A panoramic view of Palermo in Sicily
AN ANCIENT CULTURAL PATCHWORK

Cruise to Sicily (Palermo), Sicily

Extravagant and vibrant, Palermo invites you into an array of flavors, colors and bustling streets. Set in a peaceful bay surrounded by Sicily's fertile basin Conca d'Oro, named for the golden color of the orange groves, the city bears traces of historic invasions by the Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Spanish and Normans. Head to La Vucciria market to sample almonds, marzipan, spices, peppercorns and candied fruits. Then, explore the historic center — visit the Cathedral, which dates back to 600 AD and features Gothic, Moorish and Baroque architectural elements. Then, take the short drive to Mt. Pellegrino, where you can trek up the granite cobbled hiking path and take in the refreshing greenery of the natural reserve.
National Language Italian, Sicilian
Currency Accepted Euro (EUR)

Things To Do in Sicily (Palermo)

An assortment of vegetables for sale at a market in Palermo, Sicily

The Pulse of Palermo

An assortment of vegetables for sale at a market in Palermo, Sicily

An assortment of vegetables for sale at a market in Palermo, Sicily

The Pulse of Palermo

Get a real feel for the character of the city strolling through the stands of the Vucciria market. Sample the fresh citrus and tomatoes, and take in the rich smells of oregano and porcini mushrooms. Stop at a food stall for arancini, fried spheres of saffron-infused rice with meat, tomato sauce and cheese.

The Teatro Politeama Opera House in Palermo, Sicily

Drama at the Opera

The Teatro Politeama Opera House in Palermo, Sicily

The Teatro Politeama Opera House in Palermo, Sicily

Drama at the Opera

The Teatro Massimo is the largest opera house in Italy and combines Neo-Classical, Greek and Renaissance architectural styles. It also appears in a few key scenes in "The Godfather." Take a guided tour to learn more about the theater's history and architecture.

The Sanctuary of Saint Rosalia in Parlermo, Sicily
The Sanctuary of Saint Rosalia in Parlermo, Sicily

Between Earth and Heaven

Take the half-hour drive to Mount Pellegrino, and hike the cobbled path to the top, where you'll meet breathtaking views or the Bay of Palermo, the mountains and the Tirrenean Sea. Visit the shrine to the Patron Saint Rosalia — the inner sanctuary is a unique mix of ornamental icons and roughly hewn rock.

A bowl of pasta topped wit sardines
A bowl of pasta topped wit sardines

Local Cuisine

Sicilian cuisine is a delightful blend of Middle Eastern, Spanish and Italian flavors based on fresh vegetables, seafood, spices and nuts. Seek out local specialties like pasta con le sarde — pasta with fresh sardines, onion, fennel, raisins and pine nuts — or sfincione, Sicilian focaccia with tomatoes, onions and anchovies. For dessert, try cassata, an Arabic-influenced dish of pistachios, candied fruit and sweetened ricotta cheese.

Various sicilian puppets at a market
Various sicilian puppets at a market

Shopping

For hand-stiched leather goods, visit Via Volturno. Nearby on Via Maqueda, you'll find some fantastic deals on genuine pearl necklaces and traditional ceramics. The pulce market is a fun flea market. Browse the stands and find some unusual items from antique to vintage, including traditional Sicilian puppets.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as a visit to Teatro Massimo or Mt. Pellegrino will require some footwork.
2 If you visit La Vucciria or another market, feel free to haggle a bit and try to get the best deals.
3 Take a break at a local sidewalk cafe to enjoy a gelato or espresso.

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