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Tourist attractions Palermo

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  • 1 Palazzo dei Normanni Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    P.za ndependenza 1 I - 90134 Palermo

    The Norman palace stands at the centre of a series of squares, in gardens laid out at the end of the 19C. Previously seat of the emir of Palermo, the old qsar was enlarged and improved by the Norman kings, then abandoned before being restored under t..

  • 2 Cappella Palatina Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    P.za ndependenza 1 I - 90134 Palermo

    The chapel of the Norman palace is a magnificent construction, built by Roger II between 1130 and 1140. The building achieves a perfect combination of Saracen, Byzantine and Norman art, bearing witness to the Norman sovereigns' tolerance towards othe..

  • 3 La Kalsa Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Porta dei Greci I - 90134 Palermo

    The district developed under Arab rule, around the citadel of the emir. It retains its Arabic name "al haklisah", meaning "the chosen one, the pure one", and its oriental atmosphere, emphasised by its Arab-Norman monuments. Centre..

  • 4 Oratorio des Rosario di San Domenico Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    P.za . - Domenico 1 I - 90133 Palermo

    This private chapel is a Baroque masterpiece, attributed to Giacomo Serpotta. During your visit, you will be surrounded by putti, the small cherubim that were so dearly loved by Italian Baroque. The entire interior is sculpted in the stucco, to achie..

  • 5 Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    v. alverde 1 I - 90133 Palermo

    The chapel is the masterpiece of Baroque sculptor Giacomo Serpotta who worked here from 1686 to 1718. Angels and joyful putti cavort with total liberty of movement and expression; playing, sleeping, crying, laughing, climbing up the window frames, gl..

  • 6 Oratory of San Lorenzo Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    I - 90133 Palermo

    The finest work by Giacomo Serpotta (1656-1732). On the walls are scenes illustrating episodes from the life of Saint Francis (right hand side) and Saint Lawrence (left hand side), whose martyrdom is represented on the far wall. The upper sections of..

  • 7 Former Royal Apartments Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    I - 90134 Palermo

    The Royal apartments include the Hercules room (1560), where the Sicilian parliament sits, named after its huge frescoes by Giuseppe Velasquez (19C) representing the Twelve Labours of Hercules (only six are depicted); the atrium, central room of the ..

  • 8 San Giovanni degli Eremiti Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Via dei Benedettini 18 I - 90134 Palermo

    Commissioned by Roger II (12C), San Giovanni degli Eremiti and its luxuriant garden is an oasis of freshness and tranquillity. One of Palermo's most famous churches, it is a simple angular structure surmounted by five domes, evidence of the Arab know..

  • 9 Cathedral Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    v. apireto I - 90134 Palermo

    The cathedral is an imposing building, which occupies a sacred location since the founding of the city. Built in the 12C in the Sicilo-Norman style, it was modified many times, but today it still retains a superb Norman chevet.

  • 10 Quattro Canti (Piazza Vigliena) Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Vigliena I - 90134 Palermo

    The junction of Corso Vittorio Emanuale and Via Maqueda, this small square is a beauty thanks to the 17C palaces bordering it, their concave façades decorated with Doric, Ionic and Corinthian structures, providing the setting for fountains featuring ..

  • 11 Piazza Pretoria Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Pretoria I - 90133 Palermo

    A spectacular 16C fountain by Francesco Camilliani in the Tuscan Renaissance style is situated at the centre of this little square. A wrought iron balustrade by Giovanni Battista Basile runs around it. Beyond rises the profile of the dome of the chur..

  • 12 Piazza Bellini Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Bellini I - 90133 Palermo

    Blending eastern and western architecture, this is one of the city's most beautiful squares. Three churches stand here: La Martorana, San Cataldo, and Santa Caterina, a late 16C building with an 18C dome and rich interior decoration. It features an a..

  • 13 La Martorana Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Piazza Bellini I - 90133 Palermo

    The story of this little church, which takes its name from Eloisa Martorana, the founder of the nearby Benedictine convent, begins in 1143. The Norman style used at the time of its construction is today somewhat concealed by the Baroque façade. The B..

  • 14 San Cataldo Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Piazza Bellini I - 90134 Palermo

    San Cataldo was founded in the 12C. The domes, the claustra of the façade and its crenellated upper decoration bear witness to the survival of motifs from Arab architecture after the Norman conquest. The interior is very sparsely decorated. It is div..

  • 15 Galleria Regionale di Sicilia Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Via Alloro 4 I - 90133 Palermo

    In a building by Carlo Scarpa (1950), which maximises the available light, the museum displays medieval paintings and sculpture (fine Triumph of Death fresco) plus a vast collection of Renaissance pictures (many Sicilian School works). Note the splen..

  • 16 International Puppet Museum Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    via Butera - I - 90100 Palermo

    Those wishing to learn about this key aspect of Sicilian tradition should not miss this museum, which houses a fine collection of pupi, little traditional puppets representing Norman knights in armour. Visitors can also explore the wider world throug..

  • 17 Museo Archeologico Regionale Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Piazza Olivella 24 I - 90133 Palermo

    The museum housed in the 16C Olivella convent contains a very fine collection of objects found at the principal Sicilian archaeological sites, in particular Selinunte. Beyond the little cloister with its hexagonal fountain, visitors continue to the g..

  • 18 Gallery of Modern Art Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Via Sant’Anna 21 I - 90139 Palermo

    Enviably located in a former Franciscan convent, this important collection of 19C-20C Italian and Sicilian pictures is presented in a pleasant and informative style. Great Sicilian artists of the 19C are represented, notably Francesco Lojacono (Marsh..

  • 19 Villa Malfitano Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Via Dante 167 I - 90141 Palermo

    Visitors come upon this villa in the midst of its gigantic, magnificent garden. Built in 1886 in the Art Nouveau style for a wealthy industrialist, the villa was the ultimate symbol in terms of upper-middle-class lifestyle. Inside, the walls and ceil..

  • 20 Botanical Garden Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Via Lincoln 2 I - 90123 Palermo

    The garden and buildings intended for study and experimental work remain unaltered since their establishment in 1789 by the French architect Dufourny. Here visitors will see specimens of oriental and exotic plants, such as dendrocalamus giganteus, a ..

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