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Palermo, Sicily. Sights Palermo

Palermo - the main city and capital of Sicily, the place where you can fully feel the breath of history and the cultural diversity of the Islands.

This article will tell you about the city of Palermo, the historical centre and attractions. Not to be confused with the province of Palermo, the coastal strip which stretches for miles outside of the city.

The Beaches Of Palermo

Although the city of Palermo and is located on the coast of the Tyrrhenian sea, but in the center of the city beaches there. The best beaches of the province are concentrated outside the city, so if you say that Palermo's wonderful beach vacation, we have a view of the beaches surrounding the city, and not in the city.

One of the most visited and popular among tourists, and among the local population, is considered the beach of Mondello. The drive from Central Palermo to Mondello is 20 minutes by town bus. Mondello beach is sandy, quite large and very picturesque, also in the center of Mondello is where to walk and what to see. That's only in the high season the beach is crowded, and on the weekend come and locals.

The promenade of Palermo

Although in the centre of Palermo and not suitable for swimming beaches, but there is embankment, seaport and yacht Marina.

Palermo historical center

In the centre of Palermo people come mostly for the sights and explore the capital of Sicily. Some combine exploring the city and shopping.

Central tourist street in the historic centre of Palermo, on which and near such emblematic attractions, are the two intersecting street: Maqueda and Vittorio Emanuele (originating from the promenade), as well as the Roma street running parallel to the street Maqueda and adjacent secondary streets.

On the streets is always a lot of tourists, there are shops, souvenir shops, boutiques, jewelry stores and plenty of cafes and restaurants.

Street Maqueda

Street Vittorio Emanuele

Street Roma

The Main Attractions Of Palermo

The Politeama Garibaldi Theatre (Teatro Politeama Garibaldi)

The Politeama theatre, located on the square of Rudjera Settimo (Piazza Ruggero Settimo), is an example of neoclassical architecture. The main entrance is under a monumental arch, the upper part of which is decorated with frozen in bronze fragment from the Olympic games. And in the center of the square you can see the monument to Ruggero Settimo.

The Massimo Theatre (Teatro Massimo)

Teatro Massimo - a Large Opera house, located in Verdi square (Piazza Giuseppe Verdi), is the most famous and largest theatre not only of Sicily, but throughout Italy. The architecture of the building is clearly visible in a neoclassical style with elements of ancient Greek temples. The entrance steps are flanked by large sculptures of lions.

The Church of San Giuseppe dei Teatini (San Giuseppe dei Teatini)

Catholic Church San Giuseppe dei Teatini is located at the intersection of the streets Maqueda and Vittorio Emanuele. This Church was built in the early 17th century and is considered one of the most outstanding examples of Sicilian Baroque.

Pretoria Square (Piazza Pretoria)

The Piazza Pretoria is one of the main and perhaps the most beautiful square in Palermo. The perimeter of the area are concentrated many monuments in Skopje which is a picturesque Baroque ensemble. So, if you are going to visit the area, calculate the time to spare, because ten minutes here will not get off.

In the middle, stands the famous eponymous Pretoria fountain (Fontana Pretoria), which is a composition of a number of pools of different sizes, installed at different heights, and surrounded by statues of mythological characters and animals. Many human figures that adorn the fountain, is depicted naked. Once the fact of the sculptural naked bodies shocked the residents of Palermo, making this fountain the people began to call the "fountain of shame".

Behind the fountain located in the Church of Santa Caterina (Chiesa di Santa Caterina) 17th-century building and a magnificent interior. Entrance fee.

On the right side of the fountain is the building of the municipality - Urban or Praetorian Palace, also known as the Palace of the eagles (Palazzo delle Aquille). The walls of the building is a gallery Museum.

Piazza Bellini

Piazza Bellini is located just behind Piazza Pretoria is also one of the main squares of the historic center of Palermo. In the evening on the square from time to time concerts are held.

The main decorations of the square are the twin churches of Martorana (La Martorana) or Santa Maria del Ammiraglio (Santa Maria Dell'ammiraglio) and the Catholic Church - the Arab-Norman Church of San Cataldo (Chiesa di San Cataldo), similar in appearance to a mosque.

Church of San Cataldo in 2015 was included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage.

The interior of the Church Santa Maria del Ammiraglio. Entrance fee.

The Piazza Bellini is a University, where you can visit the chapel of St. Joseph - San Giuseppe dei Falegnami (Oratorio di San Giuseppe dei Falegnami), currently performs the function of the chapel of the University.

The Church of the Jesus (Chiesa del Gesu)

Jesus Church in the Plaza of the Profession (Piazza Casa Professa) for us was the most beautiful Church in Palermo. Externally, the Church is unremarkable, but once inside, it impresses with its decoration. The abundance of mosaics of colored marbles, bas-reliefs and painting, as well as the combination of black and white, all of this together makes a truly lasting impression.

The main attractions of the Vittorio Emanuele

Square Of Bologna (Piazza Bologni)

A small area along the perimeter of which an abundance of cafes, and in the center the monument to Karl 5 (Statua Carlo V)

The Church of the Holy Saviour (Chiesa del Santissimo Salvatore)

The Church of the Holy Saviour or Santissimo Salvatore - Baroque Catholic Church, built in 1071 by the Royal monastery of vasylianok. In addition to the rich history of the Church is also notable for its interior decoration, with a sharp contrast with the appearance. The main hall of the Church has a semicircular shape and in addition to its religious functions is used as an auditorium. The dome of the Church you can climb, from there you can enjoy 360-degree views over Palermo.

Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)

Palermo Cathedral, also called Cathedral of the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary is the main Church of Palermo, a magnificent Church, a Grand monument of Arab-Norman style, which is the main attraction of the Sicilian capital. Originally, the Cathedral was erected in the middle ages, as a result of repeated reorganizations and reconstructions have acquired a diverse appearance, in which he printed the influence of different eras and architectural styles, complementing and overlapping each other. However, even after time in the appearance of the Cathedral you can notice a distinct Arab-Norman, Gothic and neoclassical features.

In front of the Cathedral lies the garden which is decorated with statues and fountains.

The entrance to the main hall of the Cathedral is free, but if you want to wander around the other halls and(or) to attend the open part of the temple, then it will have to pay.

The Norman Palace (Palazzo dei Normanni)

The Norman Palace (Palazzo dei Normanni) and Royal Palace (Palazzo Real, Palazzo Reale) is a former residence of the Sicilian kings and viceroys. The most famous part of the Palace is the Palatine chapel (Cappella Palatina), access is for a fee, entrance from the yard of the Palace.

The Park Of Villa Bonanno (Bonanno Villa)

Near the main entrance to the Royal Palace lies the square of the Villa Bonanno. The Park was named in honor of mayor Pietro Bonanno. In the Park of sculptures, ruins (excavations), walking paths, places for recreation and the main decoration of the Park - monumental sculpture Teatro Marmoreo.

City gate - the Porta Nuova and Porta Felice

Gate and Felice Nuova located on the same street - Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main and most ancient street of the city. The first gate is located near the port, while the second symbolize the end of the street.

Porta Nuova, or New gate - one of the two main gates of Palermo, at the present time serving a symbolic entrance to the historical centre of Palermo. It is a kind of triumphal arch, located next to the Royal Palace. The data gate was built to commemorate the victory of Charles V in the Tunisian war, and his visit to the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily.

Port Felice - the second gate of the city of Palermo, through which in ancient times were entering the city from the sea. The data gate is not similar to the first, they have quite an interesting appearance and represent two buildings-the towers are not connected above.

Other attractions in Palermo

Near the Royal Palace, on Via dei Benedettini, there are two nearby churches, not so similar to each other, but both beautiful in their own way:

1. San Giovanni degli eremiti (San Giovanni degli Eremiti) is a former Benedictine monastery, one of the brightest examples of Arab-Norman style.

2. The Church of Parrocchia San Giuseppe Myung Mirsky, similar in appearance to many other churches in Palermo.

On the block above churches, there is a small Zoological garden, peacocks, turtles and some other birds and animals.

St. Domenica (Piazza San Domenico)

Piazza San Domenico located in Roma. In the center of the square is decorated with the column of the Immaculate Conception. Also the dominant feature of the square stands the Catholic Church of San Domenico (Chiesa di S. Domenico e Chiostro). And the perimeter is concentrated shops and cafes. A better view of the square and the streets Roma opens from the top of the open area adjacent to the area of the Department Store Rinascente Palermo. To pass to the "observation deck", you need to go to the store, climb to the top floor and walk through the restaurant to the outdoor area.

From the square originates narrow street - Via Maccherronai, on the street, bars, cafes and restaurants. The street ends in the square Caracciolo where there is a small market and many street food: grilled seafood, fish, offal, meat, etc. the Street is only slightly longer than 160 meters, however, it is always busy, prices are reasonable, the tourists go out and try the local cuisine.

Botanical garden of the University of Palermo (Zagara)

Palermo Botanical garden is located near the waterfront, address: Via Lincoln, 2, Palermo 90123 PA, Italy. Entrance fee - 5 euros.

The city Park of Villa Giulia (Villa Giulia)

The Park is directly adjacent to the Botanical garden only, admission is free. In the Park large trees, plenty of greenery, places for recreation, sculptures, gazebos, live green parrots, a key place in the Park is a historical monument - Fontana Del Genio Di Palermo. The place is so-so, but if you're around - is worth a look.

Catacombs of the Capuchins (Catacombe dei Cappuccini)

Unique in its kind Museum. Catacombs of the Capuchin - Museum of death, the place is not for the faint of heart, where you can face to face with the dead. Currently, catacombs of the Capuchins represent the burial place (the crypt), where in a single indoor room, located under the monastery of Convento dei Cappuccini, in the clear the remains of more than eight thousand people.

Tempio Dei Concerti

Obelisk to the victims of war or thirteen victims of the uprising 1860, the year (Obelisco alle Tredici Vittime) and monument to the fallen in the battle against the mafia/the monument to the victims of the mafia (Monumento Ai Caduti Nella Lotta Contro La Mafia)

Two of the monument located next to each other, near the Harbor, XIII Vittime square.

Near the monuments, you can see the old Church of Saint Giorgio Genovesi

In addition to Palermo many churches and chapels, of which there are more than 290, as well as museums and theatres, parks and squares. To tell you about is just unreal, but to see with my own eyes - it is worth to visit Palermo and stay in town for a few days.

Accommodation in Palermo abound, ranging from the budget to luxurious and fashionable. When choosing a place for accommodation in Palermo, the ideal option will certainly the proximity (walking distance) from the historic part of the city.

All accommodation in Palermo you can view and book here.

How to get to Palermo

30 kilometers from the Palermo international airport Palermo, named Falcone-Borsellino airport (Aeroporto di Palermo Falcone e Borsellino), with regular flights from many cities of Italy and Europe. In the holiday season without problems it is possible to find direct flights from Russia, in other months with a stopover in European cities. To pick up cheap tickets here.

To get from Palermo airport faster, easier and more comfortable by taxi. To order a taxi/Shuttle service in advance, even from home. At any time of the day, at the airport, you will meet your driver with a sign, which will be written your name and surname. For taxi is enough to tell us your flight details.

Also, immediately upon arrival you can rent a car and explore the island, which is very convenient and is very important in Sicily.

Of public transport can be reached by buses:

Buses run daily from the airport to Palermo starting from 05:00 to 00:30; from the centre of Palermo to the airport from 04:00 until 22:30. The fare one way is 6 euros, if you buy tickets there and back from € 10. Journey approximately 50 minutes. Tickets can be purchased online at or airport ticket office near the bus stop.

Also direct buses and trains from(to) Palermo ply to(from) other major cities of Sicily: Catania, Trapani, Agrigento, Messina, etc.

Find out the exact timetables and stops and cost of tickets on the Trenitalia website or at the website Rail Europe.

Tickets for trains can be purchased at the railway stations at vending machines or ticket offices and online as the Trenitalia website and on the website of Reil Europe. What's the difference: the Trenitalia website is not on the Russian language and payment only in euros, the website of Reil Europe Russian and to purchase tickets for rubles.

Central railway and auto stations are located in the centre of Palermo, close to each other, just 850 metres from Piazza Pretoria. First street Roma. Landmark - Piazza Giulio Cesare, Palermo 90123 PA, Italy.

The railway station of Palermo

Photos of the streets of Palermo

All accommodation facilities in Sicily, you can view and book here

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