Palermo is easily one of the most charming and attractive tourist destinations in Italy. It is home to many historical sites, including the Catacombs of Basilica di San Nicola, where the Catholic Church once stood. Another famous site is the Duomo, or Grand Cathedral, built in 1013 and dating from the Reconquest Period. Other places to visit in Palermo include the Piazza del Popolo, where Palermo Palaces were constructed, and the Mole Antonelliana, or Spanish Riding Palace.
A visit to Palermo offers a great deal of cultural experiences and sightseeing opportunities. One of the best ways to see the city is to take part in a walking tour. In fact, walking tours of Palermo typically last for three hours. You’ll want to start at one of the main thoroughfares in town, such as the Piazza del Popolo, and make your way all the way to the harbor. The street foods and sights here will delight even the most selective palermo lover. Here are some of the top places to go on a walking tour of palermo.
The Catacombs of Basilica de San Nicola are home to one of the most striking examples of Gothic architecture in the world. The underground catacombs were built in 1013 during the time of Emperor Charlemagne, in an attempt to bury his dead wife. For this occasion, massive stone blocks were put into place and then covered with gold paint. As the years went by, these catacombs were used for storage of weapons and precious jewels. Today, you can visit the site and marvel at the exquisite architecture and breathtaking frescoes. The best things to do in this beautiful location are to take in the spectacular views from both above and below.
The Quattro Canti Church is located in a historic neighborhood of Palermo called Palermo Capuchino. While visiting this gorgeous church, be sure to take the time to wander around the beautiful parking lot. The main entrance to the church is at the main gate, where a museum showcases many works of art, including the last supper skull that was buried with Charlemagne. Other interesting pieces of history include an inscription of the Last Supper that reads, “And when the king of France heard that Simonides had been taken captive, he sent his friend the Younger to get the body and bury it in the cave of Oliva.”
Another fascinating attraction is the Teatro Massimo, which is Palermo’s oldest theatre. Built in 1017, the theatre once had been used for a pagan festival. In its present, it provides a glimpse into the ancient past of Palermo. When the theatre closed for the season in 2021, reconstruction work began on the structure. Among the most striking features of the new theatre is the huge colonnaded roof, which stretches up to fifteen stories. One side of the theatre contains balconies that overlook the beautiful Arcona Lake.
Finally, one of the most popular sites in visiting Palermo is Italy’s famous ancient city of Sirmione. Although only partially excavated, the city, which is considered the birthplace of Renaissance Italy, still contains impressive art and architectural masterpieces. Among the most popular sights in Sirmione are the Catacombs of Sirmione, which contain numerous paintings of medieval scenes. Other impressive sites include the Duomo, the Sirmione courthouse, the Duomo Antoni Villas, and Piazza del Popolo, which all add to the overall character of Sirmione.