Palermo

Book a ferry ticket to Palermo on Ferry Travels. Get a ferry from Palermo to Genoa or Napoli. Palermo Genoa available with Grandi Navi Veloci ferry operator. From Palermo ferries run also to Livorno, Cagliari, Salermo, Tunis.

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Places to visit in Palermo

  • Mosaic in Monreale Cathedral
  • The Cathedral - honey-coloured and Catalan influenced - a former mosque turned into a church from 1185
  • The Quattro Canti - the symbolic crossroads at the old centre of the city and the nearby small, but pretty La Martorana church with byzantine mosaics inside. 
  • The Museo Archeologico 
  • The Catacombe dei Cappuccini, open daily 9am-12 noon and 3pm-5pm, donation on entry - the catacombs of the Capuchin convent located on the Piazza Cappuccini, just west of the city centre, contain over 8000 mummified ex-residents from Palermo and its surrounding villages, some merely clothed skeletons, other remarkably well-preserved and lifelike. Well worth a visit, interesting, if slightly morbid. 
  • The Palazzo dei Normanni. Inside, don't miss the mosaics in the Cappella Palatina and the old Royal Apartments 
  • Tthe 'street markets', especially near the Piazza del Carmine and Vucciria. 
  • Monreale - a village/suburb 8 km west of Palermo, sitting on the hill with a great view back towards the city and the sea. Be sure to visit the Duomo (Cathedral) and it's cloisters too. 
  • The Piazza Pretoria, including the Fontana Pretoria 
  • The Gesu Church is one of the most architecturally important highly decorated in Palermo. Constructed between 1564–1633, it's late date of completion resulted in an abundant use of polychrome marbles on both floors and walls. This form of decoration, which gradually evolved in Sicily from the beginning of the 17th century, was to mark the beginning of the Sicilian Baroque period, which was to give Sicily almost an architectural national identity. 
  • San Giovanni degli Eremiti. Via dei Bernadetti - Old church ruin and nice garden. The €6 admission ensures that the lovely garden is quiet and peaceful. Open mo-sa 9am-7pm. 
  • Ermitage
  • Cappella Palatina, Piazza Indipendenza. Chapel with mosaics. Open mo-fr 9-11.45am and 3-4.45pm. Sa 9-11.45am. Su 9-9.45am, 12-12.45pm.

 

Churches in Palermo

  • San Cataldo (12th century)
  • Santa Maria della Gangia
  • San Giuseppe dei Teatini
  • Oratorio di San Lorenzo
  • Oratorio del Rosario
  • Santa Teresa alla Kalsa derives its name from an Arab term meaning elected. The church, constructed in 1686-1706 over the former emir's residence, is one of the most outstanding examples of Sicilian Baroque. It has a single, airy nave, with stucco decorations from the early 18th century.
  • Santa Maria dello Spasimo was built in 1506 and later turned into a hospital. For this temple Raphael painted his famous Sicilia's Spasimo, now in the Museo del Prado of Madrid. The church today is a fascinating air-open ruin, which occasionally houses exhibitions and musical shows.
  • The church of St. Francis of Assisi, erected in what was once the market district of the city. It was built between 1255 and 1277 in the site of two pre-existing churches, and was largely renovated in the 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th centuries, the latter after an earthquake. After the 1943 bombings, the church was restored to its mediaeval appearance, which now includes part of the original building such as part of the right side, the apses and the Gothic portal in the façade
  • The church of the Magione (officially church of the Holy Trinity), an ancient example of Norman architecture. The church was founded in 1191 by Matteo d'Ajello, who donated it to the Cistercian monks. However, six years later the conquering German Emperor Henry VI gave it to the Teutonic Order, which detained it until the 15th century. The edifice has maintained the sober austerity of the origins, mainly thanks to the restoration that followed the 1943 bombardments. The façade show a precious series of small blind arcades with double lintels, which are repeated to parallel the triple apse structure. The nave and the two aisles are separated by marble columns supporting ogival arcades; the floor houses the tombstone of members of the Teutonic Order. Interesting is also the 12th century cloister, with small double columns with very fine capitals which were allegedly executed by the same craftsmen which were later responsible of that of the Cathedral of Monreale.