The Cathedral of Palermo is a magnificent church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, located in the historical center of Palermo. Since July 3, 2015, the Cathedral is a UNESCO World heritage site, part of the Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale, a series of nine structures dating from the era of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. SHORT HISTORY A first church was built in the area in the fourth century. The building is mentioned in a papal bull of Pope Leo the Great in 444 and in a letter to the Sicilian clergy of 447. In 592, the Bishop Vittore demolishes the church and promotes its reconstruction according to the Byzantine canons. A second church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is built on the ruins of the previous one in 604. Between 831 and 1072, during the Arab domination of Palermo, the church was transformed into a mosque. Following the Norman conquest of the city, in 1072, the mosque was converted back to a Christian church. The earthquake of February 4, 1169, seriously damaged the bell tower and the upper part of the facade. Interpreted as a divine punishment Read more [...]
Isola Bella (Isula Bedda, in Sicilian dialect, and Beautiful Island, in English) is a small island located near the beach with the same name, in the Ionian Sea, in Taormina. Sometimes, when the tide is low, Isola Bella connects to the beach through a narrow sandy strip, becoming a peninsula. The beach in front of the island is also beautiful, but is made of pebbles and the sea floor is rocky, making it uncomfortable for some people. The beach is free, but the entrance to the Isola Bella Nature Reserve costs 4 euros. The island can be visited every day, except Monday, starting with 9.00 am. SHORT HISTORY The island was donated in 1806 by Ferdinand I of Bourbon to Pancrazio Ciprioti, Mayor of Taormina. In 1890, it was purchased by Florence Trevelyan, who built a small house on the island. The island was later inherited by the lawyer Cesare Acrosso, the godson adopted by Salvatore Cacciola, husband of Florence Trevelyan. In 1954, Isola Bella was bought for 38,000₤ by the brothers Leone and Emilio Bosurgi, who built a village with 12 autonomous residences and a tiny swimming pool nearby, in order to host their friends. The Bosurgi family Read more [...]
Cathedral of Sant’Agata is a church dedicated to the martyr Saint Agatha, patron saint of Catania, located in the main square of the city, Piazza del Duomo. SHORT HISTORY Over time, the church had a tumultuous history, being repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt after the earthquakes that occurred in the area. A first church was built around 1086 on the ruins of the Achilliane Baths dating back to Roman times. On 4 February 1169, an earthquake completely destroyed the ceiling of the church, killing many people gathered in the Cathedral. In 1194, under the reign of Henry VI, a fire caused considerable damage. In 1693, the earthquake that struck the area destroyed the Cathedral almost completely, leaving only the apse and the facade. The bell tower was put to the ground. The reconstruction of the church was made in the 18th century. The current building is the work of the architect Girolamo Palazzotto, who is responsible for the interior, while Giovanni Battista Vaccarini designed the facade, which was built between 1734 and 1761. In 1857, the bell tower was completed, and the current layout of the churchyard was built in the 19th century. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the Cathedral, Read more [...]
Fontana Pretoria is a spectacular fountain located in the heart of the historic centre of Palermo, in the square with the same name, Piazza Pretoria. The fountain is decorated with sculptures of the Twelve Olympians and other mythological and allegorical figures. SHORT HISTORY The fountain was built in 1554, in Florence, by Francesco Camilliani, for the garden of Don Luigi Alvarez de Toledo. In 1573, driven by his debts and about to move to Naples, Don Luigi sold the fountain to the Palermo Senate. The fountain arrived in Palermo on May 26, 1574, disassembled in 644 pieces, with some sculptures being damaged during transport or retained by the previous owner. Therefore, some adaptations were necessary and some pieces were added. The recomposition of the fountain was made by Camillo Camilliani, son of Francesco, with the help of Michelangelo Naccherino, and Fontana Pretoria was finished in 1581. In the 18th and 19th centuries, due to the nudity of statues, the square was popularly known as Piazza della Vergogna (Square of Shame). In November 1998, a restoration work was undertaken, which lasted until November 2003. In December of the same year, the fountain was reopened. ARCHITECTURE The fountain has a Read more [...]
Nana Aristova Jewels is a jewelry store in Palermo, located in the historical center of the city, a few meters away from the Quattro Canti Square and the Pretoria Fountain. Nana Aristova jewels can be worn every day. The designs are original and aim to inspire confidence and femininity in all women wearing them. Bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings are handcrafted using materials such as 925 silver, gold vermeil and high quality gemstones. The artisans create each piece with love and according to antique techniques, resulting in beautiful and unique jewelry. HOW TO GET THERE Nana Aristova shop is located on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 314. The closest bus stop is Fontana Pretoria, located about 170 meters away, in Via Maqueda, on the bus Line Arancione.
Tre Erre Ceramiche creates artistic ceramics entirely by hand in Palermo, since 1979. The company was founded by the Raffa husbands in Palermo, in 1979. Since 1990, sons and daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Raffa help their parents in the management of the company. Today, Tre Erre Ceramiche is a point of reference for lovers of majolica art. In every work they make, you can find the Sicilian tradition and the sunny culture of Sicily. HOW TO GET THERE The shop is located in Via Roma, 358. The closest bus stop is Cavour-Prefettura, located about 100 meters away, on the bus Lines 103, 134, 812 and Arancione. To find the shop on foot, use the map below.
Buatta is a restaurant born inside the famous Valigeria Quattrocchi, a historical leather shop located close to the cosmopolitan and joyful Vucciria market, in the heart of the Palermo city center. Buatta offers you a cuisine based on the Sicilian and Palermitan culinary traditions, with the exclusive use of local and seasonal ingredients, in order to create simple and authentic dishes with a few high quality raw materials. In the restaurant, you will discover amazing recipes born when art, knowledge and great cooking skills meet together, such as caponata, pasta with sardines, Sicilian cannoli and cassata. HOW TO GET THERE Buatta is located on the Via Vittorio Emanuele, 176, about 300 meters away from the Fontana Pretoria. The closest bus station is Vittorio Emanuele-Vucciria, about 80 meters away, which can be reached with the bus Line 103.
The Botanical Garden of Palermo (Orto Botanico di Palermo) is both a museum and a research and educational institution of the University of Palermo, located in the Kalsa district of Palermo. The botanical garden has a collection of over 12,000 different species of plants. SHORT HISTORY Its origins date back to 1779, when the Accademia dei Regi Studi, establishing the chair of Botany and medicinal properties, gave it a modest plot of land to set up a small botanical garden for the cultivation of medicinal plants. The garden soon proved to be insufficient to the needs of the chair and, in 1786, it was decided to transfer it to its current location. In 1789, the construction of the main administrative buildings of the garden began. A central structure, the Gymnasium, and two lateral bodies, the Tepidarium and the Calidarium, were built in neoclassical style after a design by the French architect Léon Dufourny. Near the Gymnasium, we can find the oldest part of the garden, also designed by the architect Léon Dufourny after a rectangular scheme. On the indication of the Franciscan friar Bernardino da Ucria, a distinguished botanist, the species were arranged according to the Linnaean taxonomy, a Read more [...]
Fontana del Genio (Fountain of Genius), formerly called Genio del Molo or Genio della Fieravecchia, is a statue of the 16th century placed on a fountain of the 19th century, located in Piazza Rivoluzione (Revolution Square), in Palermo. The Genius of Piazza Rivoluzione is one of the eight monumental representations of the Genius of Palermo, the ancient tutelary deity of the city. SHORT HISTORY The sculpture of Genius, built in the 16th century by an anonymous sculptor, was originally located on the Fontana del Molo Nuovo (Fountain of the New Pier), in the Port of Palermo. Back then, the statue was called Genio del Molo (Genius of the Pier). In 1687, the statue of Genius was transferred from the Fontana del Molo Nuovo to the Piano della Fieravecchia, the current Piazza Rivoluzione, and placed on a marble pedestal. It was called Genio della Fieravecchia. The square was one of the main scenes of the riots of 1820 and 1848, when the people gathered around the statue to protest against the Bourbons. The revolutionaries dressed the statue in the Italian flag, making it a symbol of Palermo’s desire for freedom. In 1852, in order to avoid this, Carlo Filangieri, a Read more [...]
The Church of Our Lady of Remedies (Chiesa della Madonna dei Rimedi) and the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites (Carmelitani Scalzi) is a religious complex built in Baroque style, located in Piazza dell’Indipendenza, in Palermo. SHORT HISTORY During the campaign of the Norman reconquest of Sicily, held between 1064 and 1072, the lighting of fires, suggested in a dream by the Virgin, proved to be an excellent remedy to drive away the annoying insects that weakened the troops. In 1072, after the conquest of Palermo, Roger I of Sicily, nicknamed The Great Count, as a sign of gratitude for the victory, built a primitive church dedicated to Santa Maria dei Rimedi. The current structure was born five centuries later, in 1609, after the arrival of Father Domenico, called to Palermo by the Viceroy of Sicily Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco and Zúñiga, Marquis of Vigliena. The Convent of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites was built around the same time, under the title of Santa Maria dei Rimedi, one of the first Carmelite institutions of Palermo, and today one of the most important convents of the Discalced Carmelites in Italy. The construction of the complex continued with the help of Read more [...]
Cubula, also known as Piccola Cuba (Small Cuba) is an Arab-Norman edifice in Palermo, located within the immense hunting resort of King William II of Sicily, Genoardo. SHORT HISTORY Genoardo (from the Arabic Jannat al-arḍ, meaning Paradise on Earth), was a large royal park crowded with trees of all species, but especially with citrus and magnolia, in which were found numerous kiosks, residences, fountains and ponds. Of these, worth mentioning are the Cuba Sottana, or Palazzo della Cuba, a structure that still exists, and Cuba Soprana, a Norman tower incorporated during the 18th century in the beautiful palace Villa Napoli. Cubula was built in 1184 by Fatimid architects. The kiosk was probably in the middle of a lake that extended to Cuba Soprana. Because of its particular location, surrounded by greenery, Cubula was often used as a resting place by the Norman sovereign and his guests. ARCHITECTURE Cubula has a square plan with pointed arches on each side, decorated with rusticated bands and surmounted by a hemispherical dome in the typical red color of Arab-Norman style. The small building uses motifs found on other edifices in Palermo, such as the Basilica La Magione and the Church of the Read more [...]
Porta Felice is one of the monumental gates of Palermo, located near the sea, at the beginning of the Via Vittorio Emanuele, one of the main axes of the city. SHORT HISTORY The gate takes its name from Donna Felice Orsini, wife of the Spanish Viceroy Marcantonio Colonna, who, in 1582, decided to give a monumental entrance to the Cassaro, the most ancient street in Palermo, the current Via Vittorio Emanuele. After the death of Colonna, the construction of the gate, consisting of two imposing pylons designed by the architect Mariano Smiriglio, resumed under the mandate of the Viceroy Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa y Córdoba, Duke of Feria. The works were completed in 1637, during the viceroyalty of Luigi Guglielmo I Moncada, Duke of Montalto. During the Second World War, the right pillar was almost entirely destroyed, but a careful restoration brought the monument back to its former glory, though losing some of the original decorative elements. ARCHITECTURE The internal facade overlooking the city was built in Renaissance style, while the facade overlooking the sea, completed by the architects Pietro Novelli, Mariano Smiriglio and Vincenzo Tedeschi, was realised with coatings and sculptures in grey marble typical of Baroque Read more [...]
The Church of San Giuseppe is a beautiful church in Taormina, dedicated to Saint Joseph. The church, built in Baroque style in the second half of the 17th century, stands near the famous Torre dell’Orologio, dominating the main square of the town, Piazza IX Aprile. SHORT HISTORY The church was built after 1650 as the seat of the Confraternity of the Souls in Purgatory. On the facade of the church and also inside, there are numerous references to the confraternity: inscriptions, coats of arms, details of sculptures, bas-reliefs, mottos and allegorical figures. In 1919, the church was given to the Fathers of the Salesian Order, present in Taormina since 1911. The order enriched the church with new sculptures and thematic frescoes. In Autumn 2015, water infiltrations and humidity caused by heavy rain determined the collapse of the ceiling, and the church was closed for consolidation and restoration works. ARCHITECTURE A majestic double staircase leads to the church, and both the stairs and the porch in front of the building are fenced with a magnificent stone balustrade. The facade has a large central portal that leads into the church, and two small side portals, of which the right one Read more [...]
Piazza IX Aprile is the main square of Taormina and, by far, the most beautiful one, located about halfway down the main street of the town, Corso Umberto. The square is populated with many interesting monuments and, from its terrace, you can admire a magnificent panorama of the Mount Etna, the Bay of Naxos and the Teatro Greco, the ancient theater of the city. Characteristic are the outdoor cafés and the artists who draw caricatures. SHORT HISTORY The square is called Piazza IX Aprile because on April 9, 1860, during a Mass held in the Cathedral of Taormina, rumors came about the arrival of Giuseppe Garibaldi in Marsala, a town in western Sicily, to start the liberation of the island from the Bourbon domination. The rumors turned out to be false, and Garibaldi arrived in Marsala a month later, on May 9. Before 1860, the square was called Piazza Sant’Agostino, after the Church of Sant’Agostino built in 1448 on the eastern side of the square, now deconsecrated and serving as the public library. ARCHITECTURE Another religious building located on Piazza IX Aprile is the Church of San Giuseppe, built in the 17th century. The church represents a beautiful Read more [...]
Castello Ursino is an interesting castle in Catania, former seat of the Sicilian parliament starting with the 13th century and residence of the Aragonese sovereigns until the 15th century. Since 20 October 1934, the castle is home to the Civic Museum. SHORT HISTORY The Ursino Castle was built in the 13th century by Frederick II of Swabia, King of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor, as part of the defensive system of the eastern Sicily, which also included the Maniace Castle of Syracuse and the Swabian Castle of Augusta. The project was entrusted to the military architect Riccardo da Lentini. In 1296, the castle was taken by Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, and subsequently was conquered again by the Aragonese. The King Frederick III of Sicily inhabited the castle from the end of the 13th century until his death, in 1337. In the early 15th century, the castle was surrounded by various buildings, and Martin I, King of Sicily, cleared the space around it, to obtain a square named today Piazza Federico di Svevia. In the 16th century, a bastion called San Giorgio was built to defend the castle and some changes were made in the Renaissance style. Starting Read more [...]
Porta Garibaldi (Garibaldi Gate), called also Porta Ferdinandea, in honor of Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies, is a triumphal arch located at the western end of Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, between Piazza Palestro and Piazza Crocifisso, in Catania. Through the gate, it can be seen in the distance, at the other end of Via Garibaldi, the wonderful Cathedral of Sant’Agata. SHORT HISTORY In ancient times, the gates to a city were very important, from the defense point of view. The gates were, in fact, the last barrier against a possible siege. The walls that surrounded Catania were built starting with 1541, on the initiative of the Viceroy Giovanni Vega. In 1621, there were seven gates, and three more were added later. The first seven gates were built for defensive purposes, while the other three had only an ornamental function. One of the last three gates was Porta Ferdinandea, built in 1768 to celebrate the marriage between Ferdinand I of The Two Sicilies and Maria Carolina of Austria. The gate was designed by the architects Stefano Ittar and Francesco Battaglia. Another name of the gate is Porta del Fortino, which comes from a fort built by the Viceroy Claudio Read more [...]
The Church of the Holy Spirit (Chiesa dello Spirito Santo) is a beautiful church located on the seafront of the Ortygia island, in Syracuse. SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1727, during the Spanish domination of Sicily, by the architect Pompeo Picherali. The church stands on the site of the ancient First Church of Syracuse, built in the 4th century by the Bishop Germano and affected by the earthquakes of 1542 and 1693. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, built in Baroque style, has three orders separated by scrolls and marked by pilasters, surmounted by a three-mullioned window. The whole facade from white limestone is a continuous play of shapes, rich in decorations, with Corinthian elements. The church is the only one in Syracuse with an external dome. The dome has a diameter of 8 meters and is also in Baroque style The interior of the church has a Latin cross plan with three aisles. The vaults are decorated with frescoes and stucco. Unfortunately, today, the church is in poor condition, due to the numerous water infiltrations from the roof. The majestic pipe organ is in complete abandon and the stuccos and frescoes on the roof are Read more [...]
Castello Maniace is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period, a magnificent example of the military architecture of the Roman Emperor Frederick II, located on the tip of the island of Ortygia, in Syracuse. The name of the castle derives from Giorgio Maniace, a Byzantine general who, in 1038, regained the city of Syracuse from the hands of the Arabs. The castle has a massive quadrilateral structure of 51 meters per side and about 12 meters high. At the four corners of the building are four cylindrical towers. The average thickness of the walls is about 3.5 meters. SHORT HISTORY On the place where the castle stands today, strategically important for the defense of the harbour, there were fortifications since the time of the Greeks. The building of the castle is attributed to Emperor Frederick II, who entrusted its construction to the architect Riccardo da Lentini, shortly after returning from the Crusade in the Holy Land. The construction took place between 1232 and 1239. In 1266, the castle passed to the Angevins and, in 1282, it was conquered by the Syracusans in the revolt of April 11. In 1325, Peter II of Sicily, the son of Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia is a church dedicated to the patron saint of Syracuse, Saint Lucia, located in Piazza Duomo, on the beautiful island of Ortygia, in Syracuse. The church is the place where is held, every year in May, the Feast of Santa Lucia delle Quaglie, to celebrate the miracle of 1646 which occurred right here. SHORT HISTORY The church was built between 1695 and 1703 after a project by the architect Luciano Caracciolo, on the site of a monastery from the 15th century, which was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. Originally, the facade overlooked the street Via Picherali, but now it’s facing the main square of the city, Piazza Duomo. The structure of the church was heavily damaged during the Second World War, and a restoration took place in the 20th century. The flooring of the nave was replaced in 1970, as it was severely damaged due to humidity. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade is entirely built of light limestone and is divided in two orders by a wrought iron balcony. The balcony is not the original one, which was dismantled during the Second World War. The sumptuous portal of the Read more [...]
Artemis Hotel is a four star hotel located in the town of Cefalù, very close to the sea and the historical centre, in a newly renovated convent built in the 1950s. Visiting the hotel, one can see how each element has been harmoniously blended with the old convent structure, respecting the aesthetics of a different historical period. Staying at the Artemis Hotel is like living a dream in a historical environment, with the best up-to-date technology at your service. Each room has been designed with attention to detail, comfortable and cozy furnishings being the basis of a classic and relaxing design. Rooms are soundproofed and air conditioned, and each one comes with a minibar, safe and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. The philosophy of the Artemis Hotel, from the moment of its creation, is based on the complete satisfaction of the customer. Going beyond the four stars which comprise various services, the staff observes high standards of courtesy and professionalism with the guests. HOW TO GET THERE Artemis Hotel is about 300 meters away from the Cefalù Train Station, 200 meters away from the Lungomare Beach and almost 1 kilometer away from the historical center of the city.
Costa Verde is a four star hotel in Cefalù, ideal for spending a family holiday, offering activities, entertainment, catering, but also sea, sun and relaxation for the happiness of all the members of your family. A mix of sobriety and elegance characterizes the 388 rooms of the Hotel Costa Verde, all with private balconies and attention to detail. Tastefully decorated with colors that already evoke holidays, such as white, golden yellow and blue, the rooms are equipped with private bathroom, heating, air conditioning, hairdryer, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, private balcony and wi-fi. Hotel Costa Verde has two different restaurant-spaces, one inside and one outside (open from June to September, depending on weather conditions), both offering a wide range of regional and international dishes, with buffet service. In addition, there is a third restaurant on the beach where you can have lunch by reservation, for a total capacity of over 1000 seats. HOW TO GET THERE Costa Verde is about 7 kilometers away from the Cefalù Train Station, and you can reach the hotel with a Taxi, after a few minutes drive.
Victoria Palace Cefalù is a four star hotel in Cefalù, a few steps from the historical center and just 20 meters from the beautiful beach of Cefalù. Victoria Palace Hotel will complete and satisfy the demand of those who want to enjoy moments of great relaxation, in a cozy and familiar atmosphere at the same time. With an excellent location for an unforgettable holiday, the hotel has 26 luxurious rooms equipped with all comforts, as well as 4 suites with 70 square meters terraces. HOW TO GET THERE Victoria Palace Hotel is about 600 meters from the Cefalù Train Station, and no more than 600 meters from the historical center of the town. Although it’s easy to find, you can also use the map below.
La Rocca, locally called u castieddu (the castle), is a fortified cliff 268 meters high overlooking the beautiful town of Cefalù, rising on the Tyrrhenian coast, one of the most important reference points for navigation between Palermo and Messina. The relief of La Rocca has at its base a triangle with the ridges facing east, west and south. On all sides, the Rocca is characterized by very high cliffs that are practically inaccessible. The complex of fortifications (lower walls, upper walls and the castle on the top) is therefore adapted to the extraordinary topography of the site, constituting a real acropolis. The lower western part of La Rocca is characterized by the ruins of a series of mills and pipelines that collected and exploited the water that descended on the slope. On this side, the path fortified in the Middle Ages climbs to the top of the hill. The perimeter halfway to the top is surrounded by crenellated walls dating back to the Middle Ages and completed, in the recent part, in the 15th century. On the western side of the walls, opens the access gate to which the path leads. Still halfway up the hill, about 150 meters above Read more [...]
Temple of Diana (Tempio di Diana) is a megalithic structure found about 150 meters above the sea leavel, on the imposing La Rocca, the rocky hill dominating the town of Cefalù. SHORT HISTORY Some historians have claimed that the Temple of Diana is the oldest structure in Sicily, built in the 5th or 4th century B.C., over an existing cistern associated with the worship of the water. The incorporated dolmenic cistern is considered of proto-historic period by many scholars. In the 12th century, the structure was used as a chapel, remains of an apse and arched windows being visible in the rear and interior of the temple. The first official archaeological excavations were made by Pirro Marconi in the first half of the 20th century. The excavations allowed to acquire more informations about the age of the building and its role, the conclusion being that the structure was a temple dedicated to the sun. ARCHITECTURE The temple has a main entrance oriented to the west, from which starts a corridor leading to the rocky cistern characterized by a dolmenic coverage. The front door is not at the center of the building, but near the north-west corner, measuring 2.68 Read more [...]
Lungomare is a beautiful long sandy beach in Cefalù, a fantastic place both for tourists and locals to enjoy the warm sunshine of Sicily. The beach is about 5 kilometers long, starts from the edge of the old center of Cefalù and runs alongside a promenade lined with hotels, restaurants and shops. In the summer time, you can find plenty of private lidos, with sunbeds and umbrellas, but there are also public areas that you can enjoy for free. Due to the shallow waters, the Lungomare beach is popular with families. In July and August, the beach can be very crowded, but the atmosphere is nice. HOW TO GET THERE From the Cefalù Train Station, to the Lungomare Beach, are about 600 meters, or about 6 minutes on foot.
Torre Caldura (Caldura Tower) is one of the coastal watch towers in Cefalù, and the most important of them, part of the immense historical and architectural heritage of Sicily. Dating back to the 16th century, Torre Caldura is, today, in a profound state of deterioration, with portions of masonry frequently collapsing. Its profile overlooking the cliff has always characterized the image of Cefalù for those coming from the east, and is now an integral part of this landscape, depicted in many paintings and photographs. HOW TO GET THERE Torre Caldura is about 3.1 kilometers away from the Cefalù Train Station, located near the Presidiana Harbour, the main port of Cefalù.
Cefalù Cathedral, or Duomo di Cefalù, is a beautiful church built in Norman architectural style in Cefalù, dominating the skyline of the medieval town with its fortress-like appearance. SHORT HISTORY The Cathedral of Cefalù was built by Roger II of Altavilla, King of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria, in the year 1131. According to the legend, the king, traveling by ship from Salerno to Palermo, came across a storm, and vowed to build a church there, after he landed safe on the city’s beach. The work began with the laying of the foundation stone on Sunday, June 7, the day of Pentecost, in the year 1131. The king was present at the ceremony, along with the Archbishop of Messina Ugone and the Sicilian nobility. In 1145, the church was established as the mausoleum of the royal family of Altavilla, but the will of Roger II was never fulfilled, because he died suddenly on February 28, 1154, in Palermo, and was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Palermo, where he is still resting. At the death of Roger II, only the presbytery area of the church had been completed, and in the following years, the interest moved to the Read more [...]
There is not much to say about the Old Port of Cefalù and, in this case, the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is completely true. The old fishing port, known also as the Molo, certainly offers one of the most bewitching views of the city. The small beach, the rocks that enclose it, the 70-meter pier, the balconies of the buildings overlooking the sea, the shape of the cathedral and the green hill of Rocca in the background makes the picture perfect. Near the port, there is also the only one of the four gates of the medieval city still standing, Porta Pescara, consisting of a Gothic arch that overlooks the small beach where the small and colorful fishermen’s boats are resting. HOW TO GET THERE The Old Port is about 1 kilometer away from the Cefalù Train Station, no more than 15 minutes on foot. From the edge of the historical center of the city to Piazza Marina, near the old port, there are about 250 meters. The historical centre of Cefalù is small and you can easily cross it on foot in about 15 minutes. But if you will allow yourself time to look Read more [...]
Bio Hotel is located in the heart of Palermo, in an area with one of the most important touristic and commercial attractions of the city, near two of the most important cultural landmarks, Teatro Massimo and Politema Theatre. Bio Hotel Palermo is the only concept hotel in the city, based on the idea of biological style. Your breakfast will be made from strictly biological products. The Hotel furniture is made by absolutely natural materials, respecting its environment by means of different eco-save instruments. These elements are the fundamental principles on which the Bio Hotel Palermo has created its accommodation. All rooms are freely inspired by elements, concepts and flavours evocating the natural bio concept of the hotel. Colours, furnishings and decorations have been amalgamated with the specific intention of creating some suggestions about the bio issue. HOW TO GET THERE The closest bus station, about 160 meters away from the hotel, is Roma – Stabile, on the bus routes 101, 102, 103, 104, 108, 124, 134 and 812. If you would like to find the Bio Hotel on foot, use the map below.
MAD Bed and Breakfast is a B&B located in the heart of the historic center of Palermo, a few steps from the Quattro Canti and Fontana Pretoria, and a few minutes on foot from the Cathedral, the Teatro Massimo, the Ballarò Historical Market and the Central Train and Bus Station. A welcoming and original apartment that Santino and Antonella, the two owners and curators, have furnished with passion: the living room and the terrace, common areas for breakfast and relaxation, and the two double bedrooms with en-suite bathroom and all the comfort. MAD B&B offers you all the typical hospitality of Sicily, made of quality, availability, courtesy and the best tips to better enjoy your visit in Palermo. HOW TO GET THERE There are two bus stations at about the same distance from the B&B, 180 meters away, both on Via Maqueda and both on the bus line Arancione – Piazza Pretoria and Maqueda – Palazzo Comitini.
Massimo Plaza is a four-star boutique hotel with a sober and elegant atmosphere, located in Palermo, right in front of Teatro Massimo. Discreet luxury, with warm colors and impeccable finishes, come together to recreate an atmosphere that surrounds the customer in the most pleasant way. The different rooms, with sober and warm tones at the same time, all expertly soundproofed, are equipped with adequate amenities to allow guests to experience moments of absolute relaxation. The Massimo Plaza Hotel is the starting point from which to discover the artistic life of Palermo, the attractions, the shopping streets and all the other things that the city offers. HOW TO GET THERE The closest bus station is Donizzetti, about 160 meters away, on the bous route Arancione. If you want to find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Quattro Mani is a restaurant located in piazza Magione, within the Kalsa neighbourhood, in Palermo, offering a sincere cuisine dedicated to the Sicilian tradition. Their cuisine is inspired by their homes. To eat well, you need the best ingredients, which is why they are dedicated to constantly retrieve products all around Sicily which meet very specific criteria – small companies that follow the principles of organic production. The selection of materials is exclusively made in Sicily, with the exception of a few important ingredients, such as Parmigiano Reggiano. HOW TO GET THERE Restaurant Ouattro Mani is located in Via Francesco Riso, 3. The closest bus station is Alloro – Abatellis, about 180 meters away, on the bus route Arancione – the free bus of the historic center of Palermo.
Ottava Nota (Eighth Note) is a restaurant located in the historical center of Palermo, in the popular neighborhood Kalsa, a short walk from Cala, the ancient port of the city. Three rooms are welcoming you in a comfortable and seductive environment, where the sight, taste, smell, and feel of the dishes will go to a contamination of all your senses. Because the art of creating masterpieces in the kitchen starts right from the choice of ingredients, Ottava Nota uses only fresh and genuine raw materials. The ingredients and techniques of traditional cuisine, especially of a land rich in flavors such as Sicily, are always a starting point, a continuous path that leads to new experiences. The skill and creativity of the chef, the atmosphere and the magic of this place ar added to the beautiful recipe which is Ottava Nota. HOW TO GET THERE The restaurant can be found in Via Butera, 55. The closest bus station is Foro Umberto I – Porta Felice, on the bus lines 107 and Arancione.
Zisa is a castle in Palermo, part of the ancient Norman hunting resort known as Genoardo, included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the castle started around 1165, during the reign of William I of Sicily, and was completed by his son, William II, in 1175. The castle was not substantially modified until the 17th century. Significant restoration work took place between 1635 and 1636, when Juan de Sandoval, knight of Alcantara, bought the castle. Another floor was added, closing the terrace, and a large staircase was built. Subsequently, in 1806, Zisa came into the possesion of the Notarbartolo princes, representatives of the old Sicilian nobility and heirs of the Ducal House of Sandoval de Leon, who made it their residence, carrying out various consolidation works. In 1955, the building was expropriated by the Italian State, and the restoration work, which began immediately, was suspended shortly after. After fifteen years of neglect, in 1971, the right wing collapsed. The project for the reconstruction was entrusted to Professor Giuseppe Caronia, who, after about twenty years of passionate work, in June 1991, gave back to the world one of the most beautiful buildings of Read more [...]
Teatro Massimo is the largest theater building in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe, after the Opéra National in Paris and the Vienna State Opera. Representation rooms, halls and galleries surround the theater, forming an architectural complex of grandiose proportions. SHORT HISTORY In the second half of the 19th century, in the light of the new united Italy, Palermo was engaged in getting itself a new identity. The competition for the project of a new opera house had been announced by the Palermo Council in 1864, but the first stone was laid on January 12, 1875, after ten years of vicissitudes. The project was entrusted to the architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile, known for the restoration of the Cathedral in Acireale. After his death, in 1891, the construction was supervised by his son, the architect Ernesto Basile. For the effective building of the theater, was contracted the architect Giovanni Rutelli, responsible also for the external decorations of the building. Teatro Massimo opened its doors to the public on the evening of May 16, 1897, with Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff as the inaugural opera. In 1935, the theatre was officially recognized as a public theatre. In 1974, the theatre Read more [...]