It is the city with the most beautiful promontory of the world. This sentence was also pronounced by the famous writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, during his travel into Palermo, the capital city of Sicily. Even though Palermo is not like Venice or Florence, it is a very lovely city that keeps in itself all the ancient story of Sicily. All you want to know about Sicily is possible to be seen and found in Palermo: mountains, churches, monuments, sea, coasts, theatres, squares, typical roads and streets, Sicilian food and recipes, port and airport to link Palermo to landmarks in Italy and the surrounding islands. Placed on the West Northern tip of Sicily, Palermo overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea and the namesake Gulf.
In Palermo, tourists can also find back traces of several ancient peoples and dominances, such as Phoenicians, Byzantines, Normans, Arabs. Monuments and churches also contain the signs left by these peoples. Domes and arches are crafted with stunning mosaics and arabesques. The buildings made during the XX century, instead, are defined as the brightest example of Liberty Stile, popular until the 1920s. If you book a travel into Palermo, I suggest that you visit the following monuments: Teatro Massimo ( see the image), magnificent example of architecture of the XIX century, designed by architect Giovan Battista Basile and opened in 1897. This theatre is regarded as the biggest in Italy; Palazzo dei Normanni (The Palace of Normans) ( see the image of the Palatine chapel inside the Palace), declared in 1946 like the seat of the Sicilian Parliament; Palermo Cathedral, the most meaningful church in the city, build thanks to the contribution of several architectural styles.
Another important monument, I suggest that you visit is The Capuchin Chapel (La Cappella dei Cappuccini), an extension of the Church of Santa Maria della Pace. This building contains many ancient catacombs where many dead priests are buried. The bodies are in a perfect degree of preservation. These bodies were mummified and today appear only as skeletons dressed with precious clothes. The Chapel also contains the mummified body of a two year little girl died in 1920: Rosalia Lombardo. After her death, the father of Rosalia asked this her loved daughter was mummified in order to appear like she was always sleeping. Also today, you can see the untouched body of this little girl. I must admit that when I look at this body, I always remain quite impressed. Besides monuments and churches, Palermo offers you much more: The Vucciria Market, a place rich in stands where you can also find and buy many Made in Italy products, such as, for instance, Dolce and Gabbana glasses.
You can also see the Orto Botanico, the largest in Italy and founded in 1797. The Orto Botanico (The Botanic Garden) ( see the image) is the seat of the Botanic Faculty of Palermo University but it is also an evocative place always opened for tourist visits. If you, instead, prefer to see an entire view of Palermo, you must go up until Pellegrino mountain, (Monte Pellegrino), that Goethe defined as “the most beautiful promontory in the world”. Placed on the north of Palermo and facing the east bay of the city, Pellegrino mountain is, in reality, a high hill (600 meters) with a stunning view over the panorama of this city. You may go up Pellegrino mountain both at night and in the morning. At night you can observe spectacular lights rising from the center of the city, in the morning or during the day, you can also admire the surrounding sea and coast that every day, in the distance, embellish the streets, monuments and squares in Palermo.
Palermo hotels and accommodations
Palermo is the chief town of Sicily and maybe, the most magnificent city. It is the heart of my loved island, as witnessed by the gloroius monuments, churches and historical palaces. For this reason, you should visit it, not only for the famous beach of Mondello. To find hotels and accommodations in Palermo, in the downtown, the suburbs or near the beaches, see here.