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This Sicilian city is not just a tourist destination but an experience of its own. Chaos reigns in this town but it’s a charming chaos, a chaos that you can only find on this Italian island or in the south of the Italian Peninsula, a chaos that keeps bringing people back and attracting newcomers for the first time. Founded by the Phoenicians, it has been populated by Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans, and now Italians and the city has a rich cultural legacy. Rent apartments in Palermo and visit this enigmatic city on one of Europe’s most beautiful islands.
The city’s main landmark is its Cathedral, a construction with a mixture of architectonic influences whose claim to fame is that it holds the tomb of Barbarossa’s son, Frederick II. If you’ve ever seen a postcard of Palermo, it’s likely that the image was of the Quattro Canti, a famous crossroads in the city with a pretty church on one of the sides. However, the is perhaps the most important in Palermo. For something a bit more macabre, try the Catacombs of the Capuccini, catacombs with well-preserved mummies that date from many centuries ago. Also, make sure you try the local wine.
You won’t want to stay in your cheap apartments in Palermo just to visit the city centre so why not indulge in some day trips or venture a bit further afield from heart of the city. Sicily has a great nightlife and you can find most of them in Mondello, just outside the city centre. For some good seafood and Italian cuisine, the restaurants in Mondello and Sferracavallo, particularly the latter, are quite impressive and a must. Finally, you can go on day trips to other Sicilian towns, cities and landmarks, such as Taormina, Syracuse, Messina, Trapani and Catania.
Like all Southern Mediterranean destinations, Palermo endures hot and sweaty summers and mild winters. You can find some beautiful beaches alongside the northern coast of Sicily so why not enjoy your holidays in Palermo in summer and use the city as a starting point for excursions along the coast. During the other seasons, tourist numbers go down and you can see the city’s more authentic side still with good weather, although perhaps not hot enough for the beach.
You can fly to Palermo Airport from most of Europe, as well as from other nearby low-cost airports like Trapani. If you plan on visiting the island, you can rent a car or travel by train to most of the other cities and towns. However, if you plan on staying in Palermo, you’re probably better off walking everywhere, since the distances between landmarks are all within short walking distance. You can also travel into or from Palermo by ferry to other Italian and Southern Mediterranean islands, as well as to mainland Italy.
Most of the important events on the island happen in the hot months, such as beach festivals in Mondello in May or the Kals’Art festival of music and art in September. Nevertheless, for those in search of something more traditional why not enjoy the festival of Santa Rosalia in July, with religious processions, theatre and firework displays.