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Palermo “The beautiful and immense city”

Palermo “The beautiful and immense city”

Al-Idrisi, a Berber geographer who lived in the first century of the year 1000, used these words to describe Palermo. And not without reason, as centuries later in 2015 the Arab-Norman Palermo site with the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The former capital of the Kingdom of Sicily today is recognized as a capital of history, cultural blending and contradictions, all elements which enhance its appeal and fuel the desire to discover it with its many facets.

 

Palermo: cultural integration begins here

Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Spaniards: the succession of countless peoples on the territory for centuries has allowed Palermo to develop, with an open and cosmopolitan spirit, in as many artistic and architectural styles, making the city one-of-a-kind in the world in terms of integration. Below follow our proposals so you may fully enjoy “the beautiful and immense city”:

• The Norman Palace, whose distinguishing feature is represented by the tiny jewel of the Palatine Chapel with its walls and ceiling decorated with magnificent mosaics, all in gold.

• The Cathedral, another icon of the cultural blending of styles. Inside you will find a crypt with the tomb of King Roger II and the jewels of the royal treasure.

• The Cathedral of Monreale, with its Arab-Norman style, whose magnificent architectural setting encloses two towers, an ogival portal and bronze doors. Inside, more than 6500 square metres of golden mosaics adorn the walls with scenes from the New and Old Testaments.

• The Ballarò Market, one of Palermo’s largest and most unusual. If you enjoy colours and are searching for excellent local enogastronomic products at unbeatable prices, then this is the place for you.

• The Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti: bright red domes and a style spanning the Muslim and Norman worlds. The cloister and gardens are superb for spending a few quiet moments after the hustle and bustle of the market.

• The Catacombs of the Capuchins, certainly the most unusual visit we recommend in Palermo. Almost 8000 mummies of monks, men, women and children still well preserved and displayed hanging on the walls of the catacombs. This visit is obviously not suitable for children.