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Holiday in Palermo

When thinking of Sicily, the first things that come to mind are the sea and relaxing days spent on the beach, but this island has much more to offer.

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?


Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,739 properties in Palermo
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel
Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel

Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo MGallery by Sofitel

Salita Belmonte 43, Palermo
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 295 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly Palermo hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Palermo Harbour and Favorita Park. Renzo Barbera Stadium and Teatro Massimo are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Eurostars Centrale Palace £50
    Eurostars Centrale Palace

    Eurostars Centrale Palace

    Via Vittorio Emanuele, 327, Palermo
       
      4.2
      of 5, from 797 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly Albergheria hotel is located in the historical district, steps away from Via Maqueda, Church of San Cataldo and Martorana. Cathedral of Palermo and Teatro Massimo are also within 10 minutes.

      Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes
      Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes

      Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes

      Via Roma 398, Palermo
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 1,000 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Ruggero Settimo, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Roma, Regional Archaeological Museum, and Teatro Massimo. Church of San Cataldo and Martorana are also within 1 mile (2 km).

        Astoria Palace Hotel
        Astoria Palace Hotel

        Astoria Palace Hotel

        Via Montepellegrino 62, Palermo
           
          3.6
          of 5, from 697 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of Palermo, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Palermo Harbour, Teatro Massimo and Regional Archaeological Museum. Renzo Barbera Stadium and Regional Gallery are also within 2 miles (3 km).

          Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa £68
          Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

          Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa

          Via dei Cartari 18, Palermo
             
            4.3
            of 5, from 354 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in Kalsa, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Vittorio Emanuele, Church of San Cataldo, and Martorana. Regional Gallery and Regional Archaeological Museum are also within 10 minutes.

            Hotel Palazzo Sitano
            Hotel Palazzo Sitano

            Hotel Palazzo Sitano

            Via Vittorio Emanuele, 114, Palermo
               
              4.0
              of 5, from 569 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Kalsa, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Vittorio Emanuele, Regional Gallery, and Church of San Cataldo. Martorana and Regional Archaeological Museum are also within 15 minutes.

              Grand Hotel Wagner £87
              Grand Hotel Wagner

              Grand Hotel Wagner

              Via R. Wagner, 2, Palermo
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 340 reviews
                5.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Ruggero Settimo, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Roma, Regional Archaeological Museum, and Teatro Massimo. Church of San Cataldo and Martorana are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                Hotel Garibaldi £51
                Hotel Garibaldi

                Hotel Garibaldi

                via Emerico Amari, 146, Palermo
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 848 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Ruggero Settimo, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Roma, Teatro Massimo, and Regional Archaeological Museum. Church of San Cataldo and Martorana are also within 1 mile (2 km).

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