14 Best Things to Do in Palermo, Italy

|   Last Updated on March 30, 2020

Palermo is the capital city of the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily. The town is located in the lower part of Italy, so that it is adjacent to Malta and Tunisia.

The city has a population’s capacity of over 676,000 residing within the capital city, although the entire metropolitan population is over 1.3 million individuals.

Palermo Island is well endowed with the Italian history, cultural, and economic practices of Italian people. For instance, the cave drawings and remains of human settlement have been located here in Palermo and some dating as early as from 8000 BC.

The island was under the Roman Empire initially, although the Roman Empire did not remain in power for long before the empire collapsed.

Immediately, Germans took control over the city, and then Arabic overthrew Germans from power. After a long period of power struggle, Christians finally took control of the island, and up to date, the Christians are the majority in the island for over 1000 years ago.

Palermo is a thriving tourist destination center due to its unique historical building and some of them as old as 1000 years. Additionally, the considerable development that has seen the city as one of the modern cities in the world as well as its well-endowed economy that supports tourism.

Palermo has one of the unique historical attraction sites as well as buildings along the dramatic Palermo coastline, where you can explore together with your family, especially during the Christmas holiday.


What are the best things that you can do once you visit Palermo?

1. Visit Palermo Cathedral

The uncountable cathedral styles are a result of the many nations ascending to power in this region, and each country comes with its design. The building is not only fascinating to watch but also carries a lot of historical facts about the Palermo city.

The building was established back in 1185 after Pope Gregory ordered an establishment of a church, although it has been indifferent uses such as crypt as well as a mosque.

The exterior décor is a clear indication of the Moorish influence in this region since the beautiful central basilica, as well as the tall renaissance clock. Note there are additional ornate columns as well as the triangular pediment with its detained fresco highlighted on the entrance shows the porticos influence in this region.

The Emperor Frederick II tomb is well located at the treasure chamber also different artifacts that have in existence many years ago.

2. Monte Pellegrino

monte pellegrino (2)
© Veselina Dzhingarova Flickr

The many hilly regions in Sicily, as well as the mountains, offers a perfect escape to nature where you can watch the beautiful Mediterranean climate of Monte Pellegrino.

Just like many tourists, locals too like coming in this region for an afternoon fun as well as doing some mingling.

Approximately nine miles from the city central business district, the mountain is accessible through various transport and bus services running to the Politeama top is one of the most used modes of transport here. You can as well hike if adventures are part of your hobby.

3. Palazzo dei Normanni

palazzo dei normani
© Effems Wikimedia Commons

The Normans palace or the Royal Palace was the principal residence of Sicily kings. It stands to be among the oldest royal palaces in entire Europe. It was established in the 9th century by Emir Architects of Palermo.

The Moorish and the Norman influences are well represented by the palaces features that exude a stately or an official feel. The beautiful stone decorations and arches are the main features, especially in the exterior where the central courtyard resides.

This palace is also a connecting building due to its beautiful artwork and mosaics dating many years ago. Don’t forget to visit an authentic royal residence of Sicily kings.

4. Palermo Archaeological Museum

If you are a real historian, then this is the best place for you to visit. Palermo Archaeological Museum is not far away from the Teatro Massimo. This museum has a wide range of ancient Greek art collection as well as various artifacts, especially those from Sicily Island.

For easier identification of multiple items in the museum and navigation, it is divided into numerous departments, such as the underwater artifacts, Roman artifacts, Phoenician artifacts, and many more.

For instance, the Palermo Stone has the main Egyptian rules in addition to the marble statue of the ancient Satyr as well as the lion statues created by the ancient Selinunte.

5. La Martorana

la martorana
© Bjs Wikimedia Commons

This church is a perfect representation of ancient religious buildings. It is a wonderful example of various unifications of architectural styles in Palermo, just like the Palermo Cathedral, mainly due to many years of conquest by powerful kings injecting different cultures and ideologies.

It seats in the region around the Piazza Bellini and adjacent to the famous Quattro Canti Square and the Pretoria Fountain. The Christ golden mosaic is the main feature in this dome-shaped building. Additionally, its ceilings and aches have plenty of decorations of depictions, making it one of the most beautiful places you can visit here in Palermo.


6. The Catacombs and Capuchin Abbey

The building was established back in the 1500s and it was a particular purpose for their personal use. Although Abbey by itself is not that fantastic, the catacombs are particularly unique attraction marvels in Europe.

You will not only enjoy traveling underground where you can see varieties of macabre of burials in addition to the preserved bodies of the prominent Capuchin monks of various periods used to keep dead bodies using original garments as well as embalming techniques. There are over 8,000 bodies buried in this underground bizarre.

7. San Giovanni Degli Eremiti

Although small in size, this church has charming features that date back since the 6th century.

Despite its existence for many years ago, it has been extraordinarily preserved to stand up to this time. An incredibly vibrant and brilliant red coloration located at one end of the church has been, therefore, for many years without it getting off.

Its architectural styles feature a combination of both Arabic and Norman features, although there are minor Roman additions on the building styles. At the back of this church is a vibrant garden containing exotic plant life, making this place not only lively but also beautiful.

8. Capella Palatine

It is located adjacent to the Palazzo Dei Normanni, which is at the center of Palermo.

For historical purposes, it is the best-preserved artwork and Byzantine architecture in entire Europe.

It was built in 1132 as part of the magnificent palace and was inaugurated by Roger II of Palermo in Sicily. The castle was honored to the Saint peter with its central basilica featuring a fantastic artwork of the Byzantine architectures.

Its mosaic coverings depict the fabulous colors and details of the building as well as its ceiling and walls that show its historical iconography and its religious significance in the entire Palermo city. The structure as the whole is colored with interesting depictions and different types of details showing a real sense of artistic creation and ingenuity.

9. Palermo Food Markets

Do you want to sample your favorite meals from a wide variety of food available here in Palermo? It is, therefore, essential to note there are several high food markets in both local and international shops. Common foods markets include the Vucciria and Ballaro and both strategically located at the center of Palermo city.

10. Teatro Massimo

Not many people can imagine that a theatre can be among the most magnificent building in Palermo city.

This theatre stands tall above the relatively small buildings that surround the Piazza Giuseppe Verdi building. Completed back in 1897, and it has maintained its title as the most significant Opera House not only in Palermo city but also in entire Italy. You will get guided tours to get to understand the whole interior and its boxes.

Famous firms have been acted here, making it a perfect place for film lovers.


11. Fontana Pretoria

Established back in 1554 by Fontana Pretoria and sits amid Piazza Pretoria. It was later transferred in 1574 to Palermo, where it retains its title up to date.

The twelve ancient Greeks Olympians are depicted on this fountain’s marbles, such as the Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, and Ares. A wonderful place to visit decorated with statues and sculptress.

12. Ustica Island

Although Ustica is a small island located adjacent to the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is approximately about 50 km from the Palermo coastline. The first human settlement is believed to have occurred many hundreds of years ago, as reviewed from excavations on this island. A day trip is not only fascinating but also gives you a chance to explore the Spalmatore cliffs.

13. Montello Beach

Do you want to enjoy the cool Mediterranean day breeze? This beach, although highly crowded you will find it not only a great place to make new friends but also have fun together with your family. Within 15 minutes from Palermo, you will be on this beach. You can as well as enjoy swimming in clear water.

14. Quattro Canti

quattro canti
© Bengt Nyman Wikimedia Commons

This open square was established back in 1608. It is situated at the Palermo center, and although it may look simple, it is one of the most beautiful attraction sites in Sicily. The round face at every corner of its face has marbles inscriptions and states of prominent Italian rules and citizens.

Parasailing. It is the perfect place for your water sporting particularity due to its calm Mediterranean Seawater. You will find several water tour providers offering a variety of water sport activities at a reasonable price.


Last Updated on March 30, 2020

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  • Rovology is leveraging advice from Vagabonds, Tourists, Digital Nomads, Wayfarers and Travel Writers to give our readers a guide on the best things to do no matter where they go.