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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Palermo, an old city in Italy, is famous for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy. Palermo’s ancient city was once the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily before both were merged to form the Two Sicilies following the Italian Unification of 1860. The city took time to transform into a highly sought after tourist attraction with its metropolitan area being the fifth most populated in Italy. Occupants of Palermo are referred to as Palermitans and the Sicilian language is their lingua franca. Palermo is also one of the world’s most religious cities with most Palermitans being Roman Catholics.  

There are numerous places to stay in Palermo, from the luxurious 5 star hotels to intercontinental hotels to low budget inns. Touring around is one way to exploit the rich historical city of Palermo, and by doing so you’ll have a chance to catch glimpses of its many Norman buildings as well as appreciate its noteworthy architectural heritage.

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Why visit Palermo ?

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Famous for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy

There couldn’t be a better place to relax than at Palermo’s lovely beaches

Taking a Palermo vacation in July enables you to partake in the city’s biggest social event, which is held on June the 15th. The event commemorates the city’s Saint Rosalia’s feast day; Saint Rosalia is Palermo’s patron saint. The city is usually packed full with tourists who troop in from far and wide. An area in the heart of Palermo, Vucciria, hosts a significant number of visitors who engage themselves in an exchange of colourful fruits, fishes, vegetables and other goods.  

Whilst staying in Palermo you should grab every opportunity to visit at least one of the city’s Opera Houses, such as Teatro Massimo or The Teatro Politeama. The former is Italy’s largest theatre and is 8,000 square metres in area. The latter is now the town’s Gallery of Modern Art. Another sight worth mentioning is the Cathedral, which apart from its architectural designs also has a heliometer (solar ‘observatory’) which was built in 1690. So much has been said about this magnificent device but only catching a life picture of it will convince you of its awesome magnificence! Make sure you don’t miss seeing the Capuchin Catacombs, which houses numerous mummified corpses at different levels of preservation.  

To see an aerial view of the city, its surroundings and the ocean, you could climb up the Monte Pellegrino which is 600m height.  

Tourists usually enjoy shopping in Palermo and the city boasts of high quality goods such as brightly coloured rugs and carpets, marbled paper, leather produce, hand painted ceramics with floral patterns, gold and silver, coral jewellery, trinkets and lace. You’ll also find nice and affordable food products, including local sweets and pastries, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, olives and preserved roasted vegetables.  

There couldn’t be a better place to relax than at Palermo’s lovely beaches. Agrigento is the city’s most convenient public beach to unwind on. Another is Favignana, which you’ll find at the edge of the town. If you enjoy chilling at a crowded beach then go to Lipari which is north of Taormina. Here you’ll have several beaches to choose from.

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