A city of grit and forgotten grandeur, for too long Palermo has resigned itself to being a film set of crumbling palaces, sun-worn facades and pockmarked backstreets. But now Sicily’s capital is reemerging from decades under the Mafia’s shadow. Their influence may not be fully over but the Mafia battleground has come a long way, with millions of euros seized from crime bosses being pumped back into rebuilding the city. And as the tide of restoration picks up its pace, recognition is being swept along with it too. As both Cultural Capital of Italy and the host of one of Europe’s most prestigious contemporary art festivals, 2018 is set to be a big year for Palermo.