Palermo is the administrative center of Sicily and the largest city of the northwestern Italian coast. Located directly at the foot of the San Pellegrino Mountain, the city is a very beautiful place, which breathes with romance. You are able to feel it, for example, when you are travelling by car, rent in Palermo Airport Punta Raisi.
During the reign of the Saracens, in 831, Palermo began to develop as a commercial center of Sicily. Here ruled the Vikings and French, and during the last six centuries- the Spaniards ruled on this land. The city was handed over to the Italian rulers only in 1860.
The Second World War brought Palermo the worst destruction, although, today the city attracts great attention from travelers all over the world, precisely because of what is left after the war.
In addition, a pleasant Mediterranean climate provides people with a very short winter and a long warm summer that is why you will always meet tourists in Palermo. There is practically no rain and intense heat. Most visitors feel very comfortable in the city, because the weather is always fair and does not require taking extra warm clothes, umbrellas and raincoats.
Here are some advices for those, who are planning to come to Palermo.
- If you decided to visit the sights of the city, pay attention not only to chapels and churches, which are about 300 in the city, but to the whole city in general. Tourists are very fond of strolling around the city and visiting many places of interest on their own. For example, at the intersection of Piazza Villena and Piazza Pretoria there is the main square of the city, right in the middle of which is a beautiful ancient fountain in mannerist style, which dates back to 1550. Moreover, on the square, which was formed by the streets of Piazza Bologna and Piazza Marina, there are monuments to the saints, which seem to surround the square. In addition, an interesting place to visit is the Capuchin Catacombs, where about eight thousand Palermo inhabitants are buried, whose bodies could be seen by the visitors.
- It worth coming to Palermo not only for the famous places of interest, but also for the natural beauty of the city and its surroundings. After all, at the foot of the mountain, tourists can admire the beauty of the numerous mountain streams, amazing bright colors of orange groves, sandy beaches and picturesque mountain slopes. Many tourists prefer to swim in the purest Tyrrhenian Sea, enjoying birds singing. The unique nature and excellent climatic conditions provide an opportunity for tourists to come here throughout the year.
- Try all the delights of the legendary Sicilian cuisine. Traditional Sicilian dishes are the caponata (fried vegetables with capers, olives and sweet-sour sauce), Sicilian cassata and the famous Sicilian pizza, based on the flat cake with tomato, cheese and onions.
However, today, the pizza is no longer the same, because, during a long time, the recipe has undergone various culinary changes, although the pizza is still very tasty. Tourists can buy pizza in a cafe, or directly on the street in open trays.
- As for accommodation, if you compare Palermo with Rome or Venice, then there is much lower price level and the living environment is just fine. This concerns mainly the three star-hotels. At least, all the hotels here are clean and cozy, with friendly staff and good service. Who cares about the price much- it is worth looking for clean hostels, which offer prices half as much as hotels do.
- The city of Palermo will please both the enthusiastic fashionable dressers and the fans of budget purchases, as apart from the numerous shops and boutiques of the city, there are excellent markets, which are full of variable goods. More than a half of the holidaymakers are buying up there, as markets attract tourists with their bright colors and excellent prices. The market here is more like a fair, than the common Italian mart. For example, in the La Vucciria market, the best seafood is sold. In Ballaro you can find wonderful souvenirs, ceramics and puppet dolls, which are in great demand among visitors. Borgo Vecchio, Mercato il Capo are as well popular markets.
Via Libertà street is a paradise for fashionable people, who are having a desire to buy shoes or clothes made by Italian designers.
- As well as on all of the Sicilian territory, there is a sufficient level of crime in Palermo. Therefore, it is necessary to observe at least elementary precautions. Do not carry large amounts of money with you, do not leave valuables and bags with documents unattended. If you come to the bar, do not put the phone or purse on the table, better keep it in your hands or in a bag. There are pickpockets in the markets, who want to put their hands into your bag. In addition, carefully recalculate the change and watch the weight of the products, as you could be deceived by the cunning sellers of the markets.
- Sicilian weather can be rightfully called fair. There is no cold winter or rainy hot summer, so visiting the island at any time of the year could bring much pleasure. The only thing to consider is the main goal of your trip to Sicily. Depending on it, the month for the Sicilian holidays should be chosen.
If the main desire is the beach rest, comfortable swimming in the sea and swarthy tan, then it is definitely worthwhile to go here in summer, in June – August, or even in September. June and September are ideal for those who prefer not too hot weather, slightly cool or just warm water, as well as relatively quiet beaches and streets. The average temperature at this time ranges between +25 – +30C. At this time the Sicilian beaches are filled mainly by local residents or Europeans, who eager for a relaxing holiday. If you are not going to swim, then you should come to Palermo in March, April or November.
- Grocery stores and markets start working at about 8:00 in the morning, and other shopping complexes begin to work from 9 o’clock in the morning. The duration of the working day could be different, small shops close at 16.00-17.00, and large-scale shopping centers could work until 20:00.