Palermo is the historic capital of the Sicilian island of Sicily. While the spectacularly preserved Palermo Cathedral is home to numerous historical tombs, the imposing Palermo city center is famous for its multi-ethnic artesanal shops. Also at the heart of town are the famous Palazzo del Comune, a majestic old palace begun in the 9th century and redesigned in modernist architecture, and the beautiful Cappella Palatina, an eclectic mosaic studio constructed in 18th-century Neoclassicism. Other busy commercial streets in Palermo include Corte degli Mario, leading to the ancient St. Maria church and Piazza del Popolo.
Artesanal shops in Palermo, like the Cappella Artesanal Palermo, offer a wide selection of unique antiques and furnishings. The shopfronts feature a mix of styles including Tuscan, Venetian, Baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Post-Impressionistic styles. A notable exception is the shopfront of the Cappella Artesanal Palermo, which exhibits traditional furniture fashioned in the style of Palermo’s older generations. In this shop you will also find a wonderful collection of secondhand articles such as chairs, tables, ceramics, wallpaper, metalwork, glassware, mirrors, and sculptures.
Another great thing to do in Palermo are both beach and hiking tours. The most popular tours are the Day of Ages, which covers the town for three hours; the Paradise Pass Tour, which goes along the west coast and takes you on a short hike from dawn to dusk; and finally, the Secret Garden Route, which covers a large part of southern Pierna and includes a drive along the rocky trails that crisscross the beach between its first settlement, Punta Umbria, and the current town, Palermo. All three of these tours can be combined into a shorter One Day Pass Holiday, allowing you to spend more time seeing the sights, and less time waiting in line at the tourist offices. Near the beginning of each tour, the guide will teach you about the region’s rich history. In fact, if you want to learn even more, you can read up on books or even online information about the region’s ancient cultures and traditions.
The best part about visiting Palermo is that you can always leave the area, go out to sea, or stay in Palermo and enjoy one of many restaurants or nightclubs, all of which are within a short driving distance from your hotel. Palermo was named Palermo after the ancient Sicilian settlement that once roamed on the bay, and this is why it has such a rich and colourful history. During medieval times, it was often used as a staging ground for battles, since it had access to an ocean. Today, you can still hear the sound of waves hitting the beach, as well as the occasional rustling of breeze through the trees that provide the background for many sailing activities.
One of the most popular areas that visitors to Palermo visit is Punta Umbria, which is located on the western end of the bay. Here, you’ll find the ruins of an ancient Roman military camp, as well as the remains of a wealthy fishing village that was razed to the ground during the Middle Ages. Many tourists to Palermo come to the area in order to soak up some sun on the sandy beaches while sipping on a cold fizzy drink, but you should also consider another reason to visit the Sicilian town of Palermo: the delicious cuisine that is made in this region.
Palermo’s restaurants are famous for serving up fresh and local ingredients, like locally caught seafood that is processed deliciously and then grilled to perfection. The famous Sicilian tuna tartare is made with locally caught halibut, which is then grilled until it becomes light pink, then served with a side of fresh, crunchy vegetables and a dip. Other popular food items include pizza, paella, seafood pasta and the traditional Sicilian breakfast of marmalaya. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in all of the main regions of Palermo, which means that visitors can easily locate a restaurant that offers a particular type of cuisine, so visiting Palermo doesn’t have to mean missing out on the local flavor.