Visit Palermo

palermo

(romana aici)

Surely one of my favorite destinations is Palermo. A city of discrepancies and enigmas. From imposing palaces and luxuriant vegetation to dirty ghettos, from the sea to the high peaks of the mountains. This is what Palermo, the capital of the Sicilian region in Italy, looks like.

How do you get there? Transfer from airport to Palermo:
From Falcone Borsellino Airport, you have a number of options to get to town.

  • You can take a taxi, but of course this is a fairly expensive option;
  • Share a taxi, share the taxi with other tourists, and you can travel with 7 € to the central station;
  • By bus, the cheapest option, the program is pretty good, and the departures are from 30 to 30 minutes. Buy tickets here at a great price (tour – return 10 €, on posting date);
  • By train – from Punta Raisi station, from the airport to the nearest station of your accommodation! One way to the central station costs 5.90 € (at the time of posting). You can buy train tickets here!

 

In Palermo you will never get bored. You have a lot of monuments whose stories you are about to discover. In the shade of palm trees, in the fresh orange smell, under the blue sky, I promise you will have an unforgettable vacation. Discover the history of the city, try the traditional dishes and taste the best wines. Are you ready to visit the city where the mafia was born?

 

Palazzo Reale

The Palazzo dei Normanni (Palace of Normans) or the Royal Palace of Palermo, was the seat of the Kings of Sicily during Norman reign, and later served as the main seat of power for the later leaders of Sicily. Currently, it is the seat of the Regional Assembly of Sicily. The building is the oldest royal residence in Europe. The palace entered the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as an example of coexistence and interaction between cultural components of different historical and geographical origins.

The first building, al-Qasr (in Arabic, castle or palace) is believed to have been begun in the 9th century by the Emir of Palermo. There are still visible parts of this building, foundations and basements, where typical Arabic safes are present. In 1072, the Normans conquered Sicily and set up Palermo as the capital of the new Kingdom of Sicily, and the palace was chosen as the main residence of kings. Norman kings transformed the former Arab palace into a multifunctional complex with administrative and residential purposes. All buildings were linked together by arcades and gardens, designed by the best middle-class gardeners. In 1132, King Roger II added the famous Cappella Palatina to the complex. Since 1946, the palace has become the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly. The west wing (with Porta Nuova) was assigned to the Italian Army and is the seat of the Southern Military Region. The palace is also the headquarters of the Astronomical Observatory in Palermo. The palace shelters Cappella Palatina, by far the best example of the so-called Arabo-Norman-Byzantine style that

 

dominated Sicily in the 12th century. Impressive mosaics, wooden roofs, elaborate frescoes and pavements, and marble from the bottom of the walls and floor will captivate every visitor’s eyes. Unfortunately, much of the palace is not visited. The royal gardens have long lost the characteristics of the original garden, now having subtropical tree species and a variety of flowers. There are 3 trees of Ficus macrophylla, and one of them, embraces Pinus pinea.

Timetable:

Monday-Saturday: 08: 15-17: 40 (tickets are sold until 17:00)

Sunday / holidays: 08: 15-13: 00 (tickets are sold until 12:15)

Chapel Palatine does not visit between 09: 45-11: 15

 

Tickets:

There are several ways to visit:

  • Exhibition:
    • full price: 6 €
    • reduction (teenagers 14-17 years): 3 €
  • Royal Gardens: price: 2 €
  • Exhibition and Palatine Chapel:
    • full price: 10 €
    • reduction:   8 €
  • Exhibition, Palatine Chapel and Royal Apartments:
    • full price: 12 €
    • reduction: 10 €

You can buy tickets online here!

 

 

Porta Nouva

Porta Nuova is a monumental gate of Palermo. This is the entrance to Cassaro (the main and oldest street of the city) of Corso Calatafimi. It is located near the Palazzo dei Normanni. The gate was built to celebrate the conquest of Charles V of Tunis (1535) and his visit to the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily.

Porta Felice

The gate is located in the Foro Italico area. The gate was built in Renaissance and Baroque style between the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1581, Viceroy of Sicily, Marcantonio Colonna, decided to build this gate, which bears the name of his wife, Felice Orsini.

The Cathedral of Palermo

The Palermo Cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. It is an architectural complex that is characterized by the presence of different styles, thanks to a long history of additions, modifications and restorations. The church was built in 1185 by Walter Ophamil, Anglo-Norman archbishop of Palermo and minister of King William II, in the area of an earlier Byzantine basilica. A meridian line inside the Cathedral of Palermo uses signs of the zodiac to mark seasonal changes in the sun. Find your zodiac sign and take a picture of it!

Timetable:

  • From Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 14:00 (last entry 13:30).
  • On Sunday, it is only possible to visit the rooftop and the royal cemetery from 09:00 to 13:30.

Tickets:

Roof-Tombs-Thesaurus-Crypt: 8.00 €

Tombs-Thesaurus-Crypt: 4,00 €

Tombs: 1.50 €

Treasury-Crypt: 3,00 €

Roof: 5.00 €

Garibaldi Garden

The Garibaldi Garden was built between 1861 and 1864 by architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile in Marina Square, and was named after the national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi to celebrate the birth of the Italian nation. Here you will find one of the biggest and oldest ficus in Italy and the bust of Nicolae Balcescu, a great Romanian patriot.

Massimo Theater

Discover the Great Hall and the other evocative spaces of the Theater designed by G. B. Basile: living room attached to the Royal Palace, Pompei Hall, Palace Hall, and lobby. You can opt for a standard tour or just watch a play.

Timetable:

Daily between 09.30 and 18.00 (last entry at 17.30).

Tickets:
Full price:  8.00 €
Discount: 5.00 €(for persons under 25)
Reduced ticket for groups (minimum 20 people): 6,00 €
Student ticket: 3,00 €
Free entrance for children under the age of six.

More details here!

The Politeama Garibaldi Theater

It is the second most important theater of the city after the Massimo Theater. Its construction began in 1867 by Giuseppe Damiani Almeyda and was inaugurated in 1874. Today it is the seat of the prestigious Sicilian Symphony Orchestra.

Time schedule:

Daily: 09: 30-18: 00 (last entry 17:30)

Tickets:

Full price: 5 €
Reduced:  3 € (for groups of 20 people, students)

Free admission for children under the age of six.

Sanctuary Santa Rosalia

It’s time to make a trip! The sanctuary is on top of the mountain, but stay calm, it is easy. Take 812 bus from Piazza Sturzo. Go down to Sanctuario Station. The road up there is absolutely fascinating! A road climbing through the cactus forests, overlooking the calm sea and the city’s skyline, all bathe in the warm Mediterranean sun.

The sanctuary is actually a cave, where on July 15, 1624, the bones of S. Rosalia were found. With a special structure, the building blends perfectly into the cave rock wall, where you will find the “heart” of the sanctuary. Many people have left personal objects at the entrance of the sanctuary, hearing the miracles here. More information, but also the visit program you can find here!

Timetable line 812:

Working days: 05:45 – 07:00 – 08:35 – 10:15 – 11:55 – 13:35 – 15:15 – 16:55 – 18:35 – 20:15

Festive program : 06:30 – 07:15 – 08:00 – 09:00 – 10:00 – 11:00 – 12:00 – 13:00 – 14:00 – 15:00 – 16:00 – 17:00 – 18:00 – 19:00 – 20:00 – 21:00

Capuchin catacombs

The conservation status of the countless corpses exposed makes the Capuchin Monastery cemetery, known as the Capuchins Catacombs of Palermo, one of the most impressive places to visit all over the world. A macabre show that reveals the customs and traditions of Palermo from the 17th century until the nineteenth century.

Timetable: daily between 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00 – 18:00 (even on holidays).

Tickets: 3.00 €

To preserve the state of conservation of the mummies, visitors are prohibited from touching exhibits, photographing or filming.

More info here!

 

As you are already accustomed, it will follow the second part! More tourist attractions, giant ficus, local beverages and food!

Part two soon!

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