Top Activities in Palermo
When visiting Sicily, an Italian island, are you unsure of where to go exploring? Palermo, the city’s vibrant capital, is a must-see destination that is teeming with sights, sounds, and experiences waiting for you.
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Palermo is encircled by the Mediterranean, so you can be sure that the cuisine will be amazing. Not to mention everything that this energetic metropolis has to offer in terms of cultural variety. There are so many amazing things to do in Palermo, Sicily, from the magnificent Palermo Cathedral to the delicious street cuisine.
With its vibrant marketplaces, art galleries, and diverse range of ethnicities, this city is undoubtedly underappreciated. To make the most of your journey to this historic capital—one of Sicily’s top tourist destinations—continue reading.
Investigate the Historic Center
One of the best ways to find things to do in Palermo is to take a stroll about the old city center, which is home to many interesting and historically significant structures.
Quattro Canti / Piazza Vigliena
Piazza Vigliena is a magnificent Baroque plaza located at the confluence of Via Maqueda and Via Vittorio Emanuele, two of Palermo’s most renowned streets. This plaza, named for a viceroy of Spain, was built in 1609, during the Aragonese occupation of the city.
It is also referred to as Quattro Canti, or “four corners,” since there is a palace from the eighteenth century with a distinct statue on each corner that symbolizes one of the four Spanish monarchs that ruled over Sicily. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the capital of Sicily, you should certainly visit this square. Furthermore, it’s wonderful to see Quattro Canti’s elaborate façades and architectural designs.
The magnificent and welcoming Piazza Pretoria is just another reason to visit Palermo’s old center. Numerous statues of mermaids, people, and Greek gods in their undies may be found there, along with the stunning Fontana Pretoria fountain.
It’s today a fantastic opportunity to explore Sicilian culture, but it was formerly known as the “Square of Shame” because of the attitudes held by Catholic society at the time over the gratuitous nudity. Additionally, the mayor’s office is located at Palazzo Pretorio, which is just adjacent to the fountain. This ancient structure is open for free tours, providing an excellent chance to view its extensive collection of antiques.
Chiesa di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria
You can find what you’re looking for in Palermo if you’re a fan of Baroque interior design and art at Chiesa e Monastero di Santa Caterina. This charming church features a large façade facing west, Corinthian columns, and a variety of frescoes, sculptures, and paintings created by well-known Italian painters. Filippo Randazzo, Antonello Gagini, and Vito D’Anna are on this list.
The church, which dates back to the early 14th century, was constructed in honor of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, who is shown in a number of its artworks. But it’s not only about elaborate details and decorations; it also boasts a stunning view of the piazzas that surround it. Proceed to the rooftop terrace of the monastery to have a view over Piazza Pretoria and Piazza Bellini.
Chiesa del Gesù di Casa Professa
In the old city center, there is another magnificent church called Chiesa del Gesù di Casa Professa. Why is it the case? It features exquisite ceiling details, elaborate marble finishes, and colorful paintings. It is lavishly decorated in a Baroque style, with jaw-dropping marble statues, a grand organ, and ornate patterns.
This church, which was built by the Jesuits between 1564 and 1578, is rich in history. Though it unfortunately sustained some significant damage from World War II bombs, it is still in excellent condition and ought to be on your itinerary of things to visit in Palermo.
The Orto Botanico di Palermo is a beautiful botanical park that can be reached after a short stroll from Palermo’s Central Train Station. It would be a mistake to visit Palermo without taking a look at this exquisite collection of uncommon and rare plants; it’s a soothing way to unwind after exploring.
Currently spanning more than 25 acres, the garden features over 12,000 distinct species, ranging from tropical to indigenous trees. A tropical orchard, useful plants, a greenhouse, medicinal plants, and even some historical collections are among the other parts.
Therefore, this is a great place to de-stress from the hectic activity of the city, whether your goal is to learn more about some interesting plants or just to curl up with a book.