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    Palermo, Bright sunshine and stunning beauty

    Bright sunshine and stunning beauty

    In the middle of a magnificent bay facing the blue Mediterranean Sea, amid lush tropical vegetation and surrounded by limestone mountains, Palermo boasts truly marvellous scenery.

    Palermo Cathedral

    Palermo Cathedral

    This impressive building, built in 1185 with strong Arabic influences, features a unique mixture of architectural styles which can also be found in many other parts of the city. Enjoy an experience for the senses by visiting some of the city’s many open-air markets.

    Fishermen of Palermo

    Fishermen of Palermo

    Find out more about the city’s unique relationship to the sea by visiting the fishing villages nearby. Set sail on a fishing trip or just enjoy the catch of the day in one of the excellent restaurants.

    Palermo, Opera House

    Flights to Palermo

    For centuries, this powerful city dominated the entryway to the Mediterranean Sea. The Greeks originally named the place Panormus meaning 'complete port'. The steep cliffs that slope gracefully down to meet sandy beaches made the natural landscape a perfect haven for ships. Today, the capital of the Italian region of Sicily, Palermo is still the complete package as a holiday destination.

    The beaches of Palermo and Sicily are the perfect place to unwind and when you’ve finished relaxing by the sea, the city’s amazing architecture, cultural and historical sites make Palermo an excellent city break destination. This versatility means that Brussels Airlines’ cheap flights to Palermo are always a great idea.


    What to do in Palermo?

    1. One of Palermo’s most popular nightlife attractions, the six-tiered behemoth that is Teatro Massimo, the Palermo Opera House, is the second-largest opera house in Europe. Before the show even starts, you will be enchanted by the craftsmanship, with the ceiling decoration being a particular highlight.
    2. Seeing the Cappella Palatina, or Palatine chapel, in the Palazzo dei Normanni, is one of the most popular things to do in Palermo. Queues are long but the interior is worth the wait. The exquisitely detailed Byzantine mosaics that decorate the walls and floors of this chapel recount tales from the old testament.
    3. The Palazzo dei Normanni itself is now home to the Sicilian regional parliament, and tours of the building are available all year round – visitors wishing to take the tour should check before travelling for available dates.
    4. Palermo, chapel of the Royal Palace
    5. Palermo Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a collage of various architectural styles following centuries of additions, restorations and rebuilding. The most impressive piece is the portico on the front façade – three arches reworked in the Catalan Gothic style, with one column dating back to when part of the original building was a mosque.
    6. Just south of the cathedral is the Ballarò market, the busiest market in Palermo – an excellent place to try local delicacies.
    7. For those wanting a slightly more unique Palermo holiday, the catacombs of the Cappuccini play host to the mummified bodies of over 9,000 people.
    8. If you’re looking to escape Palermo’s old town and the city centre, the white sandy beaches of Mondello are located just 11 km to the north. Accessible by bus or taxi, the waterfront is lined with restaurants, bars and amenities.
    9. Because of its location, Palermo is also the perfect launching pad to discover the rest of Sicily. From the airport, you’ll find transfers to Cefalu, Catania and Erice. Or book a guided tour to take you around these charming towns.

    Practical information for your trip to Palermo

    • Flights to Palermo via Brussels Airlines arrive at the Falcone Borsellino Airport, Palermo’s Airport, located 35 km west of the city. A taxi can be taken from outside the terminal, and the 45-minute journey should cost 35 euros. There are no train links to the airport, but a bus service is provided at a cost of 5.80 euros. The bus leaves every half an hour from 6:30 a.m. and stops at Piazza Castelnuovo or the Central Station.
    • Current local time in Palermo:  
    • Currency: Euro. It is a good idea to have some cash on you in Palermo, especially when paying in smaller cafés and restaurants.
    • Telephone calls and Wi-Fi: : +39. Wi-Fi is available at all major hotels and restaurants.
    • Electric sockets: Sockets in Italy use type C and F European dual-pronged plug sockets, with most having a voltage of 220-240 V.
    • Travel Information: All passengers should make sure to have a passport that is valid for the duration of their trip. Those travelling from outside of the EU should check for required visas. All information on visas and travel documents is available on the website: www.iatatravelcentre.com.
    • Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required when travelling from Europe. More health information is available on the website: www.iatatravelcentre.com.

    Dos and Don’ts in Palermo

    • When visiting places of religious importance, do wear appropriate clothing. Particularly at the cathedral and the chapel, you’ll be turned away if you are wearing shorts or skirts above the knee and your shoulders and chest aren’t covered.
    • Palermo is also an incredibly tolerant city. LGBT-friendly bars and restaurants have sprung up throughout the city, with the annual Pride and Queer Film Festivals being well supported, so do make sure to check out Visit Palermo’s website (www.visitpalermo.it) which has a dedicated LGBT tourism section.
    • If you are travelling as or with a person with disabilities, do be aware that lots of Palermo’s main tourist attractions are old, and as such are not easily accessible, particularly for wheelchair users.
    • Palermo is a great place to grab a map and just explore the city centre and port. However, the busy, winding streets in the city can be difficult to navigate. Do make sure to plan your routes before setting off.

    Local phrases & essential vocabulary

    While most people in the region speak Italian, the Sicilian dialect is influenced by Greek and Arabic, so some common phrases may sound slightly different. Here are a few simple phrases:

    • Come va? is the formal way of asking how someone is, and "Sto bene", grazie means “I’m fine, thank you.”
    • “Dove posso trovare la spiaggia, per favore?” means “Where can I find the beach, please?”.
    • If you ever find the language getting too complex you can always say “Più piano, per favore”, which is a useful phrase that means “could you speak more slowly, please”.

    Cultural events in Palermo

    • Mid-July. The festival of Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo, sees thousands of people partake in the procession which carries the saint’s remains through the city. There is a huge fireworks display and partying late into the night.
    • August. A 2-hour drive west of Palermo, Erice – an attractive mountainside town – plays host to one of the premier renaissance music festivals for three days.
    • 15th August. Ferragosto is a public holiday in Italy, celebrated in Palermo with events all over town.

    Palermo Cannoli siciliani

    When to go to Palermo?

    The heat of the southern Mediterranean summer is when most people book their holidays in Palermo. June to August see both temperatures and tourist numbers increase. Palermo itself is one of the hottest cities in Europe. To avoid both the high temperatures and the crowds, May and September both offer great weather for your Palermo visit, the sun is still hot with averages of 25 degrees Celsius, but it’s still cool enough to spend the day relaxing on the beach.

    What to eat in Palermo?

    Palermo’s cuisine is known for two things: street food and dolci (sweets).

    • Torta Setteveli, the seven veils cake, was invented in Palermo at the Pasticceria Cappello, and is now popular all over the city. Combining layers of chocolate and hazelnut with layers of pastry, this is the height of decadence.
    • The world-famous cannoli originated in Sicily. A crunchy outer shell of pastry filled with ricotta provides a small explosion of taste. Perfect on its own or to finish off a meal.
    • Arancini (rice balls), Stigghiola (skewered lamb innards), or Panelle are all fabulously tasty street food options.

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