Hotels in Palermo & Holidays in Sicily, Italy

Palermo is the capital of Sicily, Italy and its largest city. Originally a Phoenician, then a Carthaginian colony, this remarkable city was long considered a prize worth capturing. After the first Punic war it was passed from the Carthaginian hands to the Romans and later became a Roman colony under the reign of Augustus.
Under the Arab domination it becames an emirate and for this reson it has around 300 mosques. Finally, Palermo became Norman in 1072, after the conquest of the city by Ruggero d'Altavilla. Ruggero II made it capital of the island and Federico II Houhenstaufen made it "Capital of the Mediterranean Culture", creating the first Sicilian school. In that times Palermo became the greatest city not just in Sicily, but also one of the most important in Italy and Europe!
In the hands of the French the city gone through a phase of decline, due to the transfer of the reign's capital to Naples. The population revolts and in 1282 began the "War of the Vespers". In its history, Palermo always fought for independence. In 1860 Garibaldi freed the city and added the entire Sicily to the Kingdom of Italy.
Palermo is nowadays a great and exciting city, dotted with luxury hotels. The mix of Arabic and Viking influences is one of the strangest and unexpected surprises that the city has to offer. Buildings dating from the 11 and 12 century and the buildings from Medieval Sicily are great tourist attractions. During holidays in Palermo an absolute attraction is "Palazzo dei Normanni". Other interesting sights include "Quattro Canti" (a nice example of Baroque architecture) and the catacombs, where local noblemen were mummified. Very impressive for holiday makers are Monastery and Cathedral of Monreale, settled not far away.

Palaces & Museums

Bullet"Palazzo dei Normanni", one of the most beautiful palaces from Italy and a notable example of Norman architecture, probably built over an Arab fortress. It is home for the famous "Cappella Palatina", one of the main tourist attractions from Palermo.
Bullet"Palazzo Chiaramonte"
Bullet"Palazzo Abatellis", with the regional gallery. It was built at the end of the 15 century for the prefect of the city, Francesco Abatellis. It is a massive but elegant construction and has a typical Gothic style with some Renaissance influences.
Bullet"Museo Archeologico Regionale" is one of the main museums of Italy. It includes numerous remains from Etruscan, Carthaginian, Roman and Hellenistic civilizations.


BulletCathedral of Palermo, which is a former mosque turned into a church in 1185
Bullet"San Giovanni degli Eremiti", built in 1132
Bullet"Santa Maria dell'Ammiragliato", built in 1143, named also "Martorana"
Bullet"San Cataldo"
Bullet"Santa Maria della Gangia"
Bullet"San Giuseppe dei Teatini"
Bullet"Oratorio di San Lorenzo"
Bullet"Oratorio del Rosario"
Bullet"Santa Teresa alla Kalsa"; the church, constructed between 1686-1706 over the residence of the former emir, is one of the most outstanding examples of Sicilian Baroque.
Bullet"Santa Maria dello Spasimo"; was built in 1506 and later turned into a hospital. For this temple Raphael painted his famous "Spasimo", hosted now in "Museo del Prado" in Madrid. The church is today a fascinating air-open ruin.
BulletChurch of the Jesus - "Chiesa del Gesu" - was built by Jesuits in the centre of the city from 1564, over a pre-existing convent of Brazilian monks. The edifice was further enlarged in 1591, becoming one of the most relevant examples of Sicilian Baroque, despite to a severe late Renaissance re-fashioning. The church was heavily damaged in 1943 by bombings, most of the frescoes being destroyed. This church is home of the Municipal Library, placed here from 1775.
Bulletchurch of St. Francis of Assisi was built between 1255 and 1277 in the old market district of the city; it was largely renovated in the 15, 16, 18 and 19 centuries. After bombings, in 1943, the church was restored to its Mediaeval appearance. The interior has a typical Gothic flavor, with a nave and two aisles separated by two rows of cylindrical pilasters. Still, some of the chapels are in Renaissance style. The church includes precious sculptures by Antonio & Giacomo Gagini and Francesco Laurana. Important are also the allegorical statues by Giacomo Serpotta, which is also author of the stucco decoration.
BulletChurch "Magione" is a great example of Norman architecture. It was founded in 1191 by Matteo d'Ajello and donated later to Cistercian monks. Six years later the German Emperor Henry VI gave it to the Teutonic Order, which detained it until the 15th century. Interesting is also the 12th century cloister.


Bullet"Teatro Massimo" - The Greatest Theatre - was opened in 1897. Closed for renovation from 1974 until 1997, it is now carefully restored and has an active schedule.
Bullet"Teatro Politeama" was built between 1867 and 1874. Nowadays the town's Gallery of Modern Art is accommodated there.

Other Tourist Attractions in Palermo

Bullet"Quattro Canti" is a small place at the crossing of the ancient main roads, dividing the town into its quarters.
Bullet"Piazza Pretoria" was built in the 16th century near Quattro Canti as a place for a fountain - "Fontana Pretoria".
BulletThe Cathedral has a solar observatory from 1690.
Bullet"Orto Botanico", founded in 1785, is the largest botanical garden in Italy, with a surface of 10 ha.
BulletThe "Capuchin Catacombs" contain many mummified corps of local nobles.
BulletClose to the city is Monte Pellegrino, a 600 meter high hill, where holiday makers can admire spectacular views of the city and of its surroundings.

Featured Resorts & Hotels in Palermo

Hotel Villa Igiea Hilton

Grand Hotel et des Palmes

Hotel Excelsior Palace

Hotel NH Jolly Palermo

Hotel Mondello Palace

Quality Hotel President Palermo

Hotel Vecchio Borgo

Hotel Torres Artale Relais

Hotel Politeama

Hotel Villa Esperia

Hotel Tonnara di Trabia

Hotel Azzolini

Torre Artale Hotel and Villas

Hotel Gallery House

Hotel Palm Beach

Hotel Villa d'Amato

Hotel Athenaeum Palermo

Featured Tours in Palermo

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Palermo

The Best of Palermo City Guided Tour

The Best of Sicilian Cities Palermo and Monreale

A Historical Excursion into Cities Mozia and Marsala