What to see, do and explore?
Discovering Palermo will guarantee travel lovers a total change of scenery. Every corner of its streets reflects the different contrasts of the city.
Palermo Cathedral © lapas77 – stock.adobe.com
Good reason to vacation in Palermo
Palermo is one of those destinations that never ceases to amaze its visitors. We shoulder the crumbling monuments that line the opulent palaces.
Also, tourists cannot fail to explore its dark little streets before discovering its various sunny squares. To find out more, this article presents various useful information for a successful stay.
A little history
The history of Palermo begins in ancient times, more precisely in the 8th century BC. Thus, the city knows many phases of work that allowed it to inherit a rich heritage artistic and cultural. The Phoenicians founded it about three thousand years ago in a beautiful bay bordering the Conca d’Oro territory. The arrival of the Greeks and Carthaginians on the island further contributed to its development. The rise of the city continued around the year 800 thanks to the Arab conquest. In 1072, the Normans invaded the island and Roger I chose Palermo as the capital of his kingdom.
Since the reign of the House of Hauteville, the capital of Sicily was one of the leading cities of continental Europe in the 12th century.
William II’s loss of Sicily in 1189 led to bloody political struggles between several nations for several years. It was not until 1734 that Sicily was in the hands of the Bourbons before being controlled by the Italians. Industrialists like Whitaker and the Florios allowed the city to regain some prosperity.
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Despite this, the capital of Palermo plunged back into despair after two world wars. To begin its renaissance, the city freed itself from mafia injustices after the great trials against the mafia in the 90s. Here, the launch of a rehabilitation of historical center of the municipal authorities of Palermo marked a real turning point in its history.
Where is Palermo?
The city of Palermo dominates the fertile lands of the Conca d’Oro. Its geographical location, located in western Sicily, on the northern coast of the Mediterranean, provides many advantages. The Oreto River crosses its southern side and several mountainous areas make up its landscape. For example, a trip to the north allows visitors to set foot on Monte Pellegrino, whose height exceeds 600 m.
As the largest city in the region of Sicily, Palermo constitutes Italy’s fifth metropolitan city by population. Its territory extends to an area of more than 5000 km², divided into 82 municipalities. The inhabitants here are called Palermitans.
This destination has several nature reserves, the most coveted of which are Monte Pellegrino and Capo Gallo. Of the guided tours can be arranged during the stay to facilitate their exploration.
What to do in Palermo?
View of Charleston, Mondello beach setting on the sea in Palermo, Sicily, Italy © EleSi – stock.adobe.com
The downtown of Palermo is home to several sites classified as World heritage of UNESCO. There is old Palermo with more than 500 monuments including palaces, monasteries, religious buildings and theaters. Each of them deserves a separate visit, if we only talk about the cathedral of Monreale. The latter stands out for this arabic norman style. One of the unmissable activities in Palermo is visiting its museums and historical monuments arabic style. The Norman palace, located in Piazza Independenza, is one of them and its architecture represents the cultural mix of the city. It was built to accommodate the Arabs, then the Normans occupied it before the Spaniards arrived.
To vary the pleasures, guests can also relax next to mondello beach. The latter is a rare stopover after various cultural visits in the heart of the city. It benefits from crystal clear water surrounded by fine sand as far as the eye can see. Otherwise, part of a hike in the Zingaro nature reserve is a whole other attraction.
This protected area remains the perfect place to enjoy the panoramic view of the Mediterranean. A stopover in another green space located by the sea, called Foro Italico, also allows you to spend a relaxing and entertaining moment with family or friends.
What to visit in Palermo?
Panoramic view of Piazza Pretoria or Piazza della Vergogna, Pale © Gandolfo Cannatella – stock.adobe.com
Palermo is full of some interesting tourist sites that you can discover on your next vacation. To get an idea, below is a non-exhaustive list of what you can explore during your stay, starting with very beautiful palatine chapel. This religious building, built in the 12th century, combines Arab, Byzantine and Romanesque architectural styles. Another medieval monument from the 12th century will also make an impression during this voyage. This is the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, famous for its unusual exterior facade.
the church Saint John of the Hermits is also one of the most visited places in this city. It stands out for its bright red dome, its gardens and its cloister. It is the perfect place to relax after a busy day visiting. For those who need to buy souvenirs, a trip to the Ballaro market stalls is in order.
On the side of quattro canti, you can admire at this crossroads the four amazing symmetrical facades with representations of the four patrons of Palermo. The passage through the oldest streets of Palermo, Corso Vittorio Emanuele also gives the impression of time travel. Alternatively, you can also go for a walk piazza pretoria to admire its famous 16th century fountain.
Is Palermo dangerous?
Ancient cloister of Saint John in Palermo, Sicily © andiz275 – stock.adobe.com
Despite the small crime in the city, Palermo does not present any real danger for those who love to travel and discover.
The Politeama area and the main historical districts where theholy church John of the Hermits is the most recommended during the visit.
Why go to Palermo?
The city of Palermo allows tourists to spend their holidays in an original way. We go there mainly for its cultural and artistic beauty, but not only! The warm welcome of the locals is also one of the reasons to visit the capital of Sicily.
In addition, there are several means of transportation to get there. For example, tourists can choose the plane, ferry or train. Note that you can take advantage of the opportunity to explore the longest line of railway of Sicily.
When to go to Palermo?
The city of Palermo generally enjoys good weather conditions throughout the year. The temperature remains pleasant during the visits, even during winter, between the months of December and February.
For holidaymakers who want to enjoy the Mediterranean sun, they can plan their stay between May and September. Otherwise, to avoid the crowds, a good time to go is from November to March. In addition, accommodation and stay prices decrease during this period.
How to visit Palermo in 1 day?
Visiting this wonderful city can really be done in one day. To do this, the ideal is to take a plane. When you reachPalermo airportthe shuttle can take tourists directly to the most spectacular tourist spots.
Otherwise, taking public transport is also a great way to reach the city center and explore its wonders.
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