Sicily is the historical region of Italy, which occupies an island with the same name and several adjacent islands - the Aegadian, Aeolian, Pelagic, Pantelleria. It represents the largest region of the Mediterranean, which connects to the mainland through the Strait of Messina. As it is impossible to describe Paris without the Eiffel Tower, Italy does not seem to be without Sicily. And this is true, Sicily fits perfectly into the view of this wonderful country.
Where is Sicily located?
Since Sicily is located at the crossroads of sea roads, it has always been a tidbit for many conquerors. The island was dominated at different times by Arabs, Byzantines, Greeks, Spaniards, Carthaginians, Romans, French, Phoenicians, and each of them brought its cultural heritage, leaving many historical buildings.
The colorful shores of the island are washed by the waves of three seas - the Mediterranean, Ionian and Tyrrhenian. The mountainous terrain among the amazing sea panorama - such landscapes lure here more and more tourists every year. Sicily is Italy's largest region. The whole of its territory is made up of islands, with 98% falling on the most interesting and luxurious island of the Mediterranean Sea. The main city of Palermo in Sicily is not only the capital, but also the largest tourist center, where guests spend a chic vacation.
How to get there
It is easiest to fly to this paradise island by plane, but for a curious tourist it is better to combine different vehicles. For example, you can take the train to see the natural beauties of Italy on the mainland and the passage through the Strait of Messina. You can do a sea cruise on a ferry to any of the Sicilian ports. A good option would be to first fly to the big city of mainland Italy, and, having visited all the most interesting places and sights there, go to Sicily.
Airports in Sicily
There are two international airports in Sicily: the airport in Palermo and Catania. Passengers are delivered on a direct flight Moscow - Palermo by the Italian airline Alitalia. But flights of some companies, such as: Lufthansa and Vueling Airlines, which make transfers at different airports in Europe, can be cheaper. Alitalia also operates flights with transfers in large Italian cities; a round-trip plane ticket can be purchased for 300-400 dollars or 20,000-25,000 rubles. This company carries out about 5-6 flights from Sheremetyevo daily, you can choose which flight is more convenient to fly. Usually on flights, the transfer time, which most often occurs in Rome, lasts no more than 6 hours.
On the island, tourists will certainly get acquainted with the most beautiful pearl of Italy - the city of Palermo - the capital of the famous Sicily. The city is located in the extremely beautiful bay of Konka Doro. The early sights of Palermo were practically not saved, but here a mixture of Arab and Norman culture quietly got along. This sunny city with an ancient history is conveniently located in a beautiful green valley near the foot of Pelegrino, it is washed by the clear azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here, every building breathes history and romance. Many different cultures left their traces in Palermo - monuments unique in their beauty are a unique combination of different architectural styles and historical eras.
Features of the capital
In Palermo, traffic is interestingly arranged - on most streets public transport runs in both directions, and for regular transport, traffic is one-way. 660 thousand people live in Palermo, the city takes 5th place in Italy in size, and, of course, the largest in Sicily.
Palermo is a city of unpredictability and vivid incidents. The strong walls of ancient houses carry a sense of reliability, wealth and luxury. But these are only feelings, since, having traveled through the local areas, the tourist will see that not all of the residents here have a job and a decent salary. But, despite this, life here is in full swing, all kinds of carnivals and festivities are held in the middle of the streets. The architecture of the city is fabulously beautiful, and around every new corner, either the grandiose structures of palaces and temples fascinate or inspire, or a powerful port with a huge number of yachts. There are boutiques all over Palermo in Sicily, all this sets up a sense of the ubiquitous presence of the holiday in daily life.
The city's attractions
To get a little closer to know Palermo, it’s not enough days, because every corner of the city has its own special sights: the Palatine Chapel with mosaics of the Byzantines, the Massina Theater, where the popular series about the Italian mafia was filmed, the ancient area of Sicily, which has not yet been restored after the war, The Botanical Garden, and for tourists who want to tickle their nerves - a special entertainment - the catacombs of the Capuchins. Help tourists figure out where to go, numerous reviews of Palermo.
The peculiarity of Sicily is that Greek columns and temples are adjacent to Islamic domes, the locals look a little darker than the rest of the citizens of Italy, and the local markets are very reminiscent of oriental bazaars. The gentle sea, mountains, lush greenery and a large number of sunny days will provide an unforgettable vacation in Palermo at any time of the year. Therefore, even the most template tours to Italy offer tourists a trip to Palermo. For admirers of antiquity, the city opens up many places for the study of antiquity. Almost any city in Sicily that arose even before our era has unique ancient sights, and Palermo is no exception.
Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo
The Capuchin Catacombs Museum is one of the scariest and at the same time curious sights of the city. It is located on the outskirts of Palermo and serves as a haven for 800 bodies of the dead. The catacombs have been operating since 1599, since when one monk was buried in them. Over time, they noticed that the climate inside the catacombs was ideal for preserving dead bodies. Since then, it has become customary to bury and embalm bodies here, primarily those that had wealth and recognition during their lifetime. Future customers ordered the embalming method, the desired pose and decoration. Now the catacombs have become the most famous exhibition of mummies. Mummies are housed in catacombs in different tunnels by profession, social status and gender.
You can rent a house in Sicily with any comfort. You can check into Palermo hotels for 20 euros per day per person, and meals are all about taste and possibilities. It is always worth trying dishes with ricotta cheese - unusually tender and tasty in any combination. The best sweet dessert will be cannoli tubes, which used to be prepared just before the carnival, but they were so fond of their taste that they went far beyond the carnival dates and now you can try them everywhere. And in order to determine the addictions of the Sicilians, you should look at the menu. In any restaurant there are 20 varieties of coffee, and only two varieties of tea: hot and cold.
Of the architectural sights, the royal palace of the Palazzo Reali deserves special attention, the carved roof of which is built in the Arabic style, and wonderful mosaics were made by Byzantine craftsmen. Exciting will be excursions to the Cathedral of Santa Rosalia, where the Norman King Roger II, the Roman Emperors Frederick II and Henry VI found the last refuge.
Walking along the main street of Palermo Corso Vittorio Emanuele, you should definitely go to the promenade - a favorite place for walking guests and residents of the city. From here, stunning views of the sea, mountains and the surrounding city are found. One of the richest temples in Sicily, built in the 12th century by the Normans, is located in Montreal (near Palermo) and is the most luxurious on the island. According to experts, more than 2 tons of gold was spent on the decoration of the cathedral. Martorana Church is one of the most beautiful churches in the city of Palermo, which fascinates with its interior. It was built by Admiral George of Antioch in the 12th century. In this sacred place you can see an ancient Byzantine mosaic.
Despite the developed infrastructure, guests primarily prefer a beach holiday, as Sicily is famous for its gentle sea, pristine beaches and the widest range of water activities, including yachting, windsurfing, water skiing, scooters and many other attractions. Sicily with its amazing underwater world has amazing diving sites.
The most popular holiday destination is Taormina, the reason for this is that the beaches of Mazarro and Isola Bella and the most luxurious hotels of Sicily are located on the highest level. The beaches in Palermo are located near the city, among them the best beach is Mondello. You can easily get there by regular bus for 20 minutes, paying 1.4 euros, and enjoy freshly picked coconuts or cactus fruits. Since there are too many guests here during the high season, local residents prefer to rest on the Egadi, Limar and Pelag islands, which are close to where small cozy hotels are located.
The Mediterranean climate brings Sicily mild winters and long, sultry summers. From the end of May until the first autumn days in Sicily, you can enjoy the warm sea and the sun, during this period the water warms up to a temperature of +26 - +27 ° C, and the air to +30 ° C. The number of tourists during this period increases significantly, since you can study the history and culture of Sicily, beach activities for which many tourists come. You can come for a tan in the spring, in April, but the sea is likely to be still cool.
Carnivals and festivals
In January - February, carnivals are held throughout the island. Among them are the largest: in Acireale (near Catania), near Taormini and in Termini Imerese (Palermo). A feature of February is the celebration of the flowering almond festival. Local folklore concerts do not stop these days among the snow-white flowering trees and sweets with almonds are sold everywhere. The festival usually begins in the tenth of February.
Palermo in Sicily is a great place for a varied vacation. Every traveler can choose what to see in Palermo. In any case, he will receive the best and unforgettable impressions of a wonderful holiday. Definitely worth a visit in the near future.
Palermo attractions on the map
See the sights of cities in neighboring countries:
France: Paris • Toulouse • Strasbourg • Rouen • Montpellier • Nantes • Nice • Marseilles • Dijon • Grenoble • Versailles • Bordeaux • Antibes • Cannes • Avignon • Lyon
Switzerland: Geneva • Zurich • Basel • Berne
Austria: Venn • Salzburg • Innsbruck • Graz
Sea Square (Piazza Marina) - one of the largest, which will indicate the map of the capital of Sicily. It was a festive place in the Middle Ages. On this square royal weddings, various celebrations, knightly fights, theatrical performances and other events. For one of the royal weddings, the Sea Square received a more solemn decoration.
In the center of the square is the Garibaldi Garden where you can see veteran trees over 300 years old.
The garden is fenced by a wrought-iron fence, in its heart are located: a fountain, as well as the monuments of Garibaldi (Giuseppe Garibaldi) and Benedetto de Lisi (Benedetto De Lisi).
- The sea square is located near the Quartiere della Kalsa quarter, south of the harbor.
Piazza Pretoria (Piazza Pretoria) - a place that enjoys constant success among city guests. Grand fountain and architectural monuments in baroque stylegive the area a special charm.
On two sides, 17th century churches snuggled into it: Santa Catarina (Chiesa di Santa Caterina), San Giuseppe degli Teatini (Chiesa di San Giuseppe dei Teatini), and on the third - the Palazzo Pretorio. The palace was built in the 15th century, and 200 years later, got a brilliant baroque view. Today, the city council works in a gilded building.
The highlight of the square is the “Fountain of Shame”, as Sicily dubbed it. This incredible man-made pond consists of several stone pools of different diameters.
The main decoration of the fountain is a galaxy of fairy-tale heroes, gargoyles, monsters and naked human statues.
Interestingly, this fountain was built in Tuscany in 1555 by the master Francesco Camilliani. And twenty years later, it was disassembled into parts and transported to the capital of Sicily under the strict guidance of the son of a skilled architect.
- To get to Piazzo Pretoria you need to walk along Via Maqueda east of Quattro Canti.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The presbytery of the cathedral consists of three apses between the two towers of Norman times, which give it the appearance of a fortress. On the left side of the temple is a crypt, where today you can see the sarcophagi and tombs preserved from the time of the Romans. The crypt contains marble and porphyry tombs of Sicilian kings, as well as members of their families.
- Address: Corso Vittorio Emanule.
The Palatine Chapel (Cappella Palatina) is a unique building that synthesizes several architectural traditions. It was built in honor of the Apostle Peter by order of King Roger II (Ruggero II di Sicilia). Getting to the chapel is easy - the church is located inside the Norman Palace (Palazzo dei Normanni). Only one of its walls is now external. This is a mosaic loggia - a monument of architecture of the 17th century. It also preserved a plate installed on the day Roger II opened the water clock, which until now “have not survived”.
The Chapel today is a museum, but on Sunday and on holidays divine services are held here. Often in the Norman Palace holds meetings of the Sicilian Parliament, so the time of visiting the chapel is not exactly established, but before lunch you can get here with a high degree of probability.
- Address: Piazza Indipendenza, Albergheria.
Church of La Martorana
At the church of La Martorana (Chiesa della Martorana), Sicilian newlyweds are constantly gathering, waiting for a happy moment to unite destinies. Meanwhile, the darling of today's youth was laid in the 12th century, then still as an orthodox church.
During the expansion of the Normans, it was converted into a Catholic, and later became part of the Byzantine Catholic diocese.
The appearance of the church was constantly transformed and underwent changes. The last reconstruction of the temple was carried out at the end of the 20th century, as a result of which a part of valuable baroque frescoes was lost. However, today within the walls of La Martorana you can see the Arabian mosaics, preserved from 8-9 centuries BC.
- Address: Via Incoronazione, 1-13, Piazza Bellini Square.
The Antonio Pasqualino Puppet Museum (Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino) is a living proof of the fact that Sicily is famous not only for its cuisine, but also for its puppet theater, which uses original handmade dolls. With the development of new technologies, the puppet theater has lost its former significance, but the manufacture of dolls remains, becoming a kind of Sicilian traditional craft.
At the Puppet Museum authentic vintage dolls are collected and new instances of modern masters from different parts of the country and the whole globe. Here they will tell all about puppets, the features of their manufacture and management.
The Archaeological Museum named after Antonio Salinas (Museo archeologico regionale Antonio Salinas) is located in a building that belonged to a religious order in the 17-18 centuries.Today you can get acquainted with the amazing a collection of archaeological finds from ancient times and the Middle Ages. The museum bears the name of Antonio Salinas - a collector who presented him with his rich collection.
The doors of the museum are open for tourists from Tuesday to Friday until 17.30, and on other days and holidays you can only get here in the morning. One visit to the attraction should not exceed 2 hours.
The Teatro Massimo is an outstanding theater that is highly regarded by theatergoers in Sicily and throughout Italy. Its area reaches almost 8000 square meters, and it can take up to 1400 spectators.
The theater was built in the 19th century and is still a masterpiece of architectural art. Particularly impressive: the unique sound, natural ventilation, which allows you to maintain a comfortable microclimate in the building and unsurpassed performances. They say that the theater lives its own ghost.
It is noteworthy that the crime drama, which tells about the ups and downs of the Corleone’s mafia family “The Godfather 3” (God Father 3, 1990), received the stages of the Massimo Theater as the scenery for the final scene. The tragedy played out against the backdrop of the magnificent Italian opera makes a strong impression!
A neoclassical building (Gymnasium) was erected in the center of the garden, which was later joined: the royal greenhouse, an aquarium with aquatic vegetation and a tepidarium. The current Botanical Garden occupies 10 hectares. In this impressive square You can admire plants typical of tropical rainforests, subtropics, rare species of ferns, cacti. The gymnasium contains an extensive herbarium.
Features of Palermo - it's interesting to know
Palermo is the largest city in Sicily, at the same time being a center of culture, education and tourism.
Travelers from all over the world come here to take a look at least at one glance at the heritage left by the peoples who lived here.
View of Palermo. Valentina Photo
Palermo stands on the very shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which turns it into a coveted place for a beach holiday. Moreover, Sicily has a similar pastime.
At the same time, the capital of the island is also a large seaport, where not only European ships moor.
The port of Palermo is considered one of the most modern in Italy and has stood in its place since the Punic Wars. This turns it into an interesting attraction of the capital.
Bay in Palermo. wiesdie
However, in Palermo almost every corner is fraught with pieces of Antiquity, the period of Arab domination or the Middle Ages. For an unusual feeling of being at the intersection of eras and times, travelers come here. They see the main features of the holiday in the Italian city of Palermo in a mixture of 4 cultures:
It is easily read from the architecture of the city, its layout and historical monuments.
View of the old city. Roman babakin
Exciting tourists traveling to Palermo, and stories about the Sicilian mafia. And despite the fact that today's mafia clans do not shoot at each other on the streets and in most cases conduct legal business, tourists with bated breath wander around the place, which in their imagination is literally saturated with the smells of blood and gunpowder.
Everyone who is going to spend their vacation in Palermo should be prepared for what awaits him:
- the indescribable atmosphere of the old city,
- noise and chaos
- fine wine
- delicious food
- loud city dwellers, accustomed to communicate with each other in raised tones,
- immigrants from Africa and Asia, who formed their quarters in the city,
- unique attractions.
Street in Palermo. Yulia Grigoryeva
All this is the soul of Palermo, which leads some tourists to indescribable delight, and makes others turn away from the city. But to understand what category you belong to, you need to get to know him better.
Where is Palermo in Italy
On the map of Italy Palermo is not difficult to find - the city is located on the coast of Sicily in the province of the same name. From any of its streets you can see Mount Pellegrino. It is as if protecting the capital from uninvited guests.
Not every tourist knows that this region of Italy is autonomous.
What does this mean?
Travelers who have traveled around the whole island, call it "a separate country", so unique. Naturally, the capital of Sicily is fully consistent with the rest of its parts.
Tyrrhenian coast. Kiev.Victor
The capital province is one of the largest and most densely populated regions. Most often it is here that refugees from the Middle East settle here, having reached Palermo by water.
The city has an important strategic position, as it represents the sea gate of Sicily.
Palermo Attractions and Museums - Worth Seeing
The capital of Sicily is a place in which the cultural program seems even too rich.
A distinctive feature of Palermo from other Italian cities is the almost perfect preservation of attractions.
It is difficult for tourists to choose the most-most among churches, mosques and ancient heritage. Nevertheless, we managed to compile TOP-10 interesting places of the city.
Capacin Catacombs (Catacombe di Cappuccini) - evidence of a distant history
The Italian resort city of Palermo invites tourists to visit the not the most trivial attraction, during the inspection of which the blood freezes even among the most seasoned and cynical people - the catacombs of the Capuchins.
Do you know why?
Locals call this place a "museum", and visitors - a "cemetery". In fact, both of them are right, because the Catacombe di Cappuccini are long galleries, whose only "inhabitants" are the dead.
There are more than 8,000 of them in the gloomy crypt, and the last burials were made here in the first half of the 20th century.
The history of Catacombe di Cappuccini began quite corny in the distant 16th century. At this time, representatives of various Catholic monastic orders began to arrive in Sicily. They settled on the island and built fortified monasteries for the brethren.
The Capuchin Order at the beginning of the 16th century did not even count 50 people. The dead monks were buried in a small cemetery, although the land on the island was and is of great value.
Towards the end of the century, the order increased the number of brothers several times and began to need a new place for the burial of the deceased. For these purposes, a crypt was chosen near the monastery, where they began to bring the bodies of the monks and hang small identification plates on them.
Over time, with the permission of the archbishop in the crypt, they began to bury:
- representatives of noble families,
- famous people,
- Honorary Citizens of Palermo.
New tunnels and passages were dug to accommodate their bodies. Gradually, the corridors were ordered, proceeding from the people buried here. So the galleries appeared:
In them, semi-decayed skeletons are located in special niches. Two stand out among the corridors:
- New - it was dug later than all and the bodies lie in coffins.
- Chapel of Rosalia - here lies the body of a two-year-old baby who has not decayed for a century that has passed since the day of her death.
The catacomb phenomenon is explained by the fact that Sicily is of volcanic origin and a special microclimate reigns in crypts, which prevents the decomposition of bodies. In addition, the monks prepared the dead for burial for 8 months, keeping them in secret solutions and drying them in special chambers.
Catacombe di Cappuccini is the city’s most controversial museum. And therefore it is better to start your acquaintance with Palermo with him.
Norman Palace (Palazzo dei Normani) - an unforgettable architectural masterpiece
Palazzo Reale, as it is also called, is symbolic for Palermo. After all, the Phoenicians, Arabs and Normans worked successively on his appearance.
Before tourists, Palazzo dei Normani appears in the form of an impressive fortification, in the architecture of which Arabic features are guessed. It is hard to imagine that this powerful stone structure is the royal palace from which the proud kings of Sicily ruled their people!
Norman Palace. Kiev.Victor
Historians claim that the prototype of the Norman Palace was the Phoenician fortress, erected on the hill, which became the birthplace of Palermo. In the 9th century, the Arabs conquered the city and immediately appreciated the location of the ancient fortress, having built the Palace of Emirs on its ruins. In the 11th century, the fortress passed into the hands of the Normans, who equipped it with unprecedented luxury, turning it into a Royal Palace.
View of the Norman Palace. Kiev.Victor
The true value of Palazzo dei Normani can be understood only by going inside. Tourists are offered to see:
- the hall of William I the Evil (usually called the "Roger Hall") - the whole room is decorated with golden mosaics depicting scenes of the secular life of the monarchs,
- the Squire Hall (it was opened only in the 20th century) - it is believed that the royal treasury was stored in it,
- Hercules Hall - it was the personal apartment of the kings and is known for painting the ceiling by the hand of Velazquez,
- The Palatine Chapel, the private chapel of the monarchs, has been preserved in its original form and is an independent attraction (we will talk about it a little later).
Fountain near the Norman Palace. saruzi
The Palazzo Normanni performs not only the role of the museum, but also the place where the Sicilian parliament meets. This point must be taken into account when planning a sightseeing.
Palazzo dei Normani is Palermo's brightest historical landmark. It is definitely worth a visit to understand what an unusual past this ancient city had.
The excursion will be interesting for adults and children, the inspection of the palace takes about 2-3 hours.
Astronomical Observatory (Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo) - acquaintance with ancient instruments
This landmark has been in Palazzo dei Normani since its foundation in the late 18th century. Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo is owned by the INAF Research Center and is divided into a science center and a museum.
And if tourists are not allowed into the center, then the museum exposition is available for inspection.
And here's the curious thing:
It contains a huge number of rare ancient instruments for studying the starry sky. There is no such collection either in Italy or in other European countries.
The initiator of the creation of the observatory was King Ferdinand I. He was distinguished by a conservative policy, but showed a keen interest in science. The construction of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo was completed in 1 year and immediately scientists from all over Europe reached Sicily.
Astronomical Observatory. Boris Stroujko
Already 10 years after the opening of the observatory, the entire scientific community of that time became aware of it. After careful observation of the starry sky and complex mathematical calculations, the first asteroid was discovered. This caused an incredible resonance among astronomers and completely reversed the idea of celestial bodies. An important discovery was the reason for the good funding of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo and its development.
It is recommended to visit the museum not only for adults, but also for young tourists. Everyone will find something interesting in the exposition.
The Palermo Observatory is an interesting and informative landmark of the city, a visit to which will enrich the cultural program of tourists. In addition, important research is still being done here, including the study of the solar corona and the evolution of stars.
Allocate for inspection exposure is from 1 to 2 hours.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Cattedrale Metropolitana della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta) - masterpieces of painting
The Cathedral of Palermo is a magnificent building whose unusual beauty was the result of the painstaking work of German, Arab and Spanish masters. Architects, sculptors and artists from all over the world worked on the appearance and decoration of the cathedral, which at first glance can be seen in the style mix.
The place on which the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands was not chosen by chance - since ancient times, religious buildings have been erected here:
- in the 4th century a church in honor of the martyr Mamilian,
- in the 7th century, a cathedral in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
- in the 9th century an Arab mosque.
Cattedrale Metropolitana della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta. srekap
In the 12th century, the construction of the Cattedrale Metropolitana della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta began, but it continued until the 16th century. Each monarch tried to contribute to the decoration of the cathedral. And in the 18th century, he underwent large-scale reconstruction, which gave it a finished look.
The main value of the temple are the relics of St. Rosalia. Citizens honor this saint and consider her the protector of Palermo.
Interest in tourists visiting the cathedral is:
- the crypt of kings - the remains of the great and powerful monarchs of Sicily are placed in it in sarcophagi,
- church decoration - carved ceilings, Gothic columns with Arabic script and marble statues,
- paintings of the most famous artists,
- heliometer with the zodiac and not only.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Nadiia_foto
The Cattedrale Metropolitana della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta is the real gem of Palermo. You can enjoy its beauty all day, but it will be optimal to allocate 3-4 hours for a tour.
On a tour of the Cathedral of Palermo, it is recommended to go without children.
Palace of Ziz (La Zisa) - for architecture lovers
A well-fortified fortress built for one of the Sicilian monarchs, according to the architect's idea, was to become the summer royal residence in the extensive hunting area - Genoard. The architectural style of La Zisa is very reminiscent of Moorish. In the same style decision, the entire hunting complex was completed, which included several palaces and equipped territories.
Arab craftsmen began the construction of the palace in the 12th century. The reconstruction of the villa was carried out twice in the 14th and 17th centuries.
Palace of Tsiz. s74
Initially, the palace was almost completely decorated with Arabic script. The extension of the villa and the addition of new architectural elements destroyed part of the unique ornament.
In the 20th century, restorers tried to restore La Zisa to its original appearance, but most of the halls are desolate. The renovated premises housed the Islamic Museum. And tourists can now only imagine how richly the palace was decorated by:
- ceiling paintings
- the remains of the golden mosaic,
- marble columns
Due to the fact that most of the halls are closed for inspection, travelers prefer to admire La Zisa only from the outside.
It is better to go to the palace in the early morning, so that the heat does not interfere with walking along the territory of the royal hunting complex.
Palermo Tours - The Most Interesting Routes
There is nothing more boring than wandering the streets of the city as part of a large group and not being able to linger for a minute in one or another interesting place! And if you add to this the traditional routes and guides, trite working out their own hour or two, then the cultural program can be attributed to spoiled ones.
The rest in Palermo is quite different if the excursions are carried out by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, offering tourists interesting routes and unusual programs.
Palermo at a glance - a small group overview of the city
You can’t make the first impression twice. This statement can be applied to cities. To get to know Palermo better, you need to feel its contrasts and open your soul to its beauty!
Square in old Palermo. krivinis
Tourists are offered a unique program, which includes a lot of events:
- a walk in the old part of the city with a tour of the main attractions,
- acquaintance with the legends and secrets of the capital,
- a trip along the promenade by car with a panoramic roof,
- visiting a cave located at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level,
- a trip to the famous Mondello beach.
In addition, the guide will tell about the habits and mentality of local residents, as well as show ficus, which is already more than four hundred years old, and teach you how to navigate in the city.
The tour is for groups of 1 to 4 people.
Sicilian Street Food - Gourmet Tour
You can experience the special atmosphere of Palermo not only through its sights and architectural monuments, but also by studying the gastronomic preferences of the townspeople.
Do you like delicious food?
Sicilians just love to eat! And in Palermo, you can do this everywhere: in a cafe, in a restaurant, in small trattorias, on the street.
Street food is what unites all the inhabitants of the city! At tables near such establishments there are workers and artists, housewives and businessmen, citizens and tourists.
Typical street food in Palermo. marcopa82
The last 2 hours of excursion offer:
- learn about the tastes of the inhabitants of the city,
- look at the old Ballaro market to taste local cheeses and sausages,
- have a snack in the most popular street cafes among the townspeople,
- to taste the sandwich with the spleen, famous on the whole island, in an atmospheric place, whose history goes back more than a century.
In addition, tourists will try arancini, Sicilian cannoli with ricotta.
Cannoli with ricotta. Gandolfo cannatella
The guide will also recommend travelers those cafes and restaurants where you can have a good evening with a glass of wine and aromatic snacks.
The maximum number of people in a group is 12.
"Etna - the active volcano of Sicily" - rise to the crater
To come to Sicily and not to see Etna is a big mistake that can be corrected with the help of an interesting excursion!
It is very interesting:
The volcano has more than four hundred craters and tourists will have a unique opportunity to climb one of them - Sylvester. After that, you can go to the existing craters located at an altitude of more than 2,500 meters.
Crater Sylvester on Etna. Anton Donev
Next, the guide will offer to choose any of the proposed programs:
- Check in to Taormina - an old resort town, terraced on the slope of Tauro,
- a trip to Villa Del Casale - the ancient Romans erected it in the 4th century BC,
- shopping in one of the outlets.
You can take children from 7 years old on the trip.
“In the footsteps of the Sicilian mafia: Corleone and Cinisi” - in the footsteps of famous clans
Palermo and its environs are notorious for the acts of bosses of the Sicilian mafia, about which most tourists have representations only from films. But in fact, fictional events have a close relationship with real ones.
It is worth paying attention to:
Tourists will visit places where the history of mafia clans was going on:
- Corleone - a city 30 kilometers from Palermo 13 years ago was the haven of the most famous Sicilian leader of the mafia (now the exposition of the mafia museum reminds of the past town).
- Cinisi - Italian films about the mafia were shot in this city and there lived a man who devoted his life to the fight against Sicilian clans.
- Freeway between Mazara del Vallo and Palermo - here another crime fighter who is well known throughout Sicily died.
The city of Corleone. ANDREA DELBO
The listed programs are just a small part of what the unique Tripster and Satellite services can offer. They are intended for tourists who want to explore the world without boring excursions.
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Palermo is a real museum under the scorching Sicilian sun. You can study it yourself, but only professional guides know how to relax in Palermo and discover all its secrets.
You will be interested in the following excursions in the sunny resort and its environs:
Roofs of Palermo. Davide D’Amico
Mondello - comfort and cleanliness
This beach is considered one of the most beautiful in Sicily and, as a result, the most popular, crowded and well-equipped.
The beach area is located approximately 13 kilometers from the capital of the island (you can get here by car or public transport). Mondello is located in a cozy bay formed by 2 capes of Monte Pilgrimo and Monte Gallo.
Mondello Beach Roberto la rosa
- snow-white sand
- developed infrastructure
- various entertainments (water sports, animation programs, festivals, concerts, clubs),
- a large number of cafes and pizzerias.
White sand at Mondello beach. Aleksandar Todorovic
Terrasini - Super Clean Coast
In popularity, this beach is only a little inferior to the previous one. It is located 30 kilometers from Palermo and until November is crowded.
In addition to snow-white sand, to the distinguishing features of the beach are:
- availability of paid and free zones,
- fenced areas
- discounts on rental umbrellas and sunbeds after lunch (up to 30% percent).
Terrazini Beach. mikefai
Terrasini has received the Blue Flag more than once for the cleanliness of the coast, which means a lot.
The Tyrrhenian Sea is a great place for a beach holiday. Therefore, in the suburbs of Palermo it is not difficult to find a cozy cove where you can enjoy the white sand and the gentle sun for free.
Mondello International Beach Festival (World Festival on the Beach) - for sports enthusiasts
The festival, which begins in mid-May, lasts 7 days and is almost entirely dedicated to sports. The idea of the World Festival on the Beach arose in the 80s of the last century. Initially, it was dedicated to windsurfing, and in subsequent years moved to the "international" section with a huge number of events:
- competitions in kiting, golf, volleyball and other sports,
- demonstrations (diving, parachutes and so on),
- cycling championship
- photo exhibitions
- sporting goods fair,
- musical performances
- entertainment programs.
International Beach Festival. oneinchpunch
The holiday will be interesting to all family members, including the youngest travelers.
Saint Rosalia Day (Festa di Santa Rosalia) - worship of the relics of the patroness of the city
In Palermo, this holiday is considered one of the most important, because it is Rosalia who patronizes the city. Therefore, the locals are preparing for the upcoming event in a few months.
Rosalia was a noble lady, but she spent almost all her conscious life in a cave in solitude and prayers. The townspeople began to consider her their protector after in the 17th century, after passing through the streets of the procession with the relics of the saint, the plague receded from Palermo.
Santa Rosalia. Gandolfo cannatella
The holiday begins on July 15 with the installation of a statue of a saint on a wagon. Accompanied by townspeople and clergy, the wagon rides along the main streets and stops in the square. The procession is accompanied by songs glorifying Rosalia.
Then the relics of the saint are brought out for all to see, so that everyone can worship them.
At sunset, the real fun begins:
- processions of the mummers
All this is accompanied by richly set tables.
Baked Octopus. dominika zarzycka
They are installed right on the streets, and seafood becomes the main treat:
- baked octopus
- boiled snails,
- pasta with aromatic herbs and sardines.
Usually the fun on Saint Rosalia's day lasts until the morning.
Verdura Festival - a paradise for music lovers
The music festival lasts almost a month - from the beginning to the end of July. Every music lover dreams of getting here, as they organize everywhere:
- performances of musicians of different genres,
- concerts of famous bands
- special programs in night clubs.
Often concerts are held in the open air for free.
Ice cream festival - sweet tooth dream
It is held in September. Usually, the first or second weekend of the month is given under it.
Ice cream festival. thekovtun
At this time, the streets of Palermo resemble a childhood dream - a huge number of ice cream carts offering up to five hundred types of this treat. Among them are often quite exotic - from wine or cactus.
Feast of the Dead (Festa dei Morti) - authentic treats and fairs
Tourists often draw an analogy between Halloween and the Festa dei Morti. But in fact, on this day, the inhabitants of Palermo remember their dead relatives and rejoice that they have moved to a better world.
The holiday is celebrated for several days from October 30 to November 2. These days, cups with delicious cookies in the form of bones always stand on the tables of the townspeople. It is also customary to put a special baked treat - Martoran fruits on the table.
During the Festa dei Morti, fairs are held in the city, where you can buy almost any product.
In addition to the above holidays, small gastronomic festivals are held monthly in Palermo. They are dedicated to sausages, fruits and selected national dishes.
Gastronomic festival. marcopa82
To get to one of these festivals is an opportunity to imbue Palermo culture.
Palermo for children - how to entertain little travelers
The capital of Sicily is not too suitable for families with kids. Family tourists distinguish a lot of shortcomings in it:
- old street coverings do not allow you to stroll quietly with a stroller,
- minimum number of playgrounds equipped for children’s games,
- lack of a children's menu in cafes and restaurants,
- meager selection of entertainment.
But you can still relax with a child in Palermo, because here they simply love other people's kids. In cafes and restaurants they strive to treat them with goodies, and on the streets - to give something.
In addition, some activities in and around the city are suitable for children.
English Garden (Giardino Inglese) - Fun at Luna Park
You can come here for an evening walk or during the day to hide from the scorching sun. Giardino Inglese is always calm and quiet.
The garden project was developed at the end of the 19th century. At this time, a piece of land given for it was located on the outskirts of the city, but over time Palermo grew and Giardino Inglese became almost its center.
English garden. Käfer photo
Visitors to the park have the opportunity:
- Take a walk along the shady alleys
- look into the amusement park,
- feed ducks living in artificial ponds,
- sit by the fountain
- consider statues and busts of famous people.
Some tourists like to go to the video library, which is located in an old building.
In the garden you can spend from 2 hours to a whole day. Moreover, there is a cafe in Giardino Inglese where kids can have a bite to eat.
Waterpark in Montreal (Acquapark Monreale) - water recreation
By island standards, this is a fairly large water town. It occupies a little more than 2,000 square meters, which are located on:
- relaxation areas with sun loungers,
- slides of different heights and complexity,
- cafe and bar
- area for kids.
In the water park often hold dance tournaments, water aerobics classes, picnics.
Waterpark in Montreal. Elena.Degano
Before visiting the acquapark Monreale, please note that the water town is open from June to September.
It is better to allocate a whole day to visit the water park, since before it is closed, the kids cannot be taken away from here.
Zoological Museum (Museo Di Zoologia P. Doderlein) - history of fauna
If a child is older than 5 years old, then he may be interested in the Zoological Museum. Its exposition belongs to one of the richest in Europe and consists of:
- skeletons of prehistoric animals,
- Butterfly collections
- stuffed rare representatives of the fauna,
- alcohol reptiles and more.
Butterfly collection. JFs Pic S. Thielemann
The design of the museum is great for foreigners who do not know Italian - near the exhibits are colorful posters and diagrams. It is quite easy to get the necessary information from them.
Grotto Olio (Grotta dell’Olio) - beauty created by nature
Interesting for children will be a trip to the grotto of Olio. It is located in the suburbs of Palermo - Mondello.
Grotta dell’Olio was formed by nature more than 1,000 years ago. In its center is a lake with clear turquoise water. Tourists are offered a ride on the water surface on a boat and diving with masks.
Grotto Olio (Grotta dell’Olio). Serjio74
The arches of the grotto give such a walk an unprecedented mystery, and the child will remember this adventure for a long time.
Despite the existing entertainment, the kids in Palermo will still be unbearably bored. But kids from 7 years and older may like the city.
PMO Tourist Card - what are its advantages
Most of the expenses on vacation are paid for visiting attractions and traveling around the city. And since Palermo has a very impressive list of historical monuments that are included in the obligatory cultural program, it is easy to imagine what expenses will be for tourists.
You can avoid them with the PMO Tourist Card. This colored piece of plastic gives serious discounts:
- to visit restaurants
- for medical care
- for purchases in more than 40 Palermo stores,
- car rental
- for a taxi ride,
- for viewing 35 museums and architectural attractions.
In addition, tourists can use public transport in the city and its surroundings for free.
Palermo on the map. Milan1983
In Palermo they sell several types of Tourist Card:
- per day (11 euros),
- for 2 days (16 euros),
- for 3 days 22 euros),
- for 2 days for 2 people (33 euros).
You can also purchase PMO Tourist Card with bank card options. Its effect extends to two people during the day.
Such a card costs 70 euros.
Interestingly, the banking PMO Tourist Card entitles you to one free city tour with an audio guide.
Travel cards are purchased through the resource http://www.pmocard.it/en/card
Climate and weather - features of the seasons in Palermo
To figure out when it is best to relax in Palermo, you need to clarify the climatic features of the region.
Sicily has a Mediterranean subtropical climate. It is characterized by:
- long hot summers
- warm and comfortable winter
- fast passing autumn and spring,
- almost imperceptible transitions from one season to another,
- a large number of sunny days,
- rare rainy days.
But since the island is quite large, the climate in different parts of it varies slightly. In Palermo, it is classified as a hot summer Mediterranean. The average annual air temperature in the Sicilian capital ranges from 20 degrees above zero.
1. Porta Nuova Gate
They begin the acquaintance with the New Gate, erected at the end of the sixteenth century after the important victory of Charles V over the Turkish army. The building is located nearby the Norman Palace and reveals to travelers the historical part of the capital of Sicily. Visually, the gates resemble a triumphal arch with a luxurious superstructure and unique decorative finishes. A pyramidal roof with a mosaic image of an eagle and sculptural images of Atlantes on the front part stand out against the general background. Less than a hundred years after the construction, the structure was destroyed, and two years later it was reconstructed. New gates are included in all city sightseeing tours, but you can admire them without a guide, and it is best to do this in the morning when there are no crowds around and you can feel the greatness of the medieval structure.
2. Palatine Chapel
The Palatine Chapel is one of the most ancient chapels in the city. Originally built as a church at the Palazzo dei Normanni, where members of the Sicilian royal family could pray. It is executed in the Arab-Norman style with Byzantine mosaic elements and carved ceiling decoration. Since the construction in the 12th century, a significant part of the interior has been preserved, in particular, granite and marble columns that separate the side naves of the basilica from the central part.An indescribable impression is made by the mosaic floor, decorated using the cosmatesco technique.
3. Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - when examining this tourist site, pay special attention to the burial places of the kings of Sicily and emperors of Germany, whose reign on the island is considered to be a period of cultural and economic prosperity. If you want to learn more about the history of this amazing building and other ancient buildings, it makes sense to book excursions to Palermo - the routes are different, so there are plenty to choose from.
4. Churches of Martorana and San Cataldo
Churches of Martorana and San Cataldo - located on one of the picturesque squares of the city of Bellini, these two buildings are striking in contrast to the architecture of the surrounding houses. Visually, San Cataldo resembles a mosque, is the embodiment of the harmony of the Byzantine and Arabian style. Both churches were built in the twelfth century, but belong to different dioceses and are an obligatory route point for any city tour.
9. Polytheam Theater
Another item in our overview of Palermo attractions, but by no means the least interesting for travelers, is the Polyteama Theater in the heart of the island's capital. It was surprisingly quickly built (work began in 1867, and ended after 7 years). The building is characterized by a neoclassical style, with a similarity with ancient Roman architecture. Here you can not only admire the beauty of bronze sculptures and facade decoration, but also visit the gallery of modern art or a music concert.
10. Puppet Museum
Puppet Museum - here you can feel like a brilliant puppeteer or, conversely, find yourself in the power of thousands of traditional Sicilian dolls on strings (in total there are 3.5 thousand exhibits in the collection). The founder of the museum is a talented surgeon A. Pasqualini, who in the seventies of the last century managed to realize the idea of creating a museum of various puppets collected from all regions of the country.
12. Capuchin Catacombs
Capuchin catacombs are mystical underground galleries, in which there are more than 8 thousand unburied bodies, which have turned from the moment of burial into mummies. The remains belong to representatives of the local elite: nobles, prominent scientists, the top clergy, etc., some of them embalmed, the other - looks like skeletons, the third group consists of mummies. This is a unique museum where you can see the seated, standing, hanging bodies of the deceased: there are those that are located separately, others are combined into thematic compositions.