Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and this is where you will find the wonder of Palermo. It has a population of 676,000 and it is a place that is filled with culture and is an economical centre. Palermo is steeped in history and here you can find cave drawings and human settlements that date back to 8000 BC. It was once controlled by the Romans and when the empire started to collapse, Palermo was taken under Germanic control and then Arabic rule before being conquered in the 1000s.There is also a varied and boisterous nightlife from classic Italian restaurants, cocktail bars, pubs and clubs. Palermo really is a perfect city break for everybody, wherever your interests lie.
Palermo has been home to many conquering nations and all have had a significant presence here. Therefore, this beautiful cathedral has a wide range of styles and fascinates in every possible way. It was originally built in 1185 following the instructions of Pope Gregory I, therefore, the church has had many uses throughout the centuries a mosque and a crypt. On the exterior of the cathedral, you can see the Moorish influence where you can also see a stunning basilican and renaissance clock tower. On the portico side, there are ornate features and a triangular pediment that contains a detailed fresco. Upon entering the cathedral, you will come across an impressive feature which is the treasure chamber that contains a wide range of artefacts that come from different periods of time, you can also see the tomb of Emperor Frederick II.
Located in close proximity to Pallazzo dei Normanni, the Palatine Chapel provides you with the chance to explore the most amazing examples of Byzantine architecture and artwork. It is part of the palace and was build in 1132 and was commissioned by Roger II of Sicily. The chapel was dedicated to Saint Peter and it has a central basilica with a selection of fantastic Byzantine artwork. There are beautiful mosaics that contain stunning detail and vibrant colour with the walls and ceilings filled with historical and religious iconography. Everywhere you turn, you will come across another depiction or more detail. It is a real work of art in every possible way.
Palermo Archaeological Museum
This museum is located near to the Teatro Massimo and here you will be able to explore the history of the area. In the museum, you will find a huge selection of Greek art and artefacts that have been found on the island of Sicily. The museum is split into sections, making it easy for you to find your way around but there are Roman artefacts, Phoenician artefacts and underwater artefacts. You can take a look at the Palermo Stone that contains a list of Egyptian rules, lion statues from the ancient site of Selinunte, the marble statue of Satyr as well as many Greek ceramics.
Capuchin Abbey and Catacombs
Capuchin Friars dates back to the 1500s and this abbey was created for them to use. The abbey is not the pleasing on the eye but the catacombs are well worth a look and are unlike any other attraction throughout Europe. Head underground and explore the vast catacombs as well as a wide selection of burials and bodies that come from a number of periods in time. The bodies have been preserved by the Capuchin Monks and they have been kept in their original garments while using embalming techniques. You can take a tour of the catacombs and this strange burial ground contains over 8000 bodies.
Sicily is full of mountains and hilly regions with Monte Pellegrino being positioned right next to Palermo. Here you have the chance to escape the city and explore the expansive views of both Palermo and the Mediterranean. This is an amazing tourist attraction but the locals also appreciate the beauty of this place and so, you should expect to rub shoulders with them. This is not far from the city centre but access is simple but for those who like to explore you can hike to the summit of Mount Pellegrino.
Surrounded by the Mediterranean, Mondello Beach is positioned 15 minutes north of Palermo. The town is awash with atmosphere but this beautiful place is where you can come to relax and bathe in the stunning waters of the Mediterranean. During peak times it can be crowded but there is still plenty of room for you to bathe or enjoy the scenery. The Art Nouveau pier is positioned in the centre of the beach and here you can find a bar and restaurant. This is the place to come to take it easy and have some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Map of Palermo
Pictures of Palermo
Hotels In Palermo
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