72hrs in Palermo
Palermo is a boutique travel destination within Sicily. Despite the mass tourism that Italy embraces on a yearly basis, there are still the lesser known destinations worth exploring for yourself. We have learned so much about Palermo thanks to our outlandish tour guide Don Saro from Personal Guide Sicily.
The historical nature of this city is so intense that tagging a private guide along with us was quite a lifesaver. Many establishments in the history of Palermo has made it what it is today. The earliest known Sicilians (8,000 BC) marked down by a race of people known as the Sicani can be witnessed from their art decorates inside the cave walls in Adduara, just outside Palermo city. All across the city you can find clues of the different past times that have taken place: from the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Normans and others.
This urban melting pot is characterised by history and culture so diverse that it often feels conflicted. The vast diversity of architectural styles, from Arabian domes to baroque buildings, are not to be missed. When browsing the streets around Piazza San Domenico, do not forget to look up. Additionally, enjoy delicious cuisine that spans from a variety of origins. When in doubt of where to eat, we recommend Al Fondaco del Conte, Antica Focacceria S. Francesco or our favourite local cuisine Ferro di Cavallo. Sikulo is also to be listed, you will only find seasonal produce, sourced locally and cooked in the traditional way with a touch of creativity. Typical Sicilian recipes to devour.
Be sure to visit the Palace of the Normans, the Palatine Chapel and the church of St. John of the Hermits. Art and music lovers won’t want to miss the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (the “GAM”), the Salinas or an opera or ballet at the Teatro Massimo (recognised for being in Godfather III).
Fortunately, like all of Sicily, history in Palermo is beginning to repeat itself. Rising developmental forces are rebuilding the city and driving further growth. Many feel that a new golden age is just around the corner, making now the perfect time to visit a city on its way to being reborn.