Palermo Holidays

Gloriously unconventional and slightly disheveled in a charmingly Italian way, Sicily's capital city is a melting pot of cultures and architecture, in fact one saying is that Palermo is 'the most European of North Africa's cities'!. This is a vibrant, colourful and chaotic city full of contrasts, with elegant palazzos, noisy street markets but also stylish modern boutiques. Start with a wander around the old centre, which fans out from the main crossroads of the Quattro Canti, from where the four main quarters of the city begin. There's much to see and do in both the city itself and on day trips out and car hire can be taken for part of your stay. Palermo can also easily be combined with other destinations in Sicily to make a great multi-centre holiday.

Inghams operate a telephone Rep service in Palermo.

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Set within a striking and renovated 18th century palace in the very centre of Palermo, the Hotel Porta Felice is more than just a magnificent building. With the stellar care of its friendly team and exceptional location close to the Cathedral, town markets and botanical gardens, this property is everything you could want when staying in Palermo whether you're there to explore the historical streets and shopping districts or relax with a hot stone massage. 

Things To Do

Cathedral of Palermo

This beautiful architectural monument was built by the Normans in 1184. Today you’ll see the stratification of styles over the centuries from Gothic to Medieval, Arabic to Neoclassical. Marvel at the ornate exterior or head inside to see the precious gold, silver and emerald objects in the treasury, head up to the terraces to admire views across Palermo or visit the royal imperial tombs.

Ancient Street Markets

One of the city’s greatest strengths is its street food. Two of the best and most authentic markets in Palermo are Ballarò and Capo. They are a doorway into the past where you’ll find ancient Sicilian traditions, hear the merchants speaking the dialetto stretto (local dialect) and see all of colorful produce.

Theatro Massimo

This is one of the most important opera houses in Italy, renowned for its perfect acoustics. Performances still take place, from opera to dance. If opera isn’t your thing it’s well worth a visit for its architecture alone. Guided tours run daily and are a great way to discover the hidden gems that adorn the building.

Monreale

This historic hill-town just outside Palermo is famous for its gold mosaics and beautiful Norman Cathedral. The ornately decorated cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is home to magnificent examples of art and architecture that demonstrate the Byzantine, Norman and Islamic influences that make up the history and culture of Sicily.

Villa Trabia

This 18th Century Villa is located in the centre of Palermo and is surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens with fountains and Mediterranean plants. It’s a little oasis in the heart of the city. Watch out for festivals and cultural events taking place here during the summer months. Head inside and you’ll feel the grandeur of Palermo at the turn of the century. Explore the art library and reading room, before taking a stroll through the lovely gardens outside.

Norman Palace

Palazzo dei Notmanni was the seat of the Kings of Sicily during its Norman domination and became the main seat for the subsequent rulers and remains so to this day.

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Take to the road and drive through the lush landscapes of Sicily, laden with olive groves, vineyards and lemon and olive orchards. Explore ancient towns and stunning coastlines, sampling the best of Sicilian cuisine as you go. 

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Enjoy a 14 night self-drive adventure through Sicily learning about its diverse cultural heritage, rich history and delicious local cuisine. 

Good to Know 

  • Visit the oldest traditional street markets in Italy: Capo, Ballarò, Vucciria or Borgo Vecchio 
  • Try authentic Sicilian foods such as arancini and pastries like canolli
  • Walk among the beautiful Byzantine mosaics of Palermo inside the palace of the Normans 
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