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Palermo museum

Interior of the Duomo, Palermo, Sicily

Palermo lighthouse

l Photos on VisitsItaly are by Jesse Andrews. Please Contact VisitsItaly.Com for reproduction of any kind at:

Welcome to Palermo
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 652,640 (2003)
Official site:

Bewitching Palermo is the political, cultural and financial capital of Sicily and a major port on the northwest coast of the island.

Palermo reached its heyday in the 12th century when Arabs, French and Byzantines lived together under Roger I, a Norman scholar-king who ruled over the most magnificent and cultured court in early medieval Europe.

Highlights of a visit to Palermo must include Monreale Cathedral and the Palatine Chapel - both of which date from this fascinating, fruitful period - along with walks through the atmospheric street markets of this ancient seaside city.

The honey-coloured Baroque palaces, piazzas and churches lining wide boulevards of the 18th-century section of the city lend a grandeur and charm to Palermo which the whine of motorbikes and exhaust fumes of nose-to-tail cars cannot dispel.

Stretching away from Palermo to the slopes of Monte Pellegrino is the Conca d'Oro (Golden Shell), a fertile plain where almonds, olives and citrus trees grow.

Palermo is a good base from which to explore Sicily's other western treasures - the Ancient Greek ruins at Segesta and Agrigento, the 12th-century hill town of Erice and the tranquil beauty of seaside Cefalu with its stunning late 11th century Norman Cathedral.

Extensive efforts have been made to restore La Kalsa, the 10th-century Arab port district badly bombed in WWII. After several decades of closure, the imposing neoclassical Teatro Massimo is once again open to the opera-going public. Allow at least three days to see Palermo.

Palermo is characterised by mild winters (av. Temp. Jan 12C) and hot, fairly humid, but dry summers (av. Jul temp. 28C). In the wettest month (Nov), expect around ten rainy days per month. The best time to visit is May-June or September-October when the weather is still warm enough to relax on the beach but too hot to take in the sights.

Region of Sicily


By train:
Palermo Station.

By air:  Palermo International Airport

By boat
: Palermo Marina. Boats Depart from Napoli and Bari.



Carved figures, Palermo



Santuario Madonna Della Grotta a fascinating Church overlooking Praia a Mare located within an enormous cave and home to numerous archaeological excavations.  It's free to enter and open on a daily basis.


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