Yesterday was another day out with the Urban Sketchers group in Palermo and a chance to try out my new pocket field sketch box.
The appointment was at the Castello di Maredolce, a place I had only heard about but never visited. Not so strange as even people who live in the area don't even know it exists.
Maredolce is what is left of a 9th century Arab palace, subsequently taken by the Normans.
It originally stood in its own parkland with a large lake and island, hence the name Maredolce (sweet sea), and is hidden away in one of the poorest and most difficult parts of the city, behind ugly urbanisation, rather like an oasis in the desert.
It was quite hot so I chose my first view from under the shade of a tree, with my back to what is left of the lake.
The castle has only recently been renovated and they are constantly digging up relics, the man with the keys showed us the little room where they are stored.
Part of the building had been used as a church and I sketched looking up into the tower or what was once a minaret.
Then it was back outside for one last sketch.
...and my new field box? I'll save that for another post!