
- Pizzeria “A Stidda” popular for the invention of “U Vota e Sbota”, a focaccia which goes to the wood oven and quickly turned over and over.
- Pizzeria “Nu Parrinaru”
- Pizzeria “La Borgatella”
- Bakery “Za Santa”, which since 1942 bakes its authentic bread strictly using only wood oven.
If you have the chance to stop at one of these restaurants, you should definitely try the Lemon Pizza (pizza al limone), a real delicacy of this place!
If you wish to stay overnight, currently it is not possible to book the apartments inside the village, however there are a few nice accommodations nearby such as B&B Parchi dei Parrini with swimming pool or the charming Homi Country Retreat just a few miles away and/or B&B del Centro & SPA, in case you prefer to stay in Partinico town.
It is worth visiting Borgo Parrini in Sicily?
Borgo Parrini is a very charming small hamlet and for sure it deserves a visit during your holidays in Sicily! The visit itself is quite short, as the district is so small that can be visited in an hour or so, depending on how deeply you want to get to know it.
As many Sicilian hamlets, the village is off road and a bit tricky to be reached, however thanks to its strategic location between very popular tourist attractions in Western Sicily – such as San Vito Lo Capo, Terrasini, Monreale, Mondello and Palermo – it is relatively easy to match the visit to Borgo Parrini with the rest of your holiday tour, being able to stop by on the way.