Palazzo dei Normanni is one of the most famous sights in Palermo which was the former royal palace of King Roger II in the 1100’s. Covered in dazzling Byzantine mosaics (akin to those in the church of the Martorana and in the Monreale Cathedral), this Arab-Norman architectural edifice is a symbol of the political and cultural union operated by the Normans.
Also known as square of sham, the spectacular Piazza Pretoria captivates with its fountain and the numerous gleaming white naked statues, thereof the name. The Pretoria Fountain was sculpted by Francesco Camilliani and in the beginning, in 1574, it was placed in Florence for a few years but then transported to Palermo, divided into 644 pieces. The fountain is a true masterpiece, takes up the entire piazza, and considered being one of the most beautiful fountains in Italy.
Santa Caterina Church in Palermo has attracted many tourists and visitors from all over the world because of its remarkable Sicilian Baroque architecture. The walls are full of ornamental paintings and there are vibrant frescoes, intricately carves statues and a lot more to explore.
Teatro Massimo is one of the largest theatres in Europe (7730 mq), a Neoclassical masterpiece started by Giovanni Battista Basile in 1875, and completed by his son, Ernesto, in 1897. Recently restored, it is now the lyrical temple of the city, staging the opera and ballet official season.
San Giovanni degli Eremiti is famous for its red domes and architectural design that was greatly influenced by the Arabs during the 12th Century. This was originally a mosque that was later converted into a Christian church dedicated to St. John of the Hermits.
Festa di Santa Rosalia is a grand annual festival that takes place every 14-15th of July. The festival dedicates to Palermo's patron saint, Santa Rosalia who was apparently the one who freed the city from a dreadful plague in 1624. This festival is full of dazzling fireworks, religious processions, live music and sumptuous Sicilian delicacies.
The history and Arab influence that is so clear in Palermo has marked also the markets, which are very like the Arab "souks". Ballarò is the oldest food market in Palermo where you can treat your pale with some exciting flavours, a market where you can mostly buy fresh produce, fruit and traditional food, a true heaven for all foodies. Borgo Vecchio is another market that also offers vegetables and fruit.
Palazzo Abatellis is a palace that reflects the Gothic-Catalan architecture. It also houses the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia - the Gallery of Art for the Sicilian region. The palace itself is archeologically interesting, but most people visit this place for its rich cultural artworks.
The Botanical Garden is considered to be a prestigious open-air botanical museum that has enabled in-depth studies on fascinating plants for about 200 years. Maintained and supervised by the Department of Botanical Sciences in the University of Palermo, this amazing botanical garden with several plant species is a must-see in Palermo.
Mondello Beach is an idyllic beach that is just a short ride away from the city of Palermo. The famous “The World Festival” takes place here every year and the beach features activities like beach volleyball, paragliding and windsurfing. Music concerts of various styles are also a common occurrence and the joy and the energy bubbling on the beach will for sure inspire you.
Housed in the Archbishop's Palace, Museo Diocesano di Palermo boast an impressive collection of sculptures from the 15th to 18th centuries. They also display interesting artworks, religious silver ware and textiles including sacred furnishings obtained from destroyed churches.
A hidden paradise! A few minutes of walk from Mondello will lead to this charming place with crystal clear water. It’s not a typical kind of beach because the area is rocky but there are flat sandy areas to lie down and relax. Just don’t forget to bring food and beverages because there are no stores nearby.
Torre de San Nicolo all'Albergheria is a small 12th century tower located beside the church, which is part of the old system of communication to the city. Albeit the winding staircase is a bit tedious, the view at the top is breathtakingly rewarding, so don´t forget to bring your camera!
Castello Della Zisa is a 12th century castle built for King William I of Sicily which was re-established around 1970s and 1980s. It is open six days a week with an admission fee. One of the interesting part of this place is the Central Hall with a cool fountain and mosaic decorations.
Also known as Piazza Vigliena, Quattro Canti is considered as one of the fascinating landmarks of Palermo. It is located at the intersection of Via Maqueda and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Octagonal in shape, this unique edifice got fabulous artworks and captivating sculpture that will surely amaze tourists in each and every corner.
Palazzo Chiaramonte is a palace built in the early 14th century that once served as a residence of Sicilian Lord Manfredi III Chiaramonte. Now the administrative head office of the University of Palermo, Palazzo Chiaramonte never fails to mesmerize its visitors with its unique painted wooden ceiling, as well as the former inquisition dwelling of prisoners.
Gagini Restaurant claims to be a "social restaurant", meaning that they mix food with art, music and fashion. Romantic lit candles and fresh flowers on the tables set the mood in this open and inspiring venue. If you desire something different from a “Social Dinner” don’t miss their great atmosphere and perfect space for a dinner, either for two, a group of friends, family or business.
This classic restaurant opened its doors in 1890, making it one of the city’s oldest restaurants. The interior is worn and has some less attractive modern details, but this doesn’t stop it from being full on most evenings. The menu offers Sicilian specialties and food from the sea such as pasta con le sarde (fresh sardines with raisins and pine nuts).
This is more than just a sushi bar, they also serve Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes, all cooked with quality produce. The food is artistically and skilfully presented and the ambience authentically Asian but yet modern. Pop in to try something else than Italian flavours!
This cosy family-owned Sicilian restaurant combines tasty tradition with mighty modernity. The chef is eager to create unforgettable dishes, all cooked to perfection with fresh ingredients that are best savoured with all five senses. The food and the service is just impeccable at A'Cuncuma Restaurant and deserves a visit!
Frida Pizzeria is a popular place, so if you want a table, your best bet is to be here early. The restaurant is popular for its pure tasty pizzas that comes in many different styles made with a unique combination of tradition and innovation and prepared with quality ingredients.
Le Delizie di Cagliostro is a typical Sicilian restaurant that has been around since 1981. The interior design and the theme of the restaurant has been inspired by an 18th century mythical count. From the menu, you can choose traditional Sicilian food with a modern touch, divine meat, fish and pasta dishes are all there.
An excellent location in the beautiful port city of Mondello, close to Palermo, is part of what makes this romantic gem so special. The ocean is the focal point here, whether you are seated inside or at the terrace. The menu also holds some incredible seafood specialties.
This café has a lot of yummy pastries in all forms, shapes and sizes. In fact, they have a special sweets designed for every holiday in Sicily. Pasticceria Alba started out as a tiny café and the owner slowly expanded the business with innovative ideas. Today, Pasticceria Alba is known all over the world for their high quality and delicious products.
This café/restaurant is a perfect place to stop by and relax. Spinnato offers affordable yet delicious menu like arrancine or rice balls, pizzas, cannollis and desserts like ice creams, pastries and much more. Although it is always full of people, the ambiance and service of the place is remarkable.
A heaven for all sugar addicts, Pasticceria Cappello is a delightful and well-known place where cakes, pastries and cookies are on display, true work of arts such as the seven-layer chocolate cakes, sweet cannolis, filled croissants, almond and pistachio cookies are all there to get picked. Accompanied your cake with a cup of creamy coffee and just enjoy the juicy sweet Italian flavours.
With a unique location, overlooking the marina bay, Bar des Arcades is the perfect spot where to enjoy a delicious cocktail on the terrace or by the fireplace in the winter months. Have some snacks with your drink and listen to the beautiful music that comes from the piano every evening.
La Cuba, a bar and a restaurant where to dine and drink in a relaxed ambiance, right in the centre of the city. Serving the best Italian wines and cocktails that will satisfy the most experienced connoisseurs and it all can be enjoyed while listing to live jazz, blues and pop music or dance the night away to the rhythm of Cuban music played by a DJ.
Close to the Teatro Massimo you will find this cool bar, a perfect place for those who wants to drop by and have a sip of delicious wine. With a great location and delightful drinks, Bottiglieria Del Massimo is an exciting choice to experience the nightlife in Palermo.
Tonnara Florio is a beautiful venue in Palermo that has always mesmerized its guests not only for its charming view and delicious drink and food but also for its rich historical heritage. For centuries, this place had evolved from being a fish slaughter house into a cool restaurant/bar that hosts important events.
Famous for its delicious fusion of cocktails and drinks, Alchimia is a cosy bar in Palermo that plays soft music with some belly dancing performances. For those who are health and diet conscious, Alchimia are serving fresh fruits and snacks as well as Arabic Cuisines in a relaxed and vibrant ambiance.
Il Siciliano Restaurant serves delicious Italian and Mediterranean cuisine including sumptuous drinks in a venue where the interior imbibes the glamour of Palermo’s rich culture and history. Also hosting live music in the late evenings that enhances the vibrant atmosphere.
In the heart of Palermo lies this chic bar that has captivated its guests with great live music, live DJ acts, sophisticated ambiance and the wide array of drinks to choose from. Cantavespri Vini e Vinili is a cool bar to visit for a cool romantic date or a venue for hanging out with friends.
Bar/cafeteria Marocco has earned the trust of many of its guests through the years because of their fresh and sumptuous Italian dishes and desserts including delicious wines, drinks and coffees. The venue is located near the cathedral and other landmarks making it a good stop for dinner and drink.
Vucciria Market is one of the most popular markets in Palermo. From fresh sea food, meat and vegetables to creative handmade crafts, Vucciria Market will always be full of diverse and interesting products making it a very popular destination not just for tourists but also for the locals alike.
With 120 stores, Forum Palermo is considered as one of the biggest shopping malls in Palermo. It has many luxurious boutiques, restaurants, services and other establishments making it a favourite shopping destination of many tourists. Shops such as Guess, H&M, Timberland, United Colors of Benetton, Pandora, Swarovski and Adidas, are all housed here.
Looking for a great memento from Palermo? Come and visit The Cittacote for creative handmade miniatures of renowned edifices and monuments not only in Palermo but in other cities of Sicily as well. Every piece is made by the Italian architect Vincenzo Vizzari himself using innovative and exceptional techniques to create the detailed and elaborate designs.
Soldano has been in business since 1911 and is a great name when it comes to classy but affordable footwear and accessories in Palermo. Each product is made up of high quality materials and there are multitude of designs to choose from! There are two locations, one in Via Ruggero Settimo 75 and one in Via Petrarca 10.
In the heart of Palermo lies an artisan studio where one can have creatively designed mementos of the Sicilian cultures. Lo Studiolo Palermo owned by Antonio and Guiseppe will surely enchant someone with the grandeur history and culture of the city that is embedded in their artworks.
For those who are looking for classy and inimitable mementos for gifts or as personal loot, come and visit Archigiana. The shop is owned by an architect who devoted her talent creating artistic pieces of accessories made of various materials like leather, faux leather and wood that can be customized upon request.
For vintage lovers, visiting Palermo will not be complete without visiting Magazzini Anita. This cool place sells various vintage items from branded clothing and accessories to shoes and bags. They are also selling antique lamps, home decors and porcelain that can be a great souvenir or gift.
Run by Susanna di Simone, daughter of the founder, La Fabbrica della Ceramica is a delightful shop, offering beautiful collection of artistic ceramic. Everything from colourful cups to plates, bowls and other home décor are created by the owner herself and beautifully displayed on the shelves.
Palermo International Airport, also called Falcone–Borsellino, is located 35 kilometres (20 miles) from Palermo. With the bus company Prestia e Comandè, you can get to the city centre of Palermo from the aiport. The bus runs between 05.00 and 00.15 and from 06.30 the bus runs every 30 minutes. The tickets can be bought online (www.prestiaecomande.it), on the bus and at the ticket office at the airport (next to the Arrivals and the bus stop). The airport taxi service is on the exit Arrivals Area and they are coordinated with the timetable of the arrival flights. Car rental companies such as Avis, Hertz, Europecar and Sixt are all located in the Arrivals Hall of the airport if you would like to rent a car. There is also an information desk outside the arrivals area if you would need any further help.
Use the AMAT network of buses and trams to get around the city. Tickets are valid for 90 minutes and can be bought from tobacco vendors, some newsagents or at the AMAT kiosk at Piazza Ruggero Séttimo and Stazione Centraleà. You need to stamp the ticket in the machines that are located near the entrances of the vehicle when boarding. The tram system operates four lines in Palermo and is an easy way to get around. AMAT also run night buses, while Trenitalia manage the train network. AMAT: +39 091 350111 Trenitalia Sicily: +39 091 6170224
Taking a taxi in Palermo can be expensive, especially in the evenings and if you have a lot of luggage. Always agree on a price before starting the journey and also make sure it is run by an official taxi company (check if there is a taximeter before boarding the taxi). Taxi ranks are located at the train station, Piazza Politeama, Teatro Massimo and Piazza Independenza. Autoradiotaxi +39 091 8481 - +39 091 51 33 11 - +39 091 51 27 27 www.autoradiotaxi.it [email protected] Cooperativa Radiotaxi Trinacria +39 91 225030 www.radiotaxitrinacria.it