The siren-like qualities of the Sicilian capital are woven layer upon layer, each one revealing a stratum of the city's character. In Palermo, Robert Alajmo lays out a compelling series of reflections on the city's apparently endless facets. Disguised as a tourist's handbook but written from the view of a lifelong resident - with all the experience, affection, inside knowledge and frustrations that entails - Alajmo offers more than the ordinary recommendations for travellers. Palermo has been at history's crossroads since recorded time began; an archive of hidden cultural, architectural and culinary jewels. Its people, their politics and their secrets, are subtly revealed, as is the ineffable presence of the mafia in the cycles of daily life. Ultimately what is described is the essence of the city and its beauty.