A mosaic of the eventful history of Sicily
Many Sicily tours start in Palermo. The capital of the autonomous region of Sicily offers you countless palaces, churches, monuments and culinary delicacies from a wide variety of cultures and epochs as part of a study trip and, of course, a city trip. Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Greeks and Spaniards have left traces in architecture, cuisine and language that you can follow on a study trip to Sicily. Because of these influences, Palermo sometimes looks like a labyrinth. Even if the flow of traffic is more reminiscent of a cauldron to northern Europeans, you can easily explore the old town on foot. And if you drift through the alleys and stop in the trattorias, you will learn to love Palermo.
Palermo, the administrative center of the region of Sicily, is located on the north coast of the island on the Gulf of Palermo. The mouth of the Oreto also flows into the sea here. The city is framed by Monte Pellegrino and to the east by Monte Catalfano. Thanks to the port, Palermo also has a long tradition as a trading center.
The Mediterranean climate offers you the best travel conditions. During the long, hot summers, sightseeing may be a bit more challenging, but you can look forward to bathing weather from Easter to October.
History of Palermo
The Phoenicians founded the city in the 8th century BC and lost to the Greeks about 300 years later. 251 BC The Romans took the city. After the division of the empire, Sicily came under Byzantine rule. In the 9th century, the Arabs conquered Sicily and ended Byzantine rule on the island. In 831 Palermo became the capital of Arab Sicily. Norman knights “wrested” Sicily from the Arabs in the 11th century. They have adopted a lot of what they found. An example of this Norman-Arab heritage is the Palace of Maredolce – high above Palermo – listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Palermo experienced a new heyday under Frederick II. After the French princely dynasty took over the Kingdom of Naples – Sicily, began a long dark period for Palermo. Naples became the capital and Palermo fell into disrepair. Please poverty set in, which led to the popular uprising “Sicilian Vespers” in 1282. From 1415 to 1860 Sicily was under Spanish rule. Then it was connected to Italy. Despite the numerous destruction in World War II, you can still visit numerous relics from the different epochs of Sicilian history in Palermo.
– Santa Maria dell ´Amiraglio : Admiral Church ; also Chiesa della Marorana, built in 1140; splendid Byzantine mosaics and perfect harmony, despite numerous renovations
– Palazzo Reale : Norman palace, once the seat of the Arab rulers, then the palace of the Hohenstaufen, Frederick II spent his childhood here; today the seat of the regional government. The style of the Palatino Chapel has almost been preserved
– Chiesa del Gesu : the oldest church in Palermo; Sicilian baroque, countless sculptures and figures, remarkable ceiling fresco
– Cathedrale di Palermo:After the laying of the foundation stone in 1184, the cathedral was changed and expanded several times in the following centuries. Classicist character inside; Imperial tombs, church treasures, chapel of St. Rosalia
– Conte Federico Palace : privately owned palace, built on the former city walls of Palermo; antique furniture, weapons, cars and many other exhibits, a stroll through the eventful history
– Oratorio di Santa Cita : Prayer House of St. Zita; built in the 17th century, with stucco work well worth seeing, noteworthy: relief of the sea battle of Lepanto
– Santario Santa Rosalia: the city saint on Monte Pellegrino, rock chapel; fantastic view over Palermo, hiking trails around the grotto with great views
– San Guiseppe die Teatini: Church right in the center of the old town; inconspicuous from the outside baroque marvel from the inside
– Fontana della Vergogna: Renaissance fountain in front of the town hall in Piazza Pretoria
– Palazzo Steri: Chiaramonte, impressive medieval palace, home of the Chiaramonte family; then the seat of the Spanish viceroys, here the Spanish Inquisition held a
break in Palermo
Of course, a holiday in Palermo not only includes sightseeing, but also rest, relaxation and the discovery of the culinary highlights of Sicily. When visiting the Vuccivia and Ballaro markets, let yourself be impressed by the variety of goods on offer. The street food tours on offer are highly recommended, some even with a cooking course. Wine tastings with local wines will also bring you closer to the taste of Sicily. In between all your activities, you can take a breather in the botanical garden. You are sure to be completely relaxed after visiting a hammam. It is not for nothing that the Romans brought their sweat baths with them to the island.
You can look forward to a city that is difficult to describe, which is considered chaotic and the most North African city in Europe, as a borderline experience in summer, as a paradise in spring and autumn, in constant change, in which you can enjoy eating anytime and anywhere…. And so much more. It is best to forget all clichés and form your own opinion during a stay as part of a tour or study trip.