Palermo in two days

1° day

  • Start your visit from the church of San Giovanni of the Hermits with its lovely cloister and its exotic garden. Since last July 3 even this charming little church has been inserted in the Arab-Norman trail UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Then continue to the nearby Royal Palace where a must is the visit of the Palatine Chapel.
  • Then arrived in the Cathedral, that would suggest, beyond the normal tour of the cathedral, is the visit on the roofs. The Cathedral of Palermo was, like many Sicilian Norman churches, one “ecclesia provided”, ie a fortified church, with a whole system of walkways on roofs and towers at the four corners that allowed the guards to control and defend the city from above . So even a religious building with a military function.
  • Leaving the cathedral, continue along the Cassaro, the ancient main road traced by the Phoenicians, founders of Panormus in the seventh century. BC, which connected and still connects the sea to the small hill of the Royal Palace.
  • Along the Cassaro, pop in the church of SS Salvatore church of Norman origin, rebuilt in the Baroque period and covered with marbles colorati.L’edificio particularly interesting as it is one of the few examples in Palermo church with an elliptical plan, It suffered heavy bombing during World war II but was quickly rebuilt following the scientific restoration technique that allows the visitor to distinguish the original parts from those rebuilt.
  • Drive along the Cassaro up to Quattri Canti, turn right to enjoy the spectacle of Piazza Pretoria, surrounded by the majestic church of St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Joseph of Teatini and arrive in Piazza Bellini, where must is the visit of the Admiral church of Santa Maria, known as the Martorana.
  • After admiring the splendid mosaics of the Martorana, take the descent of Judges, cross via Roma and Piazza S. Anna, entries to Kalsa. Founded in 937 by the Arabs, Al Halisah, the chosen one, it is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Palermo, where again, through narrow streets, churches and palaces, you can breathe the air of an exotic world and back in time.
  • After visiting the beautiful church of San Francesco and the jewel that is the oratory of San Lorenzo, continue your walk along the ancient Via Alloro, where you can enter the Regional Gallery of Palazzo Abatellis, whose fresco of the Triumph of Death or the Annunciation by Antonello da Messina, already worth the visit.
  • Take one of the narrow streets that lead you to Piazza Magione and here, besides the eponymous medieval church, do not miss to visit the Church of the Pang. It is a place full of charm and appeal, an early sixteenth-century church abandoned by the friars to allow the construction of a bulwark in defense of the ancient city.The church is currently being restored but still leave you amazed the open sky that opens above of you…
  • Then returned to the streets Marina, passing from the popular square Kalsa and along Via Butera or the Foro Italico. Finish your walk to the Cala, the old port of Palermo, and enjoy the view of the small marina which overlooks the city.
 2° Day
And here’s your second day in Palermo. Yet there is so much to see and enjoy, so, we’re off!
  • I suggest, first of all, to make a little detour off the door and go to admire the unique Cathedral of Monreale. We are a few kilometers from the center of Palermo, you will then need a way to get around. If opt for public buses, including traffic and waits at bus stops, equip yourself with a fair amount of patience. In Monreale await you the Norman Cathedral of the late twelfth century. With its exceptional mosaic mantle (considered that it is 6000 square meters of manufacturing Byzantine mosaics) and the picturesque cloister, a perfect square with dozens of decorated columns and capitals worked in relief. Enjoy a peaceful walk in the silent cloister and, among the many carved, try the famous capital with the image of the Norman King William II, kneeling, offering a model of the cathedral to the Virgin.
  • Returning to Palermo, a stage that many do not want to miss are the Catacombs of the Capuchins. If you have a developed taste for the macabre, then this is the place for you! Hundreds of Capuchin friars mummies and rich people of Palermo who, for centuries (the beginning of the ’600 until the beginning of’ 900 when this type of burial was forbidden) you are made to bury, or rather, expose here.
  • Another stop of Palermo certainly interesting, a little ‘outside the historic center and then you have to catch up with other means of transportation is the Palazzo della Zisa. Al Aziz, the beautiful, this was the name that the Norman kings gave their palace outside the ancient city walls.
  • Another thing not to be missed if you come to Palermo’s take a trip to one of the traditional markets. In Palermo there are three, all of ancient origin, probably Arab, who remain the places out of time, from space and at times by the rules … The Capo market extends in the district, you can access it from Porta Carini, one of the ancient gates of the city, after admiring the Teatro Politeama and the Teatro Massimo, the two major nineteenth-century theaters.
  • At the Capo, as well as colors you stun, perfumes and abbanniate (classic sellers shouts touting their wares), be sure to enter the small church of the Annunciation at the Cape, one of the richest jewels of the Baroque Palermo, and in church of St. Augustine with its beautiful Renaissance cloister. Another historic market Ballaro of Palermo is, from Arabic Souq al Balari, where already in the Arab era sellers from Balara, near Monreale, came to sell their wares. Even here, in the alleys and streets where barely to get through the stalls, get lost among the bright colors of the stalls of fruit, vegetables and fish and treat yourself to some snacks with the typical street food.
  • A Ballarò worth visiting the Jesuit Church of Professed House, the triumph of the excesses of baroque, largely rebuilt after the bombings of war that brought down the roof and part of the nave.
  • Finally, the day will be concluded with a walk in the Vucciria area. The Vucciria market is perhaps the best known of those of Palermo, thanks to Renato Guttuso that made him famous with his painting of the same name. Unfortunately, today the market has lost much of its wealth and its charm is less alive of the three historic markets. The area, with the central square Caracciolo, comes alive especially seraed is now a meeting place for young people and students Erasmus who spend the night here, including a glass of wine at the historic Taverna Azzurra and broiled fish at the time of one of the many grills that evenings are mounted for a quick and tasty dinner outdoors!
  • In the area do not miss the monumental church of San Domenico and, above all, the beautiful oratory of S.Cita, triumph of the stucco decoration of the famous master Serpotta Palermo.

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