Palermo – Hidden Gem of Sicily

Get ready, pack your bags, we are off to Palermo, Sicily.

Palermo is the cultural capital of the Island of Sicily, Italy. It is a city of ever changing character – a fusion of ancient museums, boisterous markets, chaotic streets in summer, Arabian Domed buildings and a vast range of architectural styles that are obviously not of Italian origin. That is the beauty of Palermo – invaded by the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Arabs, the Normans, the French, the Spanish, the Greeks and the Romans that have all learnt to live together in one city peacefully. The Palatine Chapel is the result of this unity, displaying a mix of all the cultures in one place.

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For the real Palermo, you have to venture off into the narrow side streets with its old staircases and laneways and sample its heart and soul – the street food which is utterly delicious.

Walking the streets,  you learn about its turbulent history, all the while never feeling far from the water, which explains why it was so popular amoungst the invaders over the time.

Feel the city’s pulse by visiting one of the bustling market places and travel back in time. A 20-minute bus ride will lead you to Mondello, which is one of the best beaches in Sicily, with the warm turquoise sea surrounded by rocky cliffs and Mediterranean villas.

About 3 hours drive from Palermo is Mt Etna.  Rising up over 3329 metres, making it the tallest active volcano in the world and definitely worth a look.

Palermo is not just an Old City, it has a modern feel with lively bars and seafood restaurants that provide a good nightlife for those wanting it. It also offers adrenalin Rush adventures of rafting, mountain bike riding or cliff diving, so take it by the horns or just sit back, eat, drink and observe everyday life.

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Best time to visit-

Spring

April to May is the perfect time to visit Palermo

Autumn

September & October are less crowded but still warm days with conditions still great to sample the crystal clear waters

Summer

June to August enjoy hot sunny days and warm nights, but most beaches and towns are crowded with tourists

Palermo has everything you can imagine while visiting Sicily – Outdoor markets, churches, cathedrals, beaches and its own soccer team. It IS the Mafia capital but don’t let that deter you – it is an amazingly vibrant city.

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