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A holiday in Palermo can help you discover a side of Sicily you've never seen before, where millennia of history, civilisations and cultures have created a unique mixture of art, architecture and tradition. Capital of the region of Sicily, Palermo is considered a cultural and economic hub between the Mediterranean Sea and Europe, as well as one of the island's most important tourist destinations. So it's always easy to find many holiday promotions for Palermo for every budget.
Discovering the city of the "Conca d'Oro" starts at its ancient core. The first settlements stood on what is now Piazza Indipendenza, where the Royal Palace is. The building is emblematic of the various civilisations who developed Sicily's capital, bearing the legacy of the cultures which have come and gone over time in its various architectural styles. Inside the castle you can visit the Palatine Chapel, a marvellous example of Palermo's Byzantine art. Built in 1130, the chapel is renowned for its precious treasury and beautiful mosaics, including Christ Pantocrator. Leaving the castle, you can stroll through the three green areas surrounding the Royal Palace: the Villa Bonanno garden, the Piazza Indipendenza garden and d'Orléans Park, a 7-acre area which used to be part of Villa d'Orléans, but today houses the Region's offices. In Via dei Benedettini, a stone's throw from Palazzo dei Normanni, you can admire one of the city's most beautiful and famous churches, San Giovanni degli Eremiti, known for its red cupolas from the Arab-Norman period. It used to be a monastery, but today only the church remains. Back in Piazza Indipendenza, head to the kiosk on the corner of Corso Calatafimi to try a traditional sandwich with “panelle e crocché” (fried chickpeas and potatoes).
Heading towards Corso Vittorio Emanuele, you'll pass through the imposing Porta Nuova with caryatid figures symbolising Charles V's four victories in Africa. You'll then find yourself halfway down Cassaro, the long road linking Monreale to the sea. On the left stands the beautiful Archbishop's Palace and all along the road are Baroque buildings. You'll arrive at the Quattro Canti, which are four buildings representing the areas the city was divided into in the Spanish period.
To immerse yourself in Palermo's public markets, just cross Via Roma to reach Piazza Caracciolo, site of the famous Vucciria market depicted in Renato Guttuso's celebrated painting. Every July, Corso Vittorio Emanuele hosts the Festival of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of the city. Crossing the street, you'll arrive at the Church of S. Francesco, commissioned by Frederick II. Opposite is one of the city's best rotisseries: the Antica Focacceria San Francesco, where you can try some typical delicacies of Palermo.
If you want to admire some masterpieces by Sicilian artists, head to Palazzo Abatellis, one of the oldest and most elegant buildings in Palermo, inside of which is the Sicilian Regional Gallery. Outside the Gallery is the Kalsa quarter, which was originally a fortified citadel founded by Arabs. In front of the Porta Reale is the entrance to the Botanical Gardens and Villa Giulia with lovely walkways, palms, ancient trees and orchards.
Once in Palermo, you've got to spend an evening in Piazza Marina, a recently revitalised centre of nightlife. You can dine at the unique "al covo de' i Beati Paoli", which has tables outdoors in good weather, perfect for admiring the gardens of Villa Garibaldi, the palaces of the nobles and the Garaffo Fountain. Another fantastic place for dinner in the heart of the historic centre is I Grilli, just behind the Church of San Domenico, with a traditional Sicilian menu served by candlelight in a sophisticated atmosphere. You can end the night with a visit to the Complesso Monumentale dello Spasimo, a deconsecrated church that now stages concerts and plays. Sun, sea, traditions and legacies of ancient cultures. What more do you need to take advantage of a last minute holiday offer to Palermo?
A: That all depends on what you want to see and do. If you've organised to stay in downtown Palermo for the entire time you're away, you may prefer to take advantage of the city's public transportation system. Get from point A to point B without the bother of hefty parking fees (or getting lost). If your number one aim is to discover regional Palermo, booking a rental car is a terrific option. For a comfy ride, check out our guide to Cheap Car Hire in Palermo.
A: When you touchdown in Palermo, you'll most likely be collecting your luggage at Palermo (PMO-Punta Raisi). This major airport services 586 international flights per month.
A: The most popular accommodation in Palermo are apartments. Also in high demand are bed & breakfasts, guest houses and hotels.
A: You can choose to plan every little detail of your trip or let Expedia help you out with a wonderful Palermo holiday package. Flights, hotels and cars — we have them covered. All you'll have to do is figure out the type of adventures you'd like to try out.
A: A package deal takes the worry out of travelling, and it can save you some serious dollars too. Flights, Hotels, Activities — Expedia is here to help. Bundle the lot and start dreaming of what you'll be able to do with all your extra spending money.
A: If you haven't already added a stop in Palermo to your travel schedule, you may want to do it now. You really shouldn't miss Teatro Massimo, Cathedral of Palermo and Palace of the Normans while you're in this part of the world.
A small quiet hotel within close walking distance of the old town, the pool is beautifully clean and maybe at times a little to warm however don’t expect to be laying on your inflatable in it it is not big enough for that but it is ideal for cooling off a touch. The rooms where exceptionally clean ...
This is a unique property that is a feast for the eyes. It’s A 500 year-old building that has been expertly restored to incorporate the past while having all modern conveniences. The breakfast is superb and the staff is friendly, helpful, and makes one feel as if they are part of the family. It should ...
The hotel is well located in Palermo. Good breakfast, nice staff, clean. Only downside was the water in our room...shower in our room took a long time to get hot and at times we had no cold water in the sinks. Overall decent hotel for the price.
Right in the heart of Palermo. Staff friendly and helpful. Hotel clean and spacious. Great place to stay.
Great location. No elevator. No drop off for cars. Steep stairs from street. Good rooms. Restaurant recommendations not trustworthy.. rude service desk at night.
Located in Ruggero Settimo, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Via Roma and Politeama Garibaldi Theater. Palermo Harbour and Teatro Massimo are also within 10 minutes. Giachery Station is 19 minutes by foot and Palermo Central Station is 23 minutes.