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Palermo, Italien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

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Weather & best time to visit

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City map Palermo

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    Palermo – a brief overview

    Palermo feels old for a reason. It is. Nearly 3,000 years have passed since Phoenician, Carthaginian and Greek merchants docked here. What began as a little depot soon grew into a city of strategic and cultural importance. It became Panormus: the port. The city’s role as a crossroads between East and West has resulted in an intoxicating cross-cultural mix of art, architecture and food.

    Like their city, Palermitans can be a demanding lot and are enthusiastic consumers of life’s pleasures. So why not join them in their cafés and churches, theatres and markets and soak up a little dolce vita.


    Top 10 sights in Palermo

    Palermo, Italien, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Cappella Palatina

    Palazzo Reale
    Piazza Indipendenza 1
    90129 Palermo
    Tel: +39 91 626 2833
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0815-1740

    This tiny, jewel-like chapel demonstrates Sicily’s artistic sophistication, its interior inlaid with precious marbles and delicate mosaics recounting the tales of the Old Testament.

    Mercato di Ballarò

    Corso Tukory, 90
    90134 Palermo
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0700-2000
    Sun 0700-1300

    Experience Palermo like a local by wandering the city’s most dynamic market. Sun-ripened produce teeters on tables while housewives argue over ‘Made in China’ bras and olive oil.

    Cattedrale di Palermo

    Corso Vittorio Emanuele
    90040 Palermo
    Tel: +39 91 334 373
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0900-1730 (Mar-Oct)
    Mon-Sat 0930-1300 (Nov-Feb)
    Sun 0730-1330 and 1600-1900

    A fusion of Arab and Norman architecture, the dome of Palermo’s cathedral floats above the narrow streets surrounded by ziggurat crenellations. Inside, Sicily’s two greatest kings, Roger II and Frederick II, lie entombed in marble.

    Catacombe dei Cappuccini

    Piazza Cappuccini 1
    90129 Palermo
    Tel: +39 91 652 4156
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1300 and 1500-1800

    Possibly the most macabre sight you’ll ever see is the mummified bodies of some 8,000 Palermitans who died between the 17th and 19th centuries. They’re neatly segregated by rank and gender, and there’s a first class section for virgins!

    Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Zita

    Via Valverde 3
    90133 Palermo
    Tel: +39 91 322 779
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0900-1330

    With their love of ornamentation, Palermitans quickly fell for the architectural excesses of baroque. Nowhere is this more evident than the writhing stuccowork of Giacomo Serpotta inside this oratory.

    Galleria Regionale della Sicilia

    Via Alloro 4
    90133 Palermo
    Tel: +39 91 623 0011
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Fri 0900-1900
    Sat-Sun 0900-1330

    This gallery is full of treasures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, including the magnificent fresco The Triumph of Death.

    Museo dell’Inquisizione

    Piazza Marina 61
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1800

    In the dark days of the Inquisition, Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri became the torture HQ for the Grand Inquisitor. After lengthy restoration, its graffitied cells are now open to the public.

    Galleria d’Arte Moderne

    Via Sant’Anna 21
    90133 Palermo
    Tel: +39 91 843 1605
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0930-1830

    Set around a beautiful, arcaded courtyard in a former convent, Palermo’s modern art gallery features a wide-ranging collection of Sicilian art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Fontana Pretoria

    Piazza Pretoria
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    This elaborate fountain crowded with nude nymphs and river gods was designed for a Tuscan villa, but brought here in 1573. Positioned in front of the Municipal Hall, the flagrant nudity shocked locals who dubbed it the Fountain of Shame.

    La Martorana

    Piazza Bellini 3
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0830-1300 and 1530-1730
    Sun 0830-1300

    One of Palermo’s most famous medieval churches, La Martorana was originally planned as a mosque. Delicate Fatimid capitals endlessly repeat the name of Allah while golden Greek mosaics depict Roger II receiving his crown from Christ.

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    Country Information

    Country overview

    Despite incessant praise, travelling in Italy remains one of those rare experiences in life – like a perfect spring day or the power of first love – that cannot be overrated. In few places do history, art, fashion, food and la dolce vita (the good life) intermingle so effortlessly.

    There are sunny isles and electric blue surf, glacial northern lakes and fiery southern volcanoes, rolling vineyards and an urban landscape that harbours more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world. Few places offer such variety and few visitors leave without a fervent desire to return.


    Italy is situated in Europe, with a long coastline of approximately 7,600km (4,720 miles) stretching into the Mediterranean Sea and a mountainous northern border adjoining France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. This northern Alpine region contains some of the highest peaks in Europe and is a good area for winter sports.

    In central Italy, Tuscany has a diverse landscape composed of fertile rolling hills, lush river valleys, minor mountain ranges and a long sandy coastline. To the east is Umbria, known as the ‘green heart of Italy’; hilly with broad plains, olive groves and pines, and Le Marche – a region of gentle mountains, rivers and small fertile plains.

    Further south lies Rome, Italy’s capital city. Within its precincts is the Vatican City. The south of the country is hotter, wilder and much, much drier than the north, characterised by dry sierras, rocky mountain ranges and volcanic outcrops, including three of Europe’s most active volcanoes: Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli. Puglia, the ‘heel of the boot’, is a mixed landscape of fertile plateaus, expansive olive groves and flat, ochre-coloured plains. The islands of Sicily and Sardinia lie offshore to the southwest and west respectively.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Area: 301340 sq km (116348 sq miles).

    Population: 60.5 million (2015).

    Population density: 204.0 per sq km.

    Capital: Rome.

    Government: Independent kingdom of Italy declared in 1861. Republic since 1946.


    Italian is the official language. Dialects are spoken in different regions. German is spoken in the South Tyrol region (bordering Austria). French is spoken in all the border areas from the Riviera to the area north of Milan (border with France and Switzerland). English, French and German are also spoken in the biggest cities and in tourism and business circles.


    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

    Standard time zone

    UTC/GMT +1 hour


    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the two round-pin type.

    Public holidays

    In addition to public holidays, local feast days are held in honour of town patron saints, generally without closure of shops and offices. These include:

    Turin/Genoa/Florence: 24. Jun (St John the Baptist)
    Milan: 7. Dec (St Ambrose)
    Venice: 25. Apr (St Mark)
    Bologna: 4. Oct (St Petronius)
    Naples: 19. Sep (St Gennaro)
    Bari: 6. Dec (St Nichola)
    Palermo: 15. Jul (St Rosalia)
    Rome: 29. Jun (St Peter)
    Siena: 2. Jul + 16. Aug (Palio)
    Trieste: 3. Nov (St Giusto)

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2017 – December 2018 period.


    Capodanno (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2017
    Epifania (Epiphany): 6 January 2017
    Pasqua (Easter Sunday): 16 April 2017
    Lunedì dell’Angelo (Easter Monday): 17 April 2017
    Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day): 25 April 2017
    Festa del Lavoro (Labour Day): 1 May 2017
    Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day): 2 June 2017
    Assunzione di Maria Vergine (Assumption):
    15 August 2017
    Tutti i santi (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2017
    Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception): 8 December 2017
    Natale (Christmas Day): 25 December 2017
    Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day): 26 December 2017


    Capodanno (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2018
    Epifania (Epiphany): 6 January 2018
    Pasqua (Easter Sunday): 1 April 2018
    Lunedì dell’Angelo (Easter Monday): 2 April 2018
    Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day): 25 April 2018
    Festa del Lavoro (Labour Day): 1 May 2018
    Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day): 2 June 2018
    Assunzione di Maria Vergine (Assumption):
    15 August 2018
    Tutti i santi (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2018
    Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception): 8 December 2018
    Natale (Christmas Day): 25 December 2018
    Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day): 26 December 2018

    All information subject to change.


    Nightlife in Palermo


    Palermo’s nightlife is split between popular bars and cafés in the historic centre along Via Chiavettieri and the Champagneria district, and high-end wine bars and dance clubs in the newer part of town.

    In summer, many Palermitans decamp completely to the beach at Mondello, 15 minutes away by bus 806.

    Taverna Azzurra

    Via Maccheronai 15
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    A rough and ready tavern in the Vucciria market serving a mean negroni.

    Kursaal Kalhesa

    Foro Italico Umberto I 21
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    A cocktail bar, music venue and bookstore that attracts a bohemian crowd.

    Teatro di Verdura

    Viale del Fante 70
    90146 Palermo
    Show on map

    A summer-only treat: music in the lovely gardens of Villa Castelnuovo.

    Cuticchio Mimmo

    Via Bara all’Olivella 95
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    Don’t miss an evening of Palermo puppet theatre with handcrafted puppets.

    Teatro Massimo

    Piazza Giuseppe Verdi
    90138 Palermo
    Show on map

    Opera, ballet and music in Palermo’s iconic art nouveau theatre.


    Restaurants in Palermo


    Like its heritage, Sicilian food is a mix incorporating both sweet and spice in signature dishes such as caponata (eggplant with sweet peppers).

    Restaurants don’t get going until around 9.30pm although there are plenty of cafés that stay open all day.

    Ristorante Santandrea

    Piazza Sant’Andrea 4
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Traditional Sicilian cuisine executed creatively with market-fresh produce.

    Trattoria Il Maestro del Brodo

    Via Pannieri 7
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Tuck into a sensational antipasto buffet followed by ultra fresh fish.

    Antico Caffè Spinnato

    Via Principe di Belmonte 107-115
    90139 Palermo
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    A sophisticated tea salon serving pastries and light lunches.

    Pasticceria Cappello

    Via Colonna Rotta 68
    90134 Palermo
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Palermo is famous for its pastry shops and this is one of the very best.

    I Cuochini

    Via Ruggero Settimo 68
    90141 Palermo
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    A popular fry shop serving rice balls and pastries stuffed with mince.


    Calendar of events

    World Festival on the Beach

    June 2017

    Venue: Mondello.

    Every year, Palermo celebrates beach culture and the outdoors life at a week-long festival at Mondello. Windsurfing, beach volleyball, paragliding, sailing, canoeing, running and swimming are among the activities and competitions that take place during the festival. A few jazz concerts are sprinkled throughout the week, and the festival ends with a tall ships race.

    Sun Moon Film Festival

    3 – 9 July 2017

    Venue: Gallery of Modern Art.

    The Sun Moon Film Festival celebrates Palermo’s Greek, Roman, Arab and Norman heritage through the medium of film.

    Festino di Santa Rosalia

    July 2017

    Venue: Throughout the city.

    Procession in honour of Palermo’s patron saint, plus fireworks and street parties.

    Day of the Dead

    1 – 2 November 2017

    Venue: Various Venues

    A popular festival across the city and the whole of Sicily, the Day of the Dead is the time of the year when it is said that the souls of dead relatives and loved ones return to Earth to visit those they’ve left behind. It is a time for prayers and remembrance and many people visit the family graves to lay flowers and candles for lost loved ones. It is said that the visiting spirits leave gifts of sweets and cakes for the children so the morning of the second day is usually an exciting time for children who bound downstairs to see what’s been left for them overnight. The festival lasts for two days but only the first day, 1 November, is a national holiday.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.


    Hotels in Palermo


    Palermo gets busy during Easter and summer so book ahead. Most mid-range and top-end hotels are situated north of the historic centre in the newer part of the city.

    Budget options and independent boutiques hotels are buried down atmospheric alleys. Reserve ahead for parking.

    Centrale Palace Hotel

    Corso Vittorio Emanuele 327
    90134 Palermo
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    An elegant, 18th-century palazzo hotel with a panoramic rooftop restaurant.

    Giardino di Ballarò

    Via Porta di Castro 75-77
    90134 Palermo
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Boutique hotel in the historic centre with soothing contemporary rooms.

    Plaza Opera

    Via Nicolò Gallo 2
    90139 Palermo
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A small, luxury hotel with modern rooms and highly personal service.

    Massimo Plaza

    Via Maqueda 437
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Recently renovated historic hotel with comfortable, spacious rooms.

    Alla Martorana B&B

    Via Roma 171
    90133 Palermo
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Excellent value, family-run B&B with lots of character and knowledgeable hosts.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Sunday, 05.03.2017 12:00 UTC




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    Climate & best time to visit Italy

    Italy is a great destination to visit year round, particularly if taking a city break, though for the warmest and most reliable weather April to June is the prime tourist season. Most Italians take their holiday in July and August so prices, and crowds, can soar during these months, which are also the hottest of the year. If you’re keen to avoid the main scrum of peak season but still bank on mild weather, late September to October is a good choice.


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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan30 °C-1 °C15 °C7 °C75 %96 mm124.5 h
    Feb27 °C0 °C15 °C7 °C72 %77 mm95.2 h
    Mar33 °C0 °C17 °C9 °C68 %59 mm86.1 h
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    Jun40 °C9 °C27 °C17 °C65 %12 mm210.1 h
    Jul43 °C12 °C30 °C20 °C63 %5 mm111.3 h
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    Sep42 °C8 °C28 °C18 °C67 %43 mm48.4 h
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    Dec25 °C0 °C17 °C9 °C74 %106 mm123.9 h
    year43 °C-1 °C22 °C13 °C69 %655 mm757.4 h
    Good to know

    Telephone & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile phones

    International dialling code: +39


    Telephone kiosks only accept phonecards, which can be purchased at post offices, tobacconists and some newsagents.

    Mobile phone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.


    Rome, Venice, Milan and Bologna have now instituted city-wide Wi-Fi hotspots, and the majority of hotels, B&Bs and even farm stays now offer free internet access. In most towns, internet cafés also offer access at €2 to €6 per hour.


    Shopping in Palermo

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    Key Areas

    All the smart shops are located along Viale della Libertà and streets running off it. Via Roma and Corso Vittorio Emanuele are more popular, the latter bisected by Via Maqueda, which has some independent boutiques. Art and ceramic shops are found on Corso Alberto Amedeo and on Via Nicolò Gallo.


    Palermo has four main markets, the busiest of which is Capo-Ballarò where everyone goes for groceries. Otherwise, La Vucciria, between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Roma, sells seafood, souvenirs and handicrafts. Further afield are Borgo Vecchio and Piazza Peranni, which sells antiques.

    Shopping Centres

    On Via Roma you’ll find La Rinascente department store, while on Via Cavour the Excelsior Supercinema Store offers mall-like shopping in 18 stores. The largest shopping centre with over 100 outlets is Forum Palermo in Brancaccio, 7km southeast of the centre.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social conventions

    The social structure is heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church and, generally speaking, family ties are stronger than in most other countries in Western Europe. Normal social courtesies should be observed. Dress is casual but smart in most places, and beachwear should be confined to the beach. Conservative clothes are expected when visiting religious buildings and smaller, traditional communities.

    Formal wear is usually indicated on invitations. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings, transport and cinemas. When visiting an Italian home for dinner, bring a small gift of sweets or chocolate, and dress well. Let your host lead when sitting and starting the meal. Take a small portion of what’s on offer as you will surely be cajoled into having another helping. If you do not want more wine, leave your glass full so it cannot be refilled.

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    Tap water is generally safe to drink. Bottled water is available. The inscription ‘Acqua Non Potabile’ means water is not drinkable. Milk is generally pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Past outbreaks of brucellosis in southern regions means unpasteurised buffalo mozzarella is best avoided. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are considered safe to eat.

    Other Risks

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) also recommends vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and hepatitis B.

    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre