Palermo holidays 2020
Right at the heart of Sicilian life is the holiday destination of Palermo - the biggest and liveliest city in Sicily, and its capital. Tourists can explore the backstreets and hidden places of a city that boasts centuries of dizzying historical highs. The old town is full of baroque palaces, their facades rich with statues, while the traditional evening promenade - the passeggiata - is very much alive here in the summer of 2020. There are aristocrats maintaining Palermo’s historic palaces and vibrant street life on every rococo corner.
Nobody would argue that Sicily isn’t a pretty unique place full of fascinating people, landscapes, history and architecture amongst other things. In fact, it’s been described as being like ‘nowhere else in Europe’, largely due to its colourful history. Add in the fact that it finds itself at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and you’ve got an impressive cultural legacy with a sizzling mix of Arabic food, Spanish streets and Norman towers.
Why book Palermo holidays
Top attractions to visit
See the impassive Palermo Cathedral, La Martorana, and the Byzantine architecture of Capella Palatine
Must-visit historical sites
Visit the Royal Palace, Capuchin Abbey & Catacombs
Explore the local markets
Palermo’s main food markets are Ballaro, Cap and Vucciria…and they’re all worth a visit!
We love gorgeous Fontana Pretoria in Piazza Pretoria
Lush natural wonders
Escape to nature and head to Monte Pellegrino
Discover the best beaches
For a spot of relaxation, head to the nearby Mondello Beach
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Your guide to Palermo holidays
Quattro Canti is the centre of the city, divided into four quarters. It’s a popular place to stop and look at the impressive sculptures. Palermo offers many tiny, hidden and beautiful churches you can discover as you wander round the city, as well as a multitude of statues, fountains and monuments. Recognized as the oldest Arabian market in the city, the Ballaro is as popular as the city’s famous Il Capo market when it comes to food and gifts. The Via Bara dell’Olivella is also strongly recommended for unique hand-crafted souvenirs.
The UNESCO World Heritage site, Mount Etna, is an obvious favourite when it comes to local attractions, and although tourists can’t quite scale the top of this active volcano (for obvious health and safety reasons), a cable car ride - or an all-terrain vehicle – can take you pretty close. The Norman kings who conquered Sicily in 1072 left an indelible mark on Palermo, leaving in their wake a fabulous blend of Romanesque architecture, Byzantine mosaics and Arabic domes - all of which make for unmissable sightseeing opportunities in and around Palermo.
Palermo holidays will doubtless appeal to those who have been looking forward to topping up their tan in Italy this summer. There’s a good choice of sandy areas and the temperature is ideal for sunbathing. There are several beaches in Sicily that are situated in (or very near to) Palermo including Mondello, Aspra, Cefalu, San Vito Lo Capo, Isola delle Femmine and Arenella. Mondello is the largest beach in Palermo and is the closest to the city, while Cefalu and San Vito Lo Capo are both approximately an hour away from Palermo.
The inviting golden sands of Mondello Beach - or Mondello Lido, as the locals call it - are truly spectacular. Boating and other popular water sports keep visitors entertained during their time on the beach and local restaurants and bars do a roaring trade. Positioned close to Palermo, Aspra is a small fishing village just to the east of the main city, where colourful wooden boats are seen as something of a trademark of the village. This small public beach is widely known for having some of the best ice cream in all of Sicily, and provides the backdrop to some pretty memorable sunsets too.
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