Palermo is an enchanting city full of history and culture, a mixture of colors, flavors and traditions. The evocative monuments, beautiful churches, magnificent baroque and Arab-Norman palaces, the picturesque street markets and its charming historical center (one of the largest in Europe) rich of contrast, will require a few days visit. Many and varied possibilities offered by the city, from visits to the many museums, to the walks along the streets of the city, to the excursions in the surrounding area, and to the eno-gastronomic and tourism itineraries in the innumerable resorts.
The magnificent and imposing Cathedral with its composite style unique in the world; the Royal Palace, or the Normans Palace, with inside the magnificent Cappella Palatina with its splendid Byzantine mosaics; the Four Corners, or Quattro Canti, ancient crossroads of the old city; the Pretoria Square with the majestic "fountain of shame"; the Zisa Castle in Arabic style with its beautiful garden; the Castle of Cuba; the Catacombs of the Capuchins, located inside the convent; the magnificent Theatre Massimo and Theatre Politeama and much more.
Palermo is also called "The City of Churches" thanks to the countless beautiful churches located in the city. The following are the best-known churches: The Church of St. Joseph of Teatini, near the Quattro Canti, with its wonderful interiors decorated in baroque style; the Church of Santa Maria Spasimo, in which you can admire the remains and where often, thanks to the excellent acoustics, are made concerts of classical and modern music; the beautiful Basilica of the Mansion or Basilica della Magione, located in the homonymous square, with its characteristic architectural form; the Martorana Church or Church of Martorana, and the Church of San Cataldo, are facing each other and are two masterpieces of art with their interior décor of rare beauty; the magnificent Church of St. Catherine with its rich interior décor with marble, stucco, sculptures and frescoes; the Church of Jesus or Casa Professa, with its colorful interior decorations. Many other churches to visit such as the Church of the Holy Saviour, the Church of San Francesco di Paola, the Church of Santa Maria della Catena, the Church of Santa Cita, the Church of San Domenico with its beautiful facade, the church of San John Lepers, the Church of St. John of the Hermits and many other beautiful churches in the city.
The Museum of Modern Art hosted at Palazzo Belmonte Riso; the Gallery of Modern Art of Sant'Anna located in the homonymous square; the Museum of Regional Gallery of Sicily hosted in the charming Palace Abatellis; the Antonio Salinas Archaeological Museum; the Sicilian Ethnographic Museum of Giuseppe Pitre; the Museum of Art and Archaeology of Ignazio Mormino; the International Puppet Museum of Antonio Pasqualino with a rich collection of puppets and marionettes of various ages from all over the world; the Museum of the Risorgimento Vittorio Emanuele Orlando; the Museum of Islamic Art; the Museum of Palazzo Zino and more.
Palermo is full of beautiful villas and gardens in which relax by taking a nice walk in a truly unique atmosphere. Among the most important we include the Botanic Garden and the magnificent Villa Giulia; the lovely English Garden in front of the Villa Trabia; Villino Florio; the Philippine Villa; the Parco d'Orleans; the Villa Malfitano and many other.
Must for those visiting the city are the traditional and famous street markets of Palermo. The market of Ballarò, Vuccirìa, Capo and Borgo Vecchio.
Near Palermo you can easily reach the beautiful Parco della Favorita; the renowned seaside resort of Mondello with its lovely beach, the fishing village and the nearby Reserve of Capo Gallo; Addaura, a seaside resort set like a gem in the enchanting natural Reserve of Monte Pellegrino; Sferracavallo with its beautiful beaches and the delightful fishing village; Capaci with its equipped beaches, the Island of the Females or Isola delle Femmine, with its magnificent beaches with view on the island; the majestic and imposing Mount Pellegrino, praised by Goethe, with on top the fascinating Shrine of Santa Rosalia, dedicated to the patron saint of the city, and the beautiful "Belvedere" offers a beautiful panorama that stands out from Palermo to the Gulf of Mondello.
We strongly recommend to taste the many delights of typical Sicilian fast food or proper "eat street":
The "Arancine rice" are balls of rice, flavored "meat sauce" with meat and peas or "butter" with ham and cheese, fried in a thick oil bath and served warm;
The "Pieces Rotisserie Sicilian", varied and numerous, sweet and savory, fried or baked, are the typical Sicilian snack. Among the most famous we mention the calzoni stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella, the small pizzas, the ravazzate stuffed with meat sauce and peas, iris stuffed with cream of ricotta and sugar-coated, cartocci stuffed with with ricotta cream, croissants, the bombs or Krapen filled with ricotta cream or custard or chocolate cream, the focaccia flavored and much more;
The "Sfincione" in Sicilian dialect called "u 'sfinciuni" is a thick but delicate pizza seasoned with tomato sauce, caciocavallo cheese, olive oil, bread crumbs, onions and anchovies;
The "Bread with spleen", called "pani ca 'meusa", served in a bun inside with a mixture of spleen, lung and trachea cooked and served with cheese or ricotta cheese;
The "Bread with croquettes and panelle" is a sandwich with "panelle and croquettes", made by frying the chickpea flour, and frying potato croquettes or "cazzilli", made by frying potatoes with parsley or sometimes with mint;
The "Bread consato" said "pani cunzatu", is a bread seasoned with salt, olive oil, tomatoes and cheese slivers of caciocavallo, but that is different in condiments depending on location;
The "Stigghiola" is a serpentine of calf sweetbreads braided with green stems of scallions, skewered on a spit, roasted over charcoal and seasoned with salt and lemon, a delight;
The "Quarume" or "Caldume" or "Ziniere or Zinienu", are boiled calf sweetbreads and you can find it in the popular markets such as the Cape;
The "Boiled octopus" said "purpu vugghiutu", is a simple dish consisting of baby octopus boiled for hours and served hot and seasoned with salt and lemon.
For more information, you will receive special insider tips from the manager of the B&B Villa Addaura.
Some of the best dishes, typical of Sicilian and Palermo cuisine, highly recommended are:
The "Pasta alla norma" consists of pasta with a sauce made with tomato, olive oil, basil, with the addition of fried eggplant and salted ricotta;
The "Pasta with sardines", called "pasta chi sarde", consists of pasta, bucatini or spaghetti, served with a sauce made from sardines, bread crumbs, pine nuts, wild fennel and olive oil;
The "Pasta with anchovies", called "pasta c'anciova", is made up of pasta with tomato sauce sautéed with garlic, raisins, pine nuts and anchovies mashed, everything is covered with toasted breadcrumbs. You hear the pleasant contrast of sweet toasted breadcrumbs with the strong flavor of anchovies;
The "Pasta with broccoli", called "pasta chi sparaciddati", is a typical dish from Palermo consists of spaghetti with a sauce made from broccoli, sardines fillets, garlic, chili, caciocavallo cheese or pecorino cheese grated and extra virgin olive 'oil, a delight for the palate;
The "Pasta with tenerumi", called "pasta chi tenerumi", is a typical summer dish and consists of a soup with noodles broken up into small pieces, soft leaves of the plant courgettes, tomato pieces, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt;
The "Pasta with pistachios pesto" is a delicious dish consisting of spaghetti with a sauce made with pistachios of Bronte, walnut kernel, basil leaves, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and olive oil;
The "Anelletti baked" are a must in the Palermo cuisine, the dish consists of pasta, rigorously anelletti, minced meat mixture, tomato, onion, carrots, celery, peas, Parmesan cheese, parsley and bay leaf. Everything is baked and served in portions, ultra recommended;
The "Pasta with squid ink" is a delicious dish made with bucatini or linguine topped with a sauce made of tomato, squid ink, garlic and parsley;
The "Pasta with sea urchin" is a tasty dish consisting of spaghetti with a sauce made of sea urchins, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley;
The "Sarde beccafico" are a delicacy of Sicilian cuisine and are made up of sardines fillets rolled with a filling inside of breadcrumb, cheese, eggs, pine nuts, parsley and passoline;
The "Parmigiana" is a main dish, a veritable symphony of flavors. The dish is made up of eggplant, fresh tomato, onion, cheese, pecorino cheese and fresh basil. Everything is prepared in the oven and served hot, very tasty;
The "Meat kebabs" are part of the tradition of Palermo and consist of slices of meat wrapped with inside bread crumbs, cheese, pine nuts and passoline. They are stuck in a skewer with onion and bay leaf, covered by breadcrumbs and roasted on the grill or in the oven;
The "Swordfish rolls" are one of the most common dish in Sicily. Are prepared by rolling fillets of swordfish with inside bread crumbs with chopped anchovies, pine nuts, passoline, parsley and cheese, everything is put in the oven and served hot;
There are many other dishes typical of Sicilian cuisine that you can enjoy in one of many restaurants or taverns of Palermo. We will suggest the best restaurants in which to enjoy all the best that our gastronomy has to offer.
We list some of the most famous delicacies of typical Sicilian pastry:
The "Sicilian Cannolo" is one of the most representative Sicilian sweet, is served cold and is composed of a "cannolo" stuffed with cream of ricotta cheese from sheep and strictly fresh, drops of dark chocolate, with two glacé cherries and a slice of candied orange peel, or are coated with a grit of pistachios of Bronte;
The "Cassata" is the traditional Sicilian cake and deserves a place of honor among the desserts of Palermo. The cake is made with layers of marzipan and fresh sheep ricotta, drops of dark chocolate, all covered with a sugar glaze and decorated with various types candied fruit;
The "Cassatelle" called "cassateddi", not to be confused with the Sicilian cassata, are typical sweets from the province of Trapani, prepared by stuffing wheat pastry rolled with cream of ricotta cheese and dark chocolate drops, everything is wrapped in pastry, fried and served hot with powdered sugar on top;
The "Cake Setteveli" is a real delight composed of seven layers of crunchy chocolate, hazelnut mousse, Bavarian dark chocolate and sponge cake with cocoa, all wrapped in a chocolate glaze;
The "Cake Setteveli with pistach" is composed of seven layers of crunchy chocolate, hazelnut mousse, Bavarian dark chocolate and pistach, sponge cake with cocoa, all wrapped in a pistach glaze;
The "Fruit Martorana" are sweets in the form of fruit, artistically colored, made of almond flour and sugar;
The "Gelo di mellone" is another of the delights of traditional Sicilian pastries. The cake is made up of a small tart filled with frost of watermelon with on top drops of dark chocolate, granulated pistachios, vanilla and jasmine flowers as decoration lying above;
The "Diplomatico" is a delicious sweet of ancient tradition consists of puff pastry, cream of ricotta cheese, dark chocolate drops, sponge cake and icing sugar, everything is spread in layers and covered with a layer of sugar;
The "Sfincia of St. Joseph" is a sweet made of a very soft pastry filled with cream of ricotta cheese and dark chocolate drops, decorated with candied fruit (an orange peel and a cherry) and dusted with granulated pistach;
The "Sfincia", not to be confused with the sfincia of St. Joseph, is prepared stuffing wheat pastry with cream of ricotta cheese, everything is wrapped in pastry, fried and served warm topped with powdered sugar;
The "Buccellato", called "cucciddatu", consists of a big donut filled with a paste of dried figs, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios.
There are numerous typical Sicilian sweet, we will suggest the best pastry shops in which go to enjoy all kinds of delight.