"Sicilian capital on the up" Top 5 Page for this destination Palermo by Paisleypaul

Palermo Travel Guide: 561 reviews and 1,593 photos

Palermo - Return of the King ?

Palermo, population 750,000, is the capital of the island of Sicilia, on the North coast of the island. Greek, Roman, Norman and Arab influences blend, and sometimes clash, in a mix of tastes as pronounced in the human sense as in the culinary one. Known for half a century for being in a state of decay, government money was creamed off by the Mafia. Any up to date guide book will document how the tide has now turned - there is even a large civic monument to the downfall of the Cosa Nostra. Many beautiful buildings and monuments have now thankfully been cleaned up and restored, there is also still quite some way to go. Palermo is like a boxer who has hit the canvas but after a count of 40 or 50 years has come up fighting.

See also my related pages - Mondello (beach), Monreale (half-day trip) & Cefalu (resort a short train ride away)

Diverse views -

This is the Stazione Centrale, Piazza Gulio Cesare, from the bottom of Via Roma.........


.... a contrast with the nearby Porta Sant Agata.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Cuisine Wine Sun architecture arts good base for North coast
  • Cons:Insane traffic, constant siren noise, ongoing 'facelifts'
  • In a nutshell:Worth a visit - moreso in years to come with the makeover underway
  • Last visit to Palermo: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (19)

Comments (7)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Maybe one day we get to Sicily-but in meantime, thanks for the nice tips and pictures. Hard to believe a shortage of water, but there are few rivers in those hills.

  • cilli's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    Thank you for the wonderful info. We will be visiting Palermo in February and your hints will be most helpful.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    Loved Palermo - we too missed the puppets ...another reason to go back one day.

  • Oct 19, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Myself and friends stayed at rhe Hotel del Centro recently, and they had no problem with payment by credit card (though not not a mixture of card and cash!)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2006 at 12:27 PM

    Just planning a brief visit to Palermo next month, so thanks for all the helpful tips Paul, especially on restaurants :-) Sarah

  • Propermark's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2006 at 3:24 AM

    Hello Paul! Your pages about my hometown are great.. your tips are well written & useful! But in Palermo we're about 1 million inhabitants even though the guides say less:))

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2006 at 8:49 AM

    Enjoyed all these Palermo pages - great photos. Mondello was my first residence in Italy in 2004 - great seeing all this. Ciao, Carol


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