What to do in Palermo


You want to know what to do in Palermo because you are considering a visit to Sicilia? In this case, the first thing that we must point out to you is that you have chosen a perfect destination for your trip both for its natural beauty and for its architectural wonders and the warmth of its people.

As for the first, the entire island of Sicily stands out for its volcanoes. He Etnaplatforms, Stromboli and Volcano they are the most famous. Regarding its artistic value, the Italian city offers you the whole of the Norman Arab Palermo and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale, which has been declared Heritage. For all this, we are going to show you what to do in Palermo below.

Visit its impressive monuments

Palermo Cathedral

The magnificent cathedral of Palermo

As we have just told you, Palermo has this monumental ensemble, but also other imposing Renaissance, Baroque and even the most genuine Art Nouveau constructions. It would be impossible for us to tell you here about all the places with artistic value that you can see in the city. Therefore, we will mention only some of the most prominent.

Palermo religious heritage

Church of San Juan

Church of Saint John of the Lepers

The main religious monument of the Sicilian city is its cathedral of the holy virgin mary, which was built in the XNUMXth century on top of an old Byzantine temple. Hence its strong influence. eastern. Outwardly, the large portico with three arches will draw your attention. And, regarding the interior, you should look at its chapels, especially two. the one of Sacramento it is decorated with lapis lazuli and other precious stones. And of Santa Rosalia it houses the image of the patron saint of the city.

No less spectacular than the previous one is the church of Jesus, also called Professa House and considered the great jewel of Baroque Palermo. It is located on a hill dotted with caves where, according to tradition, hermits took refuge. You cannot miss its interior, decorated with wonderful frescoes and stuccos.

On the other hand, it is related to Spain la church of Santa Eulalia de los Catalanes. And he has it for two reasons. The first is that it was built by emigrants from that community and from Aragon who settled in the city. As for the second, it is your marvelous plateresque facade with shields of our country and the city of Barcelona. It even has several chapels dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat.

Finally, other wonders of the religious architecture of Palermo are the churches of San Cataldo, with its singular red domes, of Saint John of the Lepers and St. Francis of Assisias well as the famous Capuchin Catacombs.

Civil Architecture, other essential visits to do in Palermo

Norman Palace

The Norman Palace, one of the most important visits to do in Palermo

If Palermo's religious heritage is impressive, its civil heritage is no less beautiful. Perhaps its great symbol is the imposing Norman or Royal Palace. You can get to it through the Vittorio Emanuele street, which is the oldest in the city and which starts from the popular Plaza de los Quattro Canti, one of the most beautiful in Palermo.

But, going back to the Royal Palace, it was built from the XNUMXth century by the king Roger II and other Norman monarchs who succeeded him. Later, it was expanded during the Spanish domination. Due to these successive extensions, its structure is irregular, although its size is impressive. But the most beautiful thing about him is found inside. We talk to you about the Palatine Chapel, whose visit is essential among what to do in Palermo.

It is the most accomplished sample of the conjunction of Arabic, Norman Gothic and Byzantine styles. You cannot miss its spectacular mosaics, its wooden coffered ceilings and its marble inlays. The chapel is barely thirty-three meters long by thirteen wide, but it is a true marvel.

However, Palermo offers you many other jewels of civil architecture. Without stopping talking to you about palaces, Zisa's, built in the XNUMXth century, responds to the Moorish style, while Natoli's It is a baroque beauty. On the other hand, the admiral bridge It is also from the XNUMXth century and impresses with its twelve pointed arches and its good state of preservation. As a historical anecdote, we will tell you that the famous Expedition of the Thousand of Garibaldi and the Bourbon troops in 1860.

On the other hand, together with the Quattro Canti, already mentioned, another of the most famous squares in Palermo is the one in pretoria, which houses the homonymous fountain. The Pretoria Fountain was commissioned by the Spanish family of Grand Duke of Tuscany for his palace Florence. But, in 1552 it was bought by the Palermo senate and transferred to this square. Its authors were Francesco Camilliani y Michelangelo Nascherino and responds to an unquestionable style Renaissance.

theaters and museums

Archaeological Museum

A room of the Archaeological Museum of Palermo

As for the former, this Sicilian city has several, although two stand out. The first of them is him Politeama Theater, which was built in the second half of the XNUMXth century and which presents a style neoclassicist. You will be struck by its circular shape and its façade, a large triumphal arch on which sits a bronze representation of Apolo on his chariot.

The second is the Massimo Opera House, which is the third largest in Europe among those dedicated to opera. Likewise, neoclassicIt is even more beautiful and imposing than the previous one. Its façade in the form of a pronated or set of columns under a frieze and its large dome.

Halfway between theater and museum is the one with the puppets, which have a great tradition in Sicily in particular and throughout Italy in general. But more important is the Regional Gallery, located in the Abatellis palace, and dedicated to painting and sculpture. We can tell you the same about archeological Museum, which, among other jewels, houses the so-called Palermo stone, a slab with Egyptian hieroglyphics dated to the XNUMXth century BC.

Strolling through its streets, one of the pleasures to do in Palermo

Quattro Canti

The popular Quattro Canti

Strolling through the central streets of the Sicilian city is another of the things that we recommend you do. And, not only to see monuments, but also to soak up the hectic city life. Of course, alternatively, you can move in one of the typical motorcars who pass through it. In any case, there are many areas that are of interest.

But we advise you to visit the city ​​markets. For example, those of Vucciria, Ballarò, Borgo Vecchio and the Capo. In all of them you will find the best samples of street food, which we will talk about later. And, at night, you will find them transformed into meeting places.

But, if we are talking about the nightlife, perhaps the best place in Palermo is the marine square, which is full of restaurants where you can savor typical dishes and also pubs where you can have a drink. On the other hand, if you visit it on a Sunday morning, you will find a market with countless stalls that sell everything.

There you can buy the calls Moorish heads, which constitute the best souvenir What can you bring from the city? These are hand-painted ceramic vases depicting a turbaned man and a crowned woman. They have their origin in a legend that we do not resist telling you.

He says that, in times of Arab domination, he lived in the neighborhood of the kalsa a beautiful woman who took great care of the plants on her balcony. While doing so, she was seen by a Muslim who fell in love with her and declared his love for her. they lived his passion until she learned that he had a wife and children in the East. mad with jealousy, I kill him while he slept and used his head as a vase in which he planted basil that he watered with his tears. The good smell of this plant caught the attention of his neighbors who asked him for vases like the one he owned.

Enjoy the magnificent gastronomy of Palermo


Try the caponata, one of the things to do in Palermo

We were talking to you before last about Palermo cuisine. Now we will advise you to try some of its most typical recipes. Refering to fast foodyou have to try them arancini. They are rice balls that are filled with different cheeses or other products, breaded and fried. You can also taste the sfincione or Sicilian pizza, which is characterized by having a thicker dough and a greater amount of cheese. Or the fritters, which are fried chickpea flour.

As for the more elaborate dishes, ask for a caponata, vegetable stew that is made with aubergines, tomatoes, celery, olives and capers. It is also served as a side dish and is delicious. With the first of them is elaborated, likewise, the parmigiana from sicily, a kind of lasagna. Likewise, it is exquisite pasta with sarde him, that is, with sardines.

Moreover, the sicilian wines They are excellent. But, if you want something non-alcoholic and refreshing, ask for a border, which is a mixture of sorbet and granita. Finally, among the sweets, the cannoli, pasta wafers filled with cheese and sugar, and the cassata, a delicious cake that is made from ricotta cheese, sponge cake, sugar, marzipan and candied fruit.

In conclusion, we have shown you what to do in Palermo. But we cannot finish this article without recommending you visit other towns in Sicily. We talk about places that are among the most beautiful in Italy. They are populations like Cefalù y Monreale, with its impressive Norman cathedrals; Agrigento, where the spectacular Valley of the Greek Temples is located; Erice, with its castle and its houses with traditional architecture, or, if you are a movie buff, Corleone, birthplace of the protagonists of the legendary saga The Godfather and equally monumental. Dare to know Palermo and the beautiful Sicily.

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