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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]