Historical Palermo sits compactly around one central crossroads, the Quattro Canti, which is at the core of four distinct quarters. The Albergheria and the Capo quarter, the latter beyond the cathedral, lie roughly west of Via Maqueda; the Vucciria and old harbour of La Cala and the La Kalsa, lie to the east, closest to the water. In these areas you'll find virtually all the surviving ancient monuments and buildings of the city: the hybrid Norman-Arab-Baroque Cattedrale-S.Maria Assunta and nearby Palazzo dei Normanni (Royal Palace), with its superb, mosaic-decorated chapel, the Cappella Palatina; the glorious Norman churches of La Martorana and San Giovanni degli Eremeti; the Baroque opulence of San Giuseppe dei Teatini.
Located in the center of Palermo, near Via LibertÓ.and Piazza Croci, Villa Trabia is one of the few aristocratic homes open to the public. This estate, which is now owned by the City of Palermo, houses civic offices and a public library. The palace is set in a beautiful wooded park open to the public most days. Built for the Prince of Trabia (Lanza family) in the eighteenth century, Villa Trabia provides a glimpse of the lifestyle of the Palermitan aristocracy of that era. Just outside Palermo you may visit the La Favorita and La Zisa villas and the Capuchin Convent, with its catacombs.
Opera dei Pupi is a puppet theatre featuring Moors, turks, Saracens and other legendary characters with wooden faces and elegant costumes. Palermitan puppets are about 80 cm. tall, have jointed knees and are manoeuvred from the side of the stage. A walk through the streets of the old Palermo helps us discover that today some streets still bear the names of the trades conducted there. In "Via Calderai" (coppersmiths street) tin or copper pots and pans are still made. Also fluorishing is the production of terracotta pottery. Genuine puppets are quite expensive, but if you want a souvenir you can find them in all sizes and at reasonable prices.
Via della LibertÓ in Palermo is the place to go for fashion clothing and accessory shops.
In the old Palermo's Vucciria, strlling between stalls and delis you can taste rice balls, vastelle (flat loaf) and pani ca' meusa. In the restaurants you can try out fush specialties for all tastes.
Popular cousine has the fragance of homemade bread and sfinciuni, a typical focaccia. Mulberry jam is unique. The production of salted anchovies, cakes like cassat and almond nougat is renowned
Is a most renowned seaside resort, few kilometres from Palermo with crystal clear water and rich underwater vegetation and caves.
Once a fushermen's hamlet developed around the tonnara, Mondello later became a garden town with elegant bathing establishments for Palermo's .Ŕlite. In local restaurants, antipastos with baby-squids, bucatini with frutti di mare, rice with fresh anchovies or sea bream in saffran sauce are served. A sober lemon and almond cake to end your meal qith a seaview.
This is a solitary island (36 miles from Palermo), which has recovered its nature resources thanks to the Marine Reserve that protects its extraordinary seabeds.
The under-water flora and fauna are multiplying their species and they can all be visited with guided tours.
On the occasion of the "International Scuba Diving Show" renowned scholars gather to support the marine ecosystem defence: visits to the local marine reserve, a film festival titled "Il mare dentro lo schermo" (the sea on the screen), a photographic contest, sailing races, gastronomic events and the celebration of rhe "Tridente d'Oro" and "Ustica Awards" to world renowned scholars
Cefal¨ with its many beaches is an ideal place for a holiday. In town visit the Cathedral, richly decorated with mosaics, the Museum Mandralisca and the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna.
Pop music, jazz, cabaret and theatre performances liven up summer nights in town.
This town overlooks the "Conca d'Oro," the beautiful valley beyond Palermo and is is world-renowned for its cathedral - S.Maria la Nuova, a dazzling mixture of Arab, Byzantine and Norman artistic styles framed by traditional Romanesque architecture.
The beautiful mosaics in the cathedral are said to be one of the world's largest displays of this art and take 6,340 sqm of the duomo's interior surface, covering practically every inch.
The masterpiece and key representation is the domineeringly majestic Christ Pantocrator located on the central apse over the main altar.
The entire image is 13 meters across and seven meters high.
The splendid cloister of the Benedictine abbey alone would make Monreale famous. Located next to the cathedral, these 228 columns, some with mosaic inlay, each with a meticulously stone carved capital, enclose the gardens of the abbey and are really worth a visit.
A glass of the eponymous DOC wine is served with appetizing gnocchi alla bava (gnocchi with melted cheese) and wild boar in red wine.
Piana degli Albanesi
Uphill behind Palermo, you can reach Piana degli Albanesi: after visiting the church of St. Demetris and the Anthropological Museum, you can have cannoli and ravioli with ricotta.
Visit the church Matrice Vecchia and the Ventimiglia castle.