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Discover Palermo

Guide to vacation in Palermo
Discover Palermo - Guide to vacation in Palermo

Thousands of years of history are contained within the town walls of the province of Palermo. In Sicilian dialect the regional capital of Sicily is pronounced ‘Palermu’.
The city offers much to the many travellers who visit from all over the world: Arab Palermo, Baroque Palermo, folkloristic Palermo, and Palermo, home of good food.
Inside the city walls it’s impossible to miss Piazza Quattro Canti, which has always been the teeming heart of city life! Piazza Quattro Canti or Piazza Vigliena is also called the ‘Theatre of the Sun’, since the sun is visible there from sunrise to sunset.

There are several churches in Arab-Norman style. The oldest is S. John of the Lepers from 1071. Among the Gothic churches is the twelfth-century Santo Spirito.
The Royal Palace or ‘Palace of the Normans’, once the seat of Sicily’s kings and viceroys, is today the seat of Parliament. In the Palatine Chapel and the Roger Chamber are superb mosaics from the Norman period. An exquisite example of a medieval building is Palazzo Chiaramonte. Palazzo Sclafani from 1330 was built in Gothic style with Arab and Norman elements.
Palermo is divided into four administrative districts: the neighbourhoods of Castellammare, Monte di Pietà, Palazzo Reale and Tribunali.

Palermo’s most important streets are Via Maqueda and Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
While walking through Palermo’s historic markets there are plenty of opportunities to try one of the city’s specialities: street food! A good example is bread with spleen, but the Sicilians will be happier if you call it pane c'a meusa. This dish is cooked by meusari, for the most part itinerant vendors who fry the spleen in a special pan and fill your bread roll ready to eat.
Several areas of Palermo’s countryside are protected. Of great interest is the Madonie Regional Park containing numerous species of flora due to the variety of its landscape, which ranges from just above sea level to an altitude of two thousand metres!

Many towns in the Palermo province deserve attention, among them Bagheria, Monreale with its Arab-Norman cathedral, and the medieval town of Carini.
Baghera is famous for its villas. A permanent exhibition of the works of Renato Gottuso can be found in the Villa Cattolica.
The most famous building in Monreale is the twelfth-century cathedral built by the Normans, A beautiful balance of Romanesque, Byzantine and Arab art, it contains no less than 6340 square metres of mosaics.

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