Palermo, Sicily’s capital, is a city that is rich in history, culture, music, art and food. It is often said that Palermo is a destination that is difficult to describe, but all will agree that it is a fascinating city that should be on the itinerary of every visit to Sicily.
How to Spend Your Time in Palermo
Roaming a maze of outdoor markets on the streets of old Palermo will take you back in time and will almost allow you to forget that you are in Italy. For instance, you won’t want to miss the local cuisine. Palermo offers great dining experiences in spots hidden along the many side streets. You might find these more palatable than those offered near the port, which are geared towards tourists. All throughout Palermo, there are pastry shops and outdoor cafes that allow you to take a break from your exploration of the best shopping and fascinating historical destinations in this city. A good neighborhood “trattoria” is most likely nearby, any location and can offer a true Sicilian culinary delight.
You can visit churches and palaces dating back to the 12th century, each of which boasts a distinct architectural style. The Regional Archeological Museum houses remains from Sicilian temples and is one of the most visited museums in Italy. And don’t forget to check out Mount Pellegrino, which gives you a remarkable view of the city.
At one time, there were hundreds of small opera houses throughout Palermo. Today, no visit would be complete without trips to the Teatro Politeama, which was built between 1867 and 1874, and the Teatro Massimo, which opened in 1897 and is the biggest in Italy. The Catacombs of the Capuchins provide a tourist attraction but are actually an extraordinary record of history and house mummified corpses from the past.
Grand and epic scenery, great food and outstanding historical art make Palermo a great city for exploration by any tourist. It should be a mandatory stop for anyone interested in Sicily’s history. Central Palermo is easily toured on foot and is filled with street markets that offer everything from food to junk. You might find the crowded, narrow streets of the markets overwhelming, but if you take it slow, you’ll get used to the rhythm of the market.
Getting To and From Palermo
Modern day Palermo hosts an international airport and relies heavily on tourism. The port of Palermo, which is thousands of years old, is the main port of Sicily and an important stop for large cruise ships. Travelers will find ferries to other cities as well as to smaller Sicilian islands. Inside the port, a section known as the “tourist marina” will show you some of the most beautiful sailing yachts that arrive in Sicily. The Palermo Centrale rail system gets travelers to other Sicilian cities and to many other areas of Italy as well as to the Palermo airport.
Where to Stay in Palermo
Accommodations in Palermo vary widely in both price and luxury, but you’ll find good hotels as well as B&Bs. Staying in the city center can be noisy, but it has the advantage of allowing you to walk out of your hotel and begin strolling by the nearest sites.
Palermo is bursting with art treasures, beautiful nature, and traces of ancient civilizations that will entrance any visitor no matter what their interests. The city is really a site to see, and boasts a stunningly beautiful coast of beaches that offer a relaxing vacation. All of these assets make the trip worth the time and cost.
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