Palermo is the regional capital of Sicily and it is a buzzing Mediterranean center, exuding a pretty unique kind of energy. It is situated in the northwestern side of the island of Sicily by the Gulf of of the same name in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city itself is cocooned by the Pilgrim Mountain.
It is situated in a valley and completely accessible by sea, which has made it one of the most conquered cities in the world (absolutely never boring to live there, you see).
This unique city is over 2,700 years old and its rich past can be witnessed by the Byzantine mosaics, crumbling baroque buildings, medieval churches and Arabian food delights.
A Little Bit of History
Cathedral of Palermo, Sicily
The history of Sicily’s capital dates back to the Prehistoric Age and the early settlers had occupied Palermo even before the history was written.
The stunning beauty of its harbor, the towering mountains and its strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean had attracted many settlers, and this is the reason for the presence of various cultures in Palermo.
The Sicani were the earliest settlers and they had arrived as early as 8,000 B.C. The cave walls in Adduara are covered with their art works.
The Phoenicians arrived in 734 B.C. and they were followed by Carthaginians.
Pretoria Fountain, Palermo, Sicily
After the Punic Wars, it became a Roman colony. Romans built roads, temples and baths that can be seen even today. The Saracens, Normans, English, Spanish and German were the next successive rulers of this port city.
Palermo grew in its beauty and prosperity, and became one of the wealthiest city-states in Europe. It was invaded and bombed by the Allied Forces in 1943 and the scars of this attack can still be seen in Palermo.
The City of Palermo, Sicily
U Fistini Festival, Palermo di Scena Festival, Palermo Puppet Festival and the annual Carnival are some of the famous annual celebrations that take place in this city.
Shopping here is of good quality, and you can find shops in the side streets that sell antiques, ceramic items and jewelry made by local craftsmen.
Where is Palermo?
- 138.5 miles/ 223 km from Messina, Sicily, Italy
- 129.8 miles/ 209 km from Catania, Sicily, Italy
- 67.7 miles/ 109 km from Trapani, Sicily, Italy
- 214.3 miles/ 345 km from Naples, Italy
- 265.3 miles/ 427 km from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
- 19.8 miles/ 32 km from Palermo Airport, Sicily, Italy
- 127.3 miles/ 205 km from Catania International Airport, Sicily, Italy
- 270.2 miles/ 435 km from Cagliari Elmas Airport, Sardinia, Italy
- 71.4 miles/ 115 km from Trapani Airport, Sicily, Italy
Things to See
- San Giovanni degli Eremiti
- International Marionettes Museum
- The Palatine Chapel
- Teatro Massimo
- Piazza Marina
- Outdoor Markets
- Catacombs of the Capuchins
- Mondello Beach
- Cefalu Beach
- Mount Etna
- Walking Tour
Palermo is an urban paradox and no other city in Italy is quite like it.
Its strength is in its beauty and civilization rather than in its military tradition, and that is why it has been occupied by so many rulers.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!