Palermo in Islamic and subsequently Norman times was surrounded by numerous parks and gardens, organised around palaces, monasteries and splendid residences, both in winter and summer. Trees, flowers and plants with the intense and delicate fragrances of citrons, lemons, oranges, jasmine, cedars, figs and vines were introduced into these lush green expanses, partly thanks to the use of new irrigation systems of Arab origin.
The Genoard, was one of the most important and extensive parks, a wonder to behold. Inside, there were residences, palaces and pavilions: the Cuba, the Zisa, the Cuba Soprana, the Cubula, the Menani and the Scibene. Ancient sources say that there were also exotic animals, fountains, pools, springs and numerous trees and flowers inside the park. A daydream!
The Genoard park was a place of pleasures, full of sounds, scents and colours, like Persian Riyads, thanks to the presence of citrus groves and orchards irrigated by perennial waters. The pleasant sound of fountains, springs and pools of water surrounded by palm trees and numerous species of animals was a harmonious melody that lulled the ruler’s slow walks.
Cedars, oranges, jasmine, figs and vines are the many intensely flavoured products that characterise these lush green expanses where fruit trees and intensely scented flowers grow.