The capital of Sicily

The main city of the island is characterized by an extraordinary fusion of the styles of arab-norman art. Among the many sites are the Palazzo Reale (also Palazzo dei Normanni), seat of the Regional Sicilian Assembly. The imposing building was restored by the Spanish Viceroy in the XII-c, whereas the entryway with magnificent staircase date from the XVIII-c.
The internal Cappella Palatina, executed circa 1130 by Roger II, represents the authentic harmony of construction and decoration (form and function), with gold mosaics that stand out with their luminosity. The in-town church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti is immersed in an oasis of calm, featuring palm trees, bougainvillea, mandarins and orange trees.
The interior of the church was commissioned in the XII-c by Roger II, and was extensively remodelled in the XVIII-c. Of the original monastery, only the XIII-c cloister remains today.
The original style of this remarkable building is still visible in the geometric style of the apses, and the brightly colored curved rooftop. The side entrance is representative of thecatalan gothic style. Also of note is the church of San Giuseppe ai Teatini, representative of the baroque style, the Martonrana church, built in 1143 by Giorgio d’Antiochia, Santa Maria dello Spasimo, begun in 1506, and over the years used as a fortress, a theatre, a hopsice for the poor, and a hospital.

After a long period of abandonment, the building has been restored and today serves as a center for cultural events.
Santa Maria della Catena (XV-XVI-c), whose name derives from the chains in the walls adjacent to the church that once secured the port, and there are more. Of the city’s numerous piazzas, the main ones are Piazza Pretoria, the Four Corners (i quattro canti),and Piazza Marina.

Don’t miss the Teatro Massimo, neoclassical theater with elegant interior decorations, launched in 1875 by G.B. Filippo Basile and completed under the direction of his son Ernesto. Among the city markets, please consider Ballarò, La Vucciria and il Capo.

Also worth a visit are Mondello, elegant nearby beach resort. A suggested visit could take in a beach day and sampling of local seafood in the many nearby restaurants.

How to get Palermo from Villa ai Mulini