Palermo (Palermu in Sicilian, Paliemmu in Palermo dialect) is an Italian town of 655 103 inhabitants, capital of the metropolitan city of the same name and of the Sicilian Region. It is located in the center of a metropolitan area of ​​over one million inhabitants. It is the fifth largest municipality in Italy by population. The city extends over the Conca d'Oro plain and is surrounded by the barrier of the Palermo Mountains.

Palermo maintained the role of capital of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1130 to 1816. It was the protagonist of the Vespers revolutions in 1282 and the revolts of 1848. The long history of the city and the succession of numerous civilizations and peoples have given it a considerable heritage artistic and architectural. The serial Arab-Norman Palermo site and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale, which include several monumental assets located in the city, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2015. Numerous buildings, including churches and palaces, are recognized monuments national.

Palermo is home to the Sicilian Regional Assembly, the oldest active parliamentary assembly in the world, as well as an important university seat. His archdiocese is the metropolitan seat and seat of the primate of Sicily. Named Italian capital of young people 2017, it was also the Italian capital of culture for 2018. Palermo is part of the Eurocities network of the largest European cities.


Geographic hints

The city develops along the so-called Conca d'Oro overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. To the north of the city is Monte Pellegrino which reaches 660 m. Next to the back of the town of Mondello we find Pizzo Manolfo.


When to go

Palermo enjoys a Mediterranean climate with the mildest winters in Europe. The summers are hot, long and dry while the winters are warm, short and moderately rainy. In many areas of the city the temperature has never dropped below zero. For example, in the Palermo-Punta Raisi meteorological station, the minimum record temperature is +1.4°C. These particularly favorable conditions make Palermo very attractive as a sun holiday resort even in winter. In summer there is a considerable drought, guaranteeing good weather conditions for very long periods. The shoulder seasons are very pleasant, often the favorite of travellers. Having said this, excluding some excesses of summer heat, Palermo's mild climate makes the city easy to visit in every season.

The city boasts a multi-millennial history and has played an important role in the events of the Mediterranean and Europe.

“Palermo is sumptuous and obscene. Palermo is like New Delhi, with the fabulous palaces of the maharajas and the dying bodies of the pariahs on the edge of the avenues. Palermo is like Cairo, with a forest of skyscrapers and gardens among which putrid hieroglyphics of shacks creep in. Palermo is like all the capitals of those peoples who never managed to be nations. In Palermo, corruption is physical, tangible and aesthetic: a beautiful woman, haggard, swollen with bad moods, black nails, and yet equally arcanely beautiful. Palermo is the history of Sicily, all the cowards and all the heroisms, the desperations, the furies, the defeats, the rebellions. Palermo is Spain, the Moors, the Swabians, the Arabs, the Normans, the Angevins, there is no other place that is Sicily like Palermo, yet Palermo is not loved by the Sicilians. Westerners of the island submit because they cannot otherwise, they recognize themselves as subjects but would never want to be citizens. The Orientals, on the other hand, even say that they are of another race: the Sicans and us Sicilians instead.»
(Giuseppe Fava)

The wall paintings in the Addaura cave testify to the presence of a settlement as early as the Stone Age, however the city was founded by the Phoenicians between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. like Zyz. The city then called Panhormos by the Greeks was repeatedly the target of sieges by the troops of Syracuse, but always remained in the hands of the Phoenicians. It was only during the Punic wars, after years of maritime blockade of Carthage's most important base in Sicily, that the city in 254 BC. it was conquered by the Romans and received the name Panormus, becoming the main center of the island (Province of Sicily), even if Syracuse remained the administrative capital, thanks to the settlement of veterans under Augustus.

Conquered by the Vandals in 429, it passed under Byzantium in 536 and was conquered by the Saracens in 831, becoming the seat of the emirates of Sicily, as well as a commercial center and center for the cultivation of oranges and lemons. With over 100,000 inhabitants it was one of the largest cities in southern Europe and was able to keep up with the metropolises of Cairo or Baghdad.

«Beautiful and immense city, with the greatest and most splendid stay [...] Palermo has buildings of such beauty that travelers set off attracted by the fame of the marvels that the architecture offers here, the exquisite work, the ornament of so many pilgrims found by art»
(Muhammad al-Idrisi)

In 1072 the city of Palermo was conquered by the Normans under Roger I and in 1130 it became the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily. Several churches and palaces in the Arab-Norman style date from this period; the period of maximum splendor of the city continued also under the dominion of the Staufer family after Frederick II of Swabia enlarged the city where he resided. Palermo was the coronation city of numerous kings of Sicily and it is to this circumstance that we owe the titles attributed such as: «Prima Sedes, Corona Regis et Regni Caput».

After the Normans came the Angevins and Charles of Anjou moved his court to Naples; the city, which suffered from high tax burdens, went into decline. The impoverishment of the Sicilian population and the abuses of the Angevin kingdom led to the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers against the French. This was followed by the dominion of the Aragonese family and later by the Bourbons. Since then it has remained, with ups and downs, the capital of the kingdom. From 1816 to 1817 it was the capital of the newborn Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and subsequently it became the second most important city of the duo-Sicilian kingdom itself, until 1861.

In 1860 Garibaldi marched on Palermo with his red shirts bringing about the end of Bourbon rule and incorporating Sicily into the Kingdom of Italy.

During the Second World War the city suffered a series of bombings which devastated several blocks of the historic center and caused many civilian victims. At the end of the war, the city earned the title of city of the mafia due to the expansion of the mafia phenomenon which for decades held the economy and civil conscience hostage. Criminal activities have had an impact on the so-called sack of Palermo with which a large building speculation was carried out to the detriment of historic buildings, such as liberty villas, and urban planning. In 1992, with the mafia attacks on judges Falcone and Borsellino, the city had a sense of revenge that raised its civil conscience, reawakening the vitality of neighborhoods and projects. Palermo in this process of improvement must be included the nomination as Italian Capital of Youth in 2017 and as Italian Capital of Culture in 2018.


How to orient yourself


Historic center of Palermo - the district where most of the city's attractions are concentrated.

Modern center of Palermo - A sort of second center of the city, made up of modern buildings and large avenues.

Southern Palermo - District made up of popular neighborhoods such as Brancaccio but not for this without monuments of interest such as the Admiral's Bridge and Maredolce Castle.

West Palermo — Montegrappa, S. Rosalia, Cuba, Calafatimi, Mezzomonreale, Villa Tasca-Altarello, Boccadifalco, Zisa, Noce, Uditore-Passo di Rigano, Borgo Nuovo, Cruillas, S. Giovanni Apostolo, Resuttana and San Lorenzo

North Palermo — Pallavicino, Tommaso Natale, Sferracavallo, Partanna Mondello, Arenella, Virgin Mary and San Filippo Neri



1 Addaura is a village located south-west of Mondello and which houses numerous recently built villas. At about 70 m a.s.l., there are some caves where remains of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic were found which are located in the Antonio Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum; graffiti with human figures and animals from the Paleolithic era have been found in other nearby caves. The Addaura coast was once defended by a 15th century tower of which not much remains.
2 Belmonte Chiavelli is detached from the rest of the urban fabric of the city by the Palermo ring road. To the south is the mountain system of the Monti di Palermo. The town is located in a steeply sloping area at the foot of Monte Grifone. From Belmonte Chiavelli a complete panorama of the city is visible.
3 Ciaculli is a locality in the Municipality of Palermo which retains the characteristics of a typical country village. It is located at the gates of the city and has about 9500 inhabitants. It is part of the II District and together with the hamlet of Croceverde-Giardina forms the ninth first-level Unit of Palermo. Nearby is Santa Maria di Gesù, another village of peasant origin. In Ciaculli the late mandarin is grown, protected by Slow Food.
4 Croceverde is a small fraction or rural village of Palermo. It rises in the southern corner of the Conca d'Oro plain, and has about 1100 inhabitants. It is just a few kilometers from the urban fabric of Palermo, and is bordering two neighboring localities: to the north-west Ciaculli, bordering by means of the road of the same name, and to the south-east Gibilrossa, a hamlet of Misilmeri, known for Garibaldi's exploits. The village is not far from the municipality of Villabate.
5 Mondello is a seaside resort, originally a fishing village, which developed around an ancient tuna fishery. Following the reclamation of the surrounding area, between 1892 and 1910, a garden city was built with numerous Art Nouveau villas and the Kursaal by the sea. From Mondello you can access the Capo Gallo - Isola delle Femmine nature reserve. The golden age of this place was the Belle Epoque, when the rich city bourgeoisie had the villas built in what was the newest style, the Art Nouveau.
6 Santa Maria di Gesù is a town or village in the municipality of Palermo. It develops around the historical cemetery of the same name. It is located at the foot of Monte Grifone, between the other villages of Ciaculli and Belmonte Chiavelli. Santa Maria di Gesù, after the construction of the motorway to Catania in the seventies and eighties, is located right at the entrance to the Palermo ring road.
7 Sferracavallo is another seaside resort. Seafaring and tourist village, and developed around the Calandria tuna fishery, it is surrounded by the Billiemi Mountains and Pizzo Santa Margherita. During some archaeological excavations in the Impiso, Pecoraro and Conza caves, materials from the Upper Paleolithic were discovered. At the beginning the small community had an economy centered on the sea, over time the inhabitants also devoted themselves to agricultural activities with the cultivation of vineyards, myrtle and sumac. Around the 16th century two towers were built to defend the village from the continuous pirate raids; one of these two towers was destroyed to make way for the Palermo - Punta Raisi motorway. From the second half of the 19th century numerous summer residences were built, one of the first villa Palazzotto by the architect Giovan Battista Palazzotto around 1886, followed by others in a vaguely Art Nouveau style.


Getting here

How to get
By plane
1 Palermo-Punta Raisi Airport (Falcone e Borsellino Airport) — The airport operates national and international flights, and various low-cost connections. Numerous periodic and charter tourist flights in summer.
Palermo airport is connected to the city center via the Trinacria Express metropolitan railway service or shuttle buses operated by Prestia and Comandè. The trains have a frequency of thirty minutes.
The bus, with a bi-hourly frequency, takes about 50 minutes from Palermo Central station and 40 from Piazza Politeama.
2 Trapani-Birgi Airport (Vincenzo Florio Airport) — National and European flights operate from and to Trapani Birgi, both scheduled and low cost. Seasonal tourist flights in the summer. Shuttle bus service operated by Terravision and Salemi for Trapani and Palermo.

By car
From Falcone-Borsellino Airport in Punta Raisi Palermo proceed eastwards and take the A29 motorway towards Palermo and after about 25 km you will reach the city. The average journey time is about 20 minutes.

From Messina via the A20 toll motorway, from Catania via the A19. From Mazara del Vallo and Trapani with the A29 motorway.

On boat
3 Port of Palermo (Bus 107 from Central Station to the Crispi-Scinà stop). Those who reach Palermo from northern Italy by car may find it convenient in terms of time and relaxation to avoid the long motorways of the peninsula and use one of the so-called motorways of the sea. For example, it is very convenient from Milan to embark in Naples for Palermo, halving the motorway itinerary. The choice of the ferry is not based on economic reasons but only dictated, in these cases, by the desire to avoid the stress of driving or the work in progress during the summer exoduses on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria for example.
Main connections of the port of Palermo:
Cagliari (Tirrenia)
Civitavecchia (GNV) Night crossing of about 12 hours.
Genoa (GNV) Departure at 20.00 journey time approximately 23 hours.
Livorno (Grimaldi Lines) Departure at 18.30 journey time approximately 19 hours.
Naples (GNV, Tirrenia) Departure from Naples in the evening around 20.30. The ferries arrive in Palermo at 07:00 the next day
Salerno (Grimaldi lines)
In addition, local connection services (sometimes seasonal) connect Palermo to Ustica, Cefalù and the Aeolian Islands.
Tunis in about 9 hours via GNV and Grimaldi.

On the train
4 Palermo Central Station, Piazza Giulio Cesare. There are long-distance trains to and from Milano Centrale, Roma Termini, Torino Porta Nuova and other major Italian cities.
As for regional connections, there are direct trains to the cities of Messina, Catania, Agrigento and Trapani.
5 Palermo Notarbartolo Station.
6 Palermo Brancaccio station.
7 Maredolce station.
8 Giachery Station.
9 Fair Station.
10 Palazzo Reale-Orleans station.
11 Palermo Marittima Station.
12 Station of Vespers.

By bus
13 Extra-urban bus terminal, Corso dei Mille (Next to the central station). The Cuffaro bus lines connect Palermo with Agrigento, Canicattì, Favara, Racalmuto, Castrofilippo and Grotte.
The F.lli Camilleri company connects with Agrigento, or with Aragona, Raffadali and Santa Elisabetta.
The Prestia e Comandé company connects with Cianciana passing through Santo Stefano Quisquina, Bivona and Alessandria della Rocca. Or with Santa Cristina Gela passing through Villagrazia, Altofonte, Rebuttone and Piana degli Albanesi.
Interbus connects with Syracuse.
SAIS with Catania. edit
The bus line 389 from Piazza Indipendenza takes you to Monreale, consult here for timetables.


Get around

Many of Palermo's tourist attractions are concentrated in the historic centre. Therefore it could also be advisable to stroll through the streets of the center so as to be able to admire the city.

By public transport
14 Amat Palermo S.p.A. (AMAT), Via Giusti, 7/B, ☎ +39 091350111, ☎ +39 848800817. Public transport manager. It offers special fares, passes and carnets suitable for tourist visits.
In Palermo there is a dense network of buses, trams and railways which helps many tourists to move every day. The urban fare is €1.50, while the single integrated ticket for tram, bus and metro valid for 1 day is €5.50 (Dec 2020). The ticket is valid for 90 minutes.

By tram
In the city there are 4 tram lines that serve to connect the suburbs to the center. Three lines depart from Notarbartolo Station and serve the suburban districts to the west of the city. For tourists, line 1 is certainly more useful, which connects the southern districts from the central station via Ponte dell'Ammiraglio, S. Giovanni dei lebbrosi and near Maredolce Castle.

Line 1 Roccella - Central Station
Line 2 Piazza Santa Cristina - Notarbartolo Station
Line 3 CEP - Notarbartolo station
Line 4 Pollaci/Calatafimi - Notarbartolo Station
More tram lines are planned for the future.

By subway/train
A metropolitan railway network is also expanding which, integrated with a railway link managed by Trenitalia, allows connections from Palermo Central station with the other stations in the city, in the surrounding area and up to Punta Raisi airport. By convention they are divided into 3 underground lines:

Line A: Palermo Centrale-Punta Raisi Airport. Attention, the urban rate is valid up to Tommaso Natale station (Mondello -Sferracavallo).
Line B: Palermo Notarbartolo-Giachery, is part of the Palermo railway ring which, once completed, will carry out circular runs in the modern center of Palermo.
Line C: Palermo Centrale-Termini Imerese of which the urban stop is that of Brancaccio and then continue as a normal railway line.

By car
As tourists, the car is not recommended, unless you want to make excursions to the surrounding areas. To get around in the centre, given the chaotic traffic and the lack of parking, the other alternatives are preferable. However, reaching all the main hotels and the most renowned restaurants is not complicated given the semi-orthographic distribution of the city streets. Most hotels have parking spaces available to customers, it is better to leave your car there for the entire period of your visit. Some areas are restricted to traffic, others simply impossible to get around by car (stairways, narrow alleys, etc.). On the initiative of the AMAT company there is a car sharing service that can be activated by subscription, keep this in mind if your visits to Palermo are repeated, especially considering that the service also has parking at the airports of Palermo and Trapani.

15 Carsharingpalermo, Via Giusti, 7/B, ☎ +39 0917303010, ☎ +39 848810018. The service works through registration and subscription. The presence of dedicated parking spaces at the airports of Palermo and Trapani is interesting.
You can also rent means of transport such as bicycles, scooters and cars. The manager of public transport is the AMAT.



Tourist info

C.I.T. – Tourist information centers open with the core times Mon.-Fri. 8.30/9.30-19.30 in summer and until 13.30 in winter:

1 C.I.T. Teatro Massimo in the Opera House, Piazza Verdi, 13.
2 C.I.T. Porto, Banchina Crispi. Here also sale of tickets and passes for city buses, trams, bicycle and car sharing services.
3 C.I.T. Bellini Via Maqueda, 189. Tickets are also available here.
4 C.I.T. Mondello, Piazza Valdesi.


Streets and squares

The old town with its four districts is crossed by rectangular streets, from Corso Vittorio Emanuele in west-east direction from Porta Nuova and Piazza del Parlamento to the port, parallel to this in east-west direction via Volturno / Via Cavour to the north and Corso Tuköry / to the south Via Lincoln; The Via Maqueda (with the Piazza Quattro Canti at the crossing with the Corso) and the Via Roma run in a south-north direction from the Central Station.
The corners of the four districts meet in the Piazza Quatro Canti or Piazza Vigliena, surrounded by four three-story baroque palazzi with concave facades and each with a fountain.
Piazza Pretoria or Piazza Vergogna, Square of Shame. There is a fountain in the piazza, surrounded by numerous statues. According to tradition, one of the adjacent buildings was a nunnery and the women always had to pass the naked figures when leaving the building. That's what a city guide told us.


Churches and sacred buildings

The Cattedrale Maria SS. Assunta in the eastern area of Corso Vittorio Emanuele shows influences from the most diverse epochs, which have also shaped the history of Sicily. The cathedral was rebuilt in Norman style in 1184/85 on the site of a basilica from the 5th century Byzantine period, which was converted into a mosque by the Arabs. The west facade with the two towers and the Gothic portal dates from the 14th/15th century. century On the south wall there is a large portico in the Catalan Gothic style from 1465, which since then has served as the main entrance from the Piazza Cattedrale. The entrance on the north facade, surrounded by columns, is made in Gagini's baroque style. Ferdinando Fuga oversaw a major renovation in the years 1781/1801. The cathedral received a neoclassical main dome and small domes over the side aisles. The interior of the church was redecorated in the style of classicism.
Inside, the statues from Gagini's workshop have been removed from the altar wall. Part of it was later re-erected along the pillars. In the left aisle stands the statue of the Madonna and Child by Francesco Laurana. In the right aisle are the red porphyry sarcophagi with the mortal remains of Roger II, Heinrich VI, the Stauffer Emperor Friedrich II, Empress Konstanze, and Konstanze von Aragon. On the right in a side chapel near the chancel is an altar with a silver reliquary of the city's patron S. Rosalia. The cathedral treasure is kept in the sacristy, including the crown of Constance of Aragon, the wife of Frederick II. In the two-aisled crypt there are also numerous tombs of princes and celebrities.
The Chiesa S.Giovanni degli Eremiti on the Via Benedittini, actually dedicated to St. Ermete, was built in 1132/36 under King Roger II. With its pink domes it shows typical Arabo-Norman features. The cloister dates from the 13th century. and belonged to the Benedictine monastery.
Even older is the Chiesa di San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi, which probably dates from 1071 and has very similar architectural features. The church was later used as a military hospital and leprosy sanatorium.
The Chiesa del Gesù/ Chiesa di Casa Professa is the first Jesuit church in Sicily and a beautiful example of Sicilian Baroque from the 17th century. with sculptures by Gioacchino Vitagliano. There is access to the city library from the adjacent Casa Professa with a cloister.
On the Via Maqueda not far from the Piazza Quattro Canti on the Piazza Belliini is the small Arabo-Norman Chiesa di San Cataldo with its three pink domes, which was built in 1154/60 as one of the last churches in the Arabo-Norman style.
Next door is the Chiesa Martorana or Chiesa S. Maria dell'Ammiraglio, also from the Norman period. Built in 1143 by George of Antioch, admiral under Roger II, in the Arabo-Norman style, the church was donated in 1433 to the Benedictine monastery founded by E. Martorana. A new baroque facade was added in the 17th century. cultivated. The bottom two floors are from the original campanile, the rest was built in the Catalan Gothic style in the 14th century. added. The building is decorated with mosaics: Christ Pantocrator in the dome, four angels at his feet, surrounded by apostles and four evangelists in the corners. In the former vestibule, the narthex, there is a mosaic on the left showing George of Antioch and one on the right showing Roger II crowned by Christ.
The Chiesa di S. Caterina is just opposite on the Piazza Bellini. The church, built in 1566/96, later received a dome and has an extremely rich interior with stucco, paintings and marble inlays.
The Basilica della Santissima Trinità del Cancelliere / Basilica La Magione on the Piazza Magione was built in 1191 in the Arabo-Norman style and was for a long time the seat of the Teutonic Knights.
The Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi was built in 1260 and has been repeatedly remodeled. A Gothic facade and in the 15th/16th century. Gothic and Sicilian Renaissance style side chapels added. The church was last restored after earthquake damage in 1823 and during World War II. Inside there are numerous sculptures and reliefs by Francesco Laureana, Antonello & Domenico Gagini, among others, and from the 17th/18th century Frescoes by Pietro Novelli and sculptures by Giacomo Serpotta.
The Chiesa di Sant'Agostino from the 13th century.
The Chiesa di Santa Maria della Catena is located near the port. It was built in the late Catalan Gothic style in the years 1490/1520 and is characterized by a portico on the facade. The church is located on the spot where the port entrance to the Cala was closed off in the evening with a chain stretched across from the opposite bank.
The Chiesa di San Domenico is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Palermo. In the 15th century built it was rebuilt after 1640. The facade dates from 1726. In the 19th century. the church became a pantheon with tombs of numerous important Sicilians. The Museo del Risorgimento is set up in the adjoining convent.
The nearby Oratorio del Rosario di San Domenico has exceptional stucco work by Giacomo Serpotta and paintings from the 17th century. to see.
The Chiesa di Santa Cita and the Oratorio di Santa Cita are located in Via Valverde. The chapel is a 16th century loggia. prefixed. Inside there is stucco work by Giacomo Serpotta that is well worth seeing.
From the church Chiesa del Santo Spirito in the Santa Orsola Cemetery, which was built much later in the 18th century. was created, went out on March 31, 1282 after the Vespers mass the revolt of the citizens of Palermo against the lords of Anjou. Since this war, which led to the expulsion of the Angiovins and the seizure of power by the House of Aragon, became known as the Sicilian Vespers, the church, which dates back to 1178, is also called Chiesa del Vespro.


Castles and palaces

The Palazzo dei Normanni: The Saracens built a fortress in the area of older Phoenician fortifications, which the Normans conquered in the 12th century. was converted into a palace and administrative headquarters. The building was renovated in the 16th century by the Spanish viceroys, who also resided here from 1555. rebuilt and most of the towers demolished; the Torre Pisano is still standing. In the building where the Parliament of Sicily sits today, there are still the Sala dei Venti and the royal private chambers, the Stanza di Re Ruggero, which are decorated with mosaics depicting hunting scenes.
The Cappella Palatina, built under Roger II in 1130/40, was consecrated in 1143 as the court chapel in the Palazzo Reale. The three-aisled building has a marble & porphyry floor, a ceiling with rich Arabic carvings (muqarnas) and is lined with mosaics of stained glass and gold leaf. In the dome, Christ Pantocrator is surrounded by eight angels. The sides show scenes from the life of Christ and the apostle Paul. At the entrance is the mosaic-decorated royal throne. Worth mentioning is the Easter candlestick decorated with human and animal figures.

The Castello della Zisa was built under Wilhelm I/Wilhelm II in the Arabo-Norman style. Worth seeing is the Sala della Fontana, a reception room with a stalactite vault. The palazzo is surrounded by a park with water basins. The Museum of Islamic Art is housed in the "Zisa". A little to the north is the Cappella della Santissima Trinità alla Zisa, which is probably based on a Byzantine building that was "converted" into a mosque under the Arabs and then used again as a church.
La Cuba is the castle of the Norman kings, which was built on an artificial lake in the royal park under William II until 1180. A surrounding Arabic inscription on the upper edge provides information about the construction period. The only pavilion left from the royal park is the Cubula, a small square building with the typical Arabo-Norman pink dome.
The Palazzo Abatellis in Via Alloro was built in 1490/95 for Francesco Abatellis, the royal harbor master and magistrate, and is designed in the Catalan Gothic style with two flanking towers. The building now houses the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia.
Nearby, in Piazza Marina, is the Chiaramonte-Steri Palace, owned by Count Chiaramonte of Modica. The Catalan Gothic building was later the seat of the Spanish Viceroys (until 1517) and from 1600-1782 of the Inquisition Court. Inscriptions by prisoners from this period can still be found on the dungeon walls.
The Palazzo Sclafani was built by Matteo Sclafani from 1330. The southern façade of Villa Bonanno is the only one still preserved in the Arabo-Norman style.



The qanates are an Arab-era subterranean tunnel system where fresh water was discharged into the city for irrigation and for the fountains and ponds of the palazzi, and waste water; they remained in operation for centuries.
The Ponte dell'Ammiraglio was built in 1132 under George of Antioch and, along with the Norman bridge at Bronte, is one of the few examples of Norman-Arab bridge construction in Sicily. After relocating the course of the Oreto, which the bridge once spanned, it is now in a park. Near the bridge, on May 27, 1860, Garibaldi and his "Thousand" met the Bourbon troops.
The Capuchin Crypt or Catacombe dei Cappucini is located on Via Cappucini. It was under the 16th century. erected Capuchin monastery laid out. When the monks discovered that the deceased were mummified in the crypt beneath the monastery, the mummified corpses were placed as a memorial to the living monks. Over the centuries, not only monks but also important people from Sicily and benefactors of the monastery were mummified and displayed in the catacombs with their clothes on. This type of burial was only banned in 1837. Visiting the catacombs with the mummies sorted in different corridors is not for the faint of heart and children...
The Porta Nuova was built in 1583 to mark the entry of Charles V after a battle against the Arabs. On the east side of Via Vittorio Emanuele is Porta Felice, built in 1582 by the Spanish viceroy to improve access to the city from the sea.



Archaeological Museum, Piazza Olivella, 24, - Palermo. Tel.: +39 091 611 68 05, fax: +39 091 611 07 40, email: . Finds of marine archaeology, sculptures and especially temple metopes of Temples C, E and F from Selinunte, bronze sculptures from the Greek, Etruscan and Roman periods, pottery and vases from the Greek period, Roman frescoes and mosaics and finds from prehistoric times.
The Museo Etnografico Siciliano Giuseppe Pitrè shows a Sicilian folklore collection including the typical painted donkey carts and Sicilian marionettes. Very close by is the Palazzina Cinese, which was built in Chinese style in 1798/99 by order of Ferdinand III as an exile residence, and the Parco della Favorita.
Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino (at Vicolo Nascemi near Piazza Marina), Piazzetta Antonio Pasqualino 5, Piazzetta Antonio Pasqualino, 5 - Palermo. Tel.: 091328060, fax: 091328276, email: 3500 marionettes and reconstructions of historical puppet theaters. Features: free WiFi, wheelchair accessible, library, archive, bookstore. Open: Mon-Sat 9:00-13:00, 14:30-18:30, Sun 10:00-13:00.
The Galleria Regionale della Sicilia is located in the Palazzo Abatellis. Sculptures and architectural fragments from the Roman to Renaissance period, sculptures from the 12th - 16th centuries are on display. by Antonello and Domenico Gagini, the bust of Eleonora of Aragon by Francesco Laureana and in the Pinakothek paintings by Italian and Flemish masters from the 14th to 17th centuries, including a picture of the Virgin Mary from 1473 by Antonello da Messina and the Malvagna triptych from 1510 by the Flemish master Jan Gossaert.
The Museo del Risorgimento tells the story of the "March of the Thousand" under Garibaldi with the integration of Sicily into the Italian kingdom in 1860.



Orto Botanico, Via Lincoln, 2. Tel.: 091 23891249, email: The park with the imposing entrance and administration building erected in 1789 on Via Abramo Lincoln shows 12,000 different Sicilian and tropical plant species. It is open to visitors and also serves as a research center for the University of Palermo. Open: 09.00-17.00 in winter, -20.00 May-Aug. Price: 5.00/3.00€. last change: Feb. 2017 (details may be out of date) edit info
Just to the east is the even older Villa Giulia Park, laid out in 1777, with a symmetrical layout and a sundial made from a marble dodecahedron.
The Parco della Favorita is located at the western foot of Monte Pelegrino. In its area there is the Palazzina Cinese and also a trotting track, an equestrian center and a soccer field.

Picturesque details suddenly appear in the cityscape. In the historic district of Il Capo, it is worth paying attention to the ancient wrought-iron balcony railings, or looking out for the brightly painted bicycles and carts of the craftsmen.


What to do

Bathing fun is given on the beaches of Mondello, in addition to a restaurant on a pier (which, in Art Nouveau style, is reminiscent of the English seaside resorts), other Art Nouveau villas (Stilo Liberty) can be seen in the quarter.
Hiking in the Riserva naturale orientata Capo Gallo, the eastern entrance from the direction of the Torre di Mondello on the Via Gallo to the marina and the lighthouse is - as it is private property - subject to a fee, further accesses from the west via Sferracavallo and the Via Barcarello, from the south can be climbed via Partanna and the Via Grotte Partanna and the height of the so-called Semaforo can be reached at over 500 m.
right next to it is the Isola delle Femmine, which is also under protection, landing and bathing is only allowed in the southern part of the island. The entire sea area from Capo Gallo to Isola delle Femmine is protected as an Area naturale marina protetta.

Monte Pellegrino: Visit and hike in the Riserva naturale orientata Monte Pellegrino: Palermo's local mountain with the Parco della Favorita was placed under protection in 1991/95. Access to the mountain with the pilgrim sanctuary can be made from the south via Via Bonanno Pietro or Via Bonanno Pietro. walk the pilgrimage route Via Santuario Monte Pellegrino to the Grotta and Santuario di S. Rosalia, the patron saint of the city. A road continues to the Statua S. Rosalia, paths up to the north slope of M. Pellegrino with a beautiful view of Mondello. From the north, the way up the mountain on the Via Monte Ercta can also be easily managed by vehicle, on foot you can walk from the Parco della Favorita via the Valle del Porco up the mountain.



Good Friday Procession, Church of San Matteo. Good Friday. Every year, the confraternity of the church organizes one of the most heartfelt processions in the city which involves some of the main streets of the historic centre.
Feast of Santa Rosalia (u fistinu). 10/15 July.
Feast of Saints Cosma and Damiano, Sferracavallo. last Sunday of September. The heavy fercolo with the simulacra of the saints is carried through the streets of the village by a large number of young people dressed in white with a red handkerchief tied around their hips, one around their necks and with bare feet. The festival is not only religious but also civil and also includes the game of antinna a mari, a sort of maypole placed on the sea.
Morgana Festival, Piazzetta Antonio Pasqualino 5, ☎ +39 091 328060, in autumn. The Morgana Festival is an annual review of traditional and contemporary puppet theater and puppet theatre. Organized annually, it brings companies and performers from all over the world to the stage in an integrated program that is enriched with exhibitions, study and training initiatives, book presentations for adults and children.


How to have fun

Palermo offers various possibilities for cultural entertainment thanks to the presence of various theaters including the Teatro Biondo, the Teatro Massimo and the Politeama for music and symphony concerts and other small private realities.

There are also numerous Sicilian puppet theaters that offer a varied program of shows to get to know this Unesco Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity up close.

There are also several jazz clubs where international but also local songs are performed, Palermo being a city where there are several jazz bands.

Night clubs
Palermo's nightlife is concentrated above all on 4 areas in particular: Vucciria, Ballarò, Massimo (called Champagneria) and Magione. These are the four focal points where flows of people usually meet to drink, eat, joke and dance. Despite being popular neighborhoods, especially Vucciria, Ballarò and Magione, at night it is possible to meet any type of person: from the student to the freelancer, from the teenager to the father of a family. Like all areas where the "movida" is concentrated, it is certainly foreseeable that there are also risks that need to be paid attention to.

The area of the Vucciria market (Piazza Caracciolo in the La Loggia district) and that of via Calderai constitute the nocturnal gathering of music lovers (especially reggae and rap), who organize concerts and live shows there.

Beyond these areas it is also possible to spend a quieter evening strolling through the streets of the centre, along Via Libertà and perhaps moving to one of the numerous pubs in the neighboring streets.

In the summer, a large part of the city moves to the Mondello area in the evening, the city's seafront where it is possible to enjoy a refreshing ice cream.



The Mercato Vucciria wikipediacommons is a historic market in the Via Roma - Piazza Carraciolo - Via Argentia - Cala area. It developed from a meat to a fish and vegetable market. With the still loud barkers, he reflects a part of Sicilian everyday life.
On the Mercato Ballarò in the area between Piazza Casa Professa, Corso Tukory in the direction of Porta Sant'Agata, mainly vegetables, fruit and groceries as well as household items are sold.
The Mercato Il Capo in the district of the same name extends near the Palace of Justice in the area of Via Beati Paoli and Via Sant'Agostino.



The information on restaurants and nightlife is all from the years before the start of the Corona crisis. A number of the companies mentioned do not seem to have reopened. (Status: Oct 2022)

Ristorante Charme, Piazza Papa Giovanni Paolo II, 7 90146 Palermo. Tel.: +39 091 690 0810. Italian restaurant. Open: daily 12.30 p.m. – 11.00 p.m.
Ristorante Ottava Nota, Via Butera, 55, 90133 Palermo. Tel: +39 091 616 8601. Sicilian restaurant. Open: Mon 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., Tue – Sat 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. + 8 p.m. – 11.30 p.m., Sun 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Badalamenti Cucina e Bottega, Viale Galatea, 55, 90151 Palermo. Tel.: +39 091 450213. Open: daily 12.00 - 15.30 + 19.00 - 23.00.
Osteria Mercede, Via Pignatelli Aragona, 52, 90141 Palermo. Tel: +39 091 332243. Seafood restaurant. Open: Mon closed, Tue 7 p.m. – 10.30 p.m., Wed – Sun 12.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. + 7 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.
Bottega del Gusto di Dario Tringali, Via Abruzzi, 19b, 90144 Palermo. Tel.: +39 091 513475. Open: Tue – Sun 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. + 7.30 p.m. – 11 p.m., closed on Mondays.
Bistrot Cuor di Caffè, Via Cavour, 107, 90139 Palermo. Tel: +39 091 887 2793. Sicilian restaurant. Open: Tue – Sat 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Sun 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., closed on Mondays.
Torquemada, Via Pignatelli Aragona, 64, 90141 Palermo. Tel.: +39 091 332771. Pizzeria. Open: daily 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. + 7:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Rosso di Sera, Piazza Marina a Sferracavallo, 7, 90147 Palermo. Tel: +39 331 620 4026. Seafood restaurant. Open: Tue – Sun 12pm – 11pm, closed Mon.
Ristorante Palazzo Branciforte, Via Bara All'Olivella, 2 - Piano Terra, 90133 Palermo. Tel.: +39 091 321748. Open: daily 12.00 - 15.00 + 19.00 - 23.00.
Sesto Canto, Piazza Sant'Oliva, 26, 90141 Palermo. Tel.: +39 091 324543. Open: Mon – Fri 1pm – 2.30pm + 8pm – 10.30pm, Sat 8pm – 10.30pm, Sun closed.



I Candelai, Via dei Candelai, 65, 90134 Palermo. Tel: +39 091 327151. Open: Sun – Fri 3.45pm – 3.30am, Sat closed.
Black Out Discoteque, Viale Lazio, 51, 90144 Palermo. Tel.: +39 392 168 3222. Open: Sat 11pm – 4.30am, Sun 3pm – 8pm.
Triskele Pub, Via Sedie Volanti, 26/28, 90134 Palermo. Tel: +39 328 713 2960. Pub. Open: Tue – Sun 9 p.m. – 3 a.m., Mon closed.
Jayson Pub, Via dei Nebrodi, 95, 90146 Palermo. Tel: +39 091 754 2649. Irish Pub. Open: daily 6.30 p.m. – 2 a.m. Edit info
Vespa Café, Via Orologio, 48, 90133 Palermo. Tel.: +39 392 395 6614. Open: Sun – Thu 5 p.m. – 1 a.m., Fri + Sat 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.



B&B Teatro Massimo, Via Orologio, 31, 90133 Palermo. Tel.: +39(0)3388323334, Email: Bed and Breakfast Teatro Massimo is an elegant residence in the heart of Palermo, located just 50 meters from the famous Teatro Massimo, in the pedestrian area of the historic center.
B&B Palermo, Via Porta di Castro, 223, 90134 Palermo. Tel: +39(0)91 7025564, Mobile: +39(0)328 2639433, Fax: +39(0)91 8771577, Email: The B & B Porta di Castro is an old building renovated and well equipped.
B&B Palermo Art, Via Cavour, 161, 90133 Palermo. Tel.: +39(0)328.544548291 6110009, email: B&B Palermo Art Lincoln is located in the city center on Via Lincoln.
Villa Addaura, Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, 1931, 90151 Mondello Palermo. Tel.: +39(0)091 6849031, email: Villa Addaura, bed and breakfast in Mondello, Palermo, is located in a beautiful seafront location, which is only 10 meters, just 5 minutes by car from Mondello.
B&B Palermo Lincoln Suite, Via Lincoln, 161, 90133 Palermo. Tel.: +39 (0)91 6176750, email: Price: €30.
Quintocanto Hotel & Spa, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 310 - 90100 Palermo. Tel.: +39 (0)91 348426, Fax: +39(0)91 7302738, Email: A brand new 4 star hotel near the Quattro Canti Square.
Apartment «Cala», Piazza Fonderia 10, Palermo (PA), IT-90133. Mobile: +39 (0)333 6638666, email: Free pick-up from the train station or airport if booked in advance.



Buccheri La Ferla Hospital, Via Messina Marine, 127-197, ☎ +39 091 479203. Emergency Department

Palermo is a fairly safe city during the day but can be intimidating at night, especially on weekdays in the winter when there aren't many students, visitors and locals around. Although crimes against visitors are quite rare. Remember that:

You shouldn't go out alone at night, especially if you are off the streets in the center and if you are a woman;
You should book a hotel/B&B in the city center (the areas around Piazza Ruggero Settimo, Fontana della Ninfa and Piazza Giuseppe Verdi are fine), both for safety reasons and because public transport between the city center and the suburbs is not reliable at night. Accommodation in Palermo is quite cheap compared to Italian and European standards, even in the best areas.

During the day, remember the danger of pickpockets on the streets and city buses, as well as motorcycle theft targeting bags, wallets and mobile phones.

In summer the city center of Palermo is safe even at night, as there are hundreds of bars and pubs open all night and many people out and about. However, don't forget to use common sense.

Driving and crossing the streets of Palermo is quite dangerous as the rules of the road are not always respected. Also remember that vehicle theft is a big problem, but as demonstrated by the latest figures made available by the Italian police, Palermo is safer than Rome, Naples, Milan, Bari, Catania and Turin; however, if you want to avoid any risk, avoid leaving bags and objects visible or use paid parking lots.

Palermo is gripped by the problem of illegal parking. Each free car park has a valet on "duty" who will ask you for a donation. They are often "sublet" to immigrants who work for others. Many are not satisfied with a little one-off money but will also want to know how long you leave it asking for more. Unfortunately it is a known problem and difficult to solve given the high unemployment rate of the city and the links with local crime. Calling the traffic police or the police will almost certainly expose you to the risk of damaging your car. The only common sense thing is to pay, as it's a way to keep her safe.

Some districts of Palermo as well as not being touristic are not safe because they are particularly degraded areas of the city. The infamous ZEN neighborhood in northern Palermo is definitely an area to avoid. Brancaccio, in southern Palermo, has some attractions but it is still a degraded neighborhood where car theft or other problems are possible.

Although the perception of crime is high, Palermo is in 51st place (2023) in the European Crime Index below Milan, Turin and Rome.



Monreale - This city half an hour by bus from Palermo is a UNESCO site thanks to the splendid Arab-Norman cathedral covered in precious mosaics.
Bagheria - a small town east of Palermo. There are some beautiful eighteenth-century villas and a museum of the famous painter Renato Guttuso.
Cefalù, Milazzo (for the Aeolian Islands), Messina, Trapani and Enna can be reached by regular trains. While for Catania, Taormina, Agrigento and Syracuse it is better to take the bus.
Island of Females
Capo Gallo Oriented Nature Reserve —
Barcarello — Accessing from the village of Sferracavallo (locality Barcarello) you can take the beautiful and panoramic path along the coast. Ideal for those who want to swim in absolute tranquillity, in very clean water and without going far from the city. Also reachable by bus from the center of Palermo. Also accessible by bicycle.

The Palermo area is a place full of destinations to visit. Using Palermo as a base by car, it is possible to visit the hinterland easily during the day. The itineraries to follow are along the coast: heading east (A29) to Alcamo and heading west (A19) to Cefalù. Other itineraries follow the roads inland: SS624 towards Piana degli Albanesi, SS121 towards Alia and Villalba, SS118 towards Santo Stefano Quisquina and Bivona and the Bosco della Ficuzza.

Santa Rosalia itinerary — Tourist, religious and naturalistic itinerary of over 180 km, between the provinces of Agrigento and Palermo, to be done on foot, by bicycle or on horseback, which winds through 7 former nature reserves now absorbed by the Sicani Mountains Park and 15 municipalities (Santo Stefano Quisquina, Castronovo di Sicilia, Prizzi, Palazzo Adriano, Bivona, Burgio, Chiusa Sclafani, Bisacquino, Contessa Entellina, Campofiorito, Corleone, Piana degli Albanesi, Altofonte, Monreale, Palermo), connecting the Hermitage in the territory of Santo Stefano Quisquina to the Sanctuary of Monte Pellegrino through the places linked to the cult of Santa Rosalia. The path, which is part of the Vie sacre di Sicilia project, consists of royal dirt roads, mule tracks, paths and abandoned railways. Funded by the Regional Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Mediterranean Fishing, it was officially inaugurated on 4 September 2016.


Useful information

UNESCO Visitor Center, Via Vittorio Emanuele, 353 (next to Palazzo Riso), ☎ +39 0916116368. information on the monuments of Palermo and especially on the Unesco ones.
Consulate of the Russian Federation, Viale Orfeo, 18 (A Mondello), ☏ +39 899933912. Consulate for Russian citizens as well as for visa applications.



Ancient age

The area preserves remains of human presence since the Paleolithic. In the Addaura caves there are some inhabited cavities, which present among other findings, engravings and drawings datable between the final Epigravettian and the Mesolithic, depicting anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures.

The city was founded by the Phoenicians between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, probably with the name of Zyz. Previously the area had been a commercial and logistic center for northwestern Sicily.

The Greeks, settled in eastern Sicily and only minimally in western Sicily, rarely approached Palermo: in 409 BC. the Syracusan general Hermocrates carried out a raid during which the territory was looted and 500 of its inhabitants were killed in front of the walls, which, however, were not attacked. In 397 BC. the tyrant of Syracuse Dionysius I, during the war against the island of Mozia, a Carthaginian colony, attacked and sacked Palermo, which remained faithful to Carthage. Finally, according to Polybius, Pyrrhus, in the war against Carthage, conquered Palermo, the main Punic stronghold in Sicily after the destruction of Mozia.

In 254 BC. the city was conquered by the Romans who managed to subtract it from the Carthaginians of Amilcare Barca, forced to take refuge at the foot of Mount Pellegrino during the first Punic war, in the battle of Palermo. Attempts to reconquer the Carthaginians were in vain and the city became a Roman conquest with the name of Panormus. Under the government of Rome Palermo continued to play the role of strategic port in the Mediterranean, experiencing a period of tranquility and prosperity, so much so that the city grew and equipped itself with splendid buildings for shows known from epigraphs and ancient texts and in part still identifiable. Palermo was a Roman city until the barbarian invasions caused the looting and devastation of the city.


Medieval age

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Sicily was largely devastated in 535 with the arrival of the Vandals in the west of the island. The reconstruction of Palermo took place thanks to the Byzantines, who held Palermo for three centuries.

With the conquest of the city, commanded by Belisarius, Sicily became a peripheral province of the Eastern Empire.

In the 9th century the Muslims from North Africa invaded Sicily: the conquest was begun in 827 and Palermo was taken in 831. Muslim governors moved the capital of Sicily from Syracuse to Palermo and the city was provided with all the bureaucratic structures and services necessary for a capital. The Arabs introduced the first citrus groves, forming the Conca d'Oro and thus opening up a new possibility of economic development. In 948 the city had over two hundred thousand inhabitants, making it one of the most populous cities in the world. The city became the prosperous capital of the new Kalbite emirate in 948, but autonomy encouraged Christian struggles for independence, eventually paving the way for the Norman conquest. In 1071/1072, after four years of siege, Roger I of Altavilla, the first Norman count, conquered Palermo. In 1098 the Normans completed the conquest of the rest of the island: the capital, first of the Gran Contea di Sicilia, then of the Kingdom of Sicily, remained in Palermo, but the inhabitants dropped drastically (60,000), finally falling to 51,000 in 1330. The arrival of the Normans in Palermo led to the construction of a considerable number of Christian buildings and the city reached its maximum splendor under the government of Roger II. After the Norman kingdom in Sicily, the Hohenstaufen ascended the throne (from 1194 to 1266), who made Palermo an imperial administrative center. Upon the death of Frederick II (1250), Palermo and Sicily lost importance in the political landscape: power moved to Naples, with Charles of Anjou and the Angevins (from 1266 to 1282). The War of the Vespers against the French began in Palermo in 1282. At the end of the war, the crown of Sicily was offered to the cadet branch of the Aragonese, and Palermo became its capital.


Modern age

The domination of the Kingdom of Spain, which placed the seat of the Viceroy in Palermo, placing a political, cultural and religious border against the Islamic world, resulted in the isolation and impoverishment of Sicily. The agriculture of the island was pushed towards the cultivation of durum wheat, necessary for the Spanish fleet to sustain the crews, and therefore, in addition to producing less income, it generated famines from excess exports. Many revolts broke out, which, however, had more as a target the body, in charge of the distribution and collection of taxes and fees and made up of Sicilian nobles, than the king of Spain. The two centuries of Spanish rule in Palermo ended in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht, which marked the end of the War of the Spanish Succession.

In 1734 the city became the domain of the Bourbons, who kept the Kingdom of Sicily and Naples separate. In 1816 the kingdoms were united in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies: Palermo lost the status of capital, becoming the second administrative center after Naples. However Palermo continued to possess the title of capital of the island part of the kingdom.


Contemporary age

The spring of the peoples, also known as the revolution of 1848, or riots of 1848, began precisely in Palermo on January 12 of that year and represented the first fuse of the European explosion. The Sicilian insurrection led to the declaration of independence and the restoration of the Kingdom of Sicily. A revolution followed in Naples on the 27th, which forced Ferdinand II two days later to promise a Constitution, promulgated on the 11th February. Reconquered Sicily with the army, the sovereign restored absolutism and anti-Bourbon hostility was consolidated on the island.

In 1860, after the revolt of the Gancia had occurred in Palermo, which was bloodily repressed by the Bourbons, the Garibaldi disembarkation took place in Marsala, who reached Palermo on 27 May, entering the city through the Termini gate. On that occasion the city was bombarded by the Bourbon army with losses among civilians and destruction. In 1866 the city was the protagonist of the seven-and-a-half revolt against the new Kingdom of Italy by disillusioned former Garibaldians, pro-Bourbons, republicans and starving people, with consequent bombardment by the fleet, which destroyed many architectural structures. However, the fiscal policy of the Savoy government did not change, leading to the regicide of Umberto I.

In the first twenty years of the 20th century, Palermo went through a flourishing era, with a brief but intense Art Nouveau period, mainly characterized by architectures of eclectic taste. The protagonists of this season were the Florios, a family with an industrial tradition, which made the city a protagonist on an international level in the so-called Belle Époque. Not affected by the First World War, Palermo suffered considerable destruction due to bombing during the Second World War, until it was occupied in July 1943 by the allied troops of US General George Patton.

In October 1944, the city was the scene of the Bread Massacre, an episode that effectively kicked off the EVIS season, which ended with the granting of the status of Region with Special Statute to Sicily, which made Palermo, once again vault, the center of bureaucracy and regional policy. Starting from the end of the 1950s, the main Sicilian criminal organization, Cosa Nostra, experienced a phase of growth thanks to the economic boom and the process of urbanization of the peasant population, managing to infiltrate public spending, post-war reconstruction building works and city expansion. It was the era of the sack of Palermo, the uncontrolled expansion of the city towards the north, even at the cost of demolishing liberty villas. From the 60s to the 80s, there were 3 mafia wars with many deaths among the members of the mafia. At that time and later, entrepreneurs, journalists, doctors, magistrates such as Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, policemen and the Italian cultural heritage were also affected, which led to a strong response from the state and civil society and a consequent retreat of power mobster. There was therefore talk of the "spring of Palermo", both for the considerable activity carried out, not without controversy and controversial choices, by the then mayor Leoluca Orlando aimed at promoting and recovering the image of the city in Italy and in the world, mortified by the long series of murders and mafia crimes, both for the promotion of a culture of legality also in the cultural and educational fields with the birth of citizens' associations and committees.

In March 2015 some jurists, human rights activists, public administrators and non-governmental organizations signed the Charter of Palermo to urge the world community to review the legislation on residence permits and policies related to migration phenomena, supporting international human mobility as inalienable right of the person. In November 2015 Palermo became part of the Safer Cities program launched in 1996 by the UN-Habitat agency of the United Nations, assuming its global co-presidency.




Palermo rises within a plain of about 100 km² (the Conca d'Oro) squeezed between the gulf and the limestone mountains, which take their name from the city. Some rocky conformations push towards the coast creating a real physical split between different neighborhoods.



The hydrography of the Conca d'Oro in Palermo has been radically changed over the course of history. The first inhabited settlement was built between two rivers that are no longer visible, the Kemonia and the Papireto, while the Oreto river (the only river to flow between the city streets in the twenty-first century) was located well beyond the city walls. The two rivers that cut the city no longer flow on the surface but in the basement of the historic center: their traces are evident in the toponymy and in the conformation of the streets.

There were also many seasonal streams, which helped to create swampy areas or in any case rich in water: this is the case in the San Lorenzo area and in the Mondello area. Gorges called valloni, a sort of bad weather streams that channel the alluvial descents (sometimes causing damage), are present in the areas on the slopes of Monte Grifone; among the best known are the valleys of Croceverde and that of Belmonte Chiavelli.

The Qanat are an enormous work of hydraulic engineering carried out in the subsoil of the city, starting from the Arab era, to bring water to the surface, intercepting the natural groundwater. Three canals are accessible and guided tours are organized by speleologists.



According to the Köppen climate classification, the climate of Palermo belongs to the group called Csa: Mediterranean climate with dry and hot summer season and warm and rainy winter. The intermediate seasons have very pleasant temperatures. Summer is dry and hot, generally torrid, although frequently breezy thanks to the presence of sea breezes.

It is not uncommon to hear the sirocco, the African wind that raises the temperature (historical peak of 45.6 ° C recorded at the Astronomical Observatory of Palermo), with humidity levels that even drop below 15%. In winter, with the sirocco, maximums above 20 ° C can be recorded (the thermal peaks of February 2010 and November 2014 stand out, where they touched +30 ° C for several days).

The wettest period for the city is between October and March. The pluviometric peak for Palermo occurred during the disastrous flood that flooded the city in February 1931 and amounted to about 395 mm in 39 hours. Often, especially in autumn, sudden storms hit the capital, managing to pour even 130 mm of rain in a few hours, as happened on September 16, 2009, when there were floods in the hilly hamlets of Belmonte Chiavelli and Croceverde-Giardina.

The phenomenon of fog is rare, a little less rare in areas such as the Parco della Favorita, thanks to its position sheltered from winds and the richness of vegetation.

The hottest area of ​​the city is the historic center. National weather information centers often use data from Punta Raisi airport to indicate the weather situation of the Sicilian capital. But the airport (divided from the city by some elevations) is located about 22 km and usually records higher minimums in winter and lower maximums in summer.

Minimal temperatures below freezing are extremely rare. Only the peripheral areas of the foothills manage from time to time to register some negative value, while in the city center it is an almost unknown phenomenon. Since the twenties in the central area of ​​Palermo only the weather station of the Astronomical Observatory has recorded negative minimums during the snowfalls of 8 January 1981 (-0.5 ° C) and those of 30-31 January and 1 February 1999 (up to -0.2 ° C). It had previously dropped to -1.9 ° C in February 1895 during another snowfall. The other stations have always recorded positive lows.

Snow in Palermo is not an impossible phenomenon, even if it is rare and short-lived.

More frequently the snow phenomena stop on the peripheral and foothills areas, but sometimes it snowed with accumulations even on the seashore. The greatest snowfall since the war was that of 8 January 1981. The last significant snowfall in Palermo dates back to 31 December 2014.