Palermo is the capital of the Sicily region in Italy and the fifth-largest city in the country. It is located on the northwestern coast of the island of Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea. The city has a rich history and cultural heritage and has been influenced by various cultures throughout the centuries.


History of Palermo

Palermo has a long and diverse history that reflects its multiculturalism and the various influences that have shaped the city over the centuries. Among the most significant periods and events in the history of Palermo are:

  • Antiquity: Palermo was founded by the Phoenicians around the 8th century BC and later conquered by the Greeks, who established the city of Panormus. During the Roman period, the city further developed and became an important port.
  • Byzantine Period: After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Palermo came under the influence of the Byzantine Empire and became a significant Christian center.
  • Arabs and Normans: In the 9th and 10th centuries, Palermo was conquered by the Arabs, who influenced the city's cultural heritage. Later, in the 11th century, the Normans took over Palermo and established themselves as rulers of the region.
  • Sicilian Kingdom: During the reign of Frederick II of Sicily, Palermo became the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily and witnessed a flourishing of arts and culture.
  • Italian Unification: Palermo and Sicily as a whole joined the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century as Italy was unified.

Throughout its history, Palermo has adopted various architectural and cultural influences from its diverse inhabitants and rulers. Today, Palermo offers an impressive mix of architectural styles, multicultural influences, and a vibrant cultural environment.

Beaches in Palermo

Palermo and the surrounding area offer many beautiful beaches for those who wish to enjoy the sun and the sea. Here are some of the most popular beaches in the Palermo area:

  • Mondello: The beaches of Mondello are the most well-known and popular in the city of Palermo. Mondello's beach features a large sandy shore with crystal-clear waters and plenty of bars and restaurants.
  • Sferracavallo: This area offers a series of small beaches with beautiful crystal-clear waters. It is also known for its seafood.
  • San Vito Lo Capo: This beach is located approximately 100 kilometers west of Palermo and is famous for its white sandy shore. It is one of the best beaches in Sicily.
  • Casteddammare del Golfo: This beach is situated in a beautiful natural harbor with azure waters and is popular for water activities.
  • Plaža: This beach is located near the Temple of the Crystal Saint Rosalia and offers calm waters and a wonderful view.

These are just a few of the beaches you can enjoy in the Palermo area.

Sights in Palermo

Palermo is a city with a rich history and many attractions. Here are some of the most popular sights in the city:

  • Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo): This impressive cathedral is one of the main attractions in Palermo and combines various architectural styles, including Norman, Arab, and Byzantine.
  • Palace of the Normans (Palazzo dei Normanni): This palace is the seat of the Regional Assembly of Sicily and includes the Capella Palatina, one of the most important chapels in the city.
  • The Sanctuary of Saint Rosalia (Santa Rosalia): This beautiful sanctuary is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Rosalia, and is a point of reference for the city's religious tradition.
  • Orto Botanico di Palermo: This botanical garden is one of the oldest in the world and houses a variety of plants and trees from different parts of the planet.
  • Regional Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Regionale): This museum features impressive archaeological collections that highlight the rich history of Sicily.

These are just a few of the attractions you can visit in Palermo. The city has many other monuments, museums, and cultural treasures worth exploring during your visit.

Activities in Palermo

Palermo offers a plethora of activities to enjoy during your visit. Depending on your interests, you can enjoy the following:

  • City Exploration: Stroll through the picturesque streets of the old town of Palermo, explore its architecture, and discover its monuments and churches.
  • Beaches: Soak up the sun and sea at one of Palermo's beautiful beaches, such as Mondello, Sferracavallo, and others.
  • Good Food: Sample the delightful Sicilian cuisine, with dishes like sfincione pizza, arancini, arancini siciliani, and many other tasty treats.
  • Museum Visits: Explore the city's museums, such as the Regional Archaeological Museum and the Museum of the Palace of the Normans, to learn more about the history and culture of Sicily.
  • Shopping: Visit the city's markets, such as the Ballarò Market and Capo Market, to purchase local products, clothing, and gifts.
  • Art and Cultural Activities: Attend theater and opera performances, concerts, and cultural events taking place in various venues in the city.
  • Sports Activities: Engage in water activities like kayaking, diving, and mountain biking.
  • Excursions in the Region: Explore the surrounding area of Palermo, including historic towns like Monreale and Castellammare del Golfo.

These are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in Palermo. The city offers many options for entertainment and cultural exploration.

How to travel to / from Palermo?

Below are some popular ferry routes to and from Palermo:

  • Ferry Routes Genoa - Palermo: The ferry company Grandi Navi Veloci operates daily routes from Genoa to Palermo, taking less than 22 hours. The passenger ticket cost is €61, and e-tickets are available.
  • Ferry Routes Cagliari - Palermo: The maritime connection between Cagliari and Palermo is provided by Grimaldi Lines once a week, with a passenger ticket cost of €40. The journey duration is 12 hours, and e-tickets can be issued.
  • Ferry Routes Naples - Palermo: The Naples - Palermo route is serviced daily by Grandi Navi Veloci, with a travel time of 11.5 hours and a passenger ticket cost of €51.
  • Ferry Routes Salerno - Palermo: The route is operated twice a week by Grimaldi Lines, with a ticket cost of €42 and a travel duration of approximately 10 hours.

How to book ferry tickets to Palermo?

After selecting the appropriate ferry route, you can easily and quickly book your ferry ticket to Palermo online through booktickets. Complete your reservation to secure your spot on the ship in advance.