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Tourist Places To Visit In Palermo
Palermo, one of the busiest cities in Sicily is visited by millions every year. Due to the weather being beautiful most times of the year, the city is quite a crowd puller. Palermo is known as the most conquered city in the world and has been ruled by many and offers an array of history and culture for its visitors. There are several tourist places to visit in Palermo which include ancient buildings, historical structures, and dramatic coastlines. This is a great place to soak in the culture and have fun at the same time. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting places to visit while you’re on your trip to Palermo.
An excellent representation of the history of various empires that have ruled the city of Palermo, the Palermo Cathedral is a combination of different styles of architecture. The cathedral has been remade several times and has also seen a mosque as well as a crypt. The interior of the cathedral is made of marble shell and has an Arab-Norman architectural style. Inside is a treasure chamber which is a prominent feature of the cathedral; it holds various artifacts from different eras of the church and also a tomb.
Palazzo dei Normanni
One of the oldest royal palaces in Europe, the Palace of the Normans or the Palazzo dei Normanni, was originally structured in the 9th Century and served as the main seat for the rulers and kings of Sicily. The Palace gives out a very official feel and is not very ornate. The central courtyard is the main characteristic of this Palace; it exhibits beautiful stone arches and decoration. The Moorish and the Norman influences are seen in the architecture of the structure’s exterior as well as interior.
Located at the center of Palermo city, the Capella Palatina or the Palantine Chapel is close to Pallazzo dei Normanni and is the best preserved example of Byzantine architecture. This structure was constructed in 1132 and dedicated to Saint Peter. There is a central basilica at the chapel which has a variety of Byzantine artwork. The stunning mosaics exhibit vibrancy, detail and beautiful colours. The architecture and artwork on the walls and ceilings are truly amazing and noteworthy.
Capuchin Abbey and Catacombs
The Capuchin Friars dates back to the 1500’s and the main characteristic of this abbey is the set of catacombs. The catacombs are a true marvel; you have to walk underground into big catacombs where you will see a variety of preserved bodies and burials from various eras. The Capuchin Monks would use embalming techniques to preserve the body for long periods of time to keep them in their original form. The catacombs contain more than 8000 bodies and are an absolute must visit for thrills.
Monte Pellegrino or Mount Pellegrino is the mountain range that sits right next to Palermo. It offers locals and tourists a chance to be close to nature and hike to the top to get some fresh air. Once you reach up there, you can witness stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the city. The mountain is only 9 miles from the center of the city and has regular bus service that will take you up top as well. However, the best way is to mingle with nature and climb these mountains and get a feel of the Sicilian Mountains.
The Quattro Canti is an open square which has a very simple design but at the same time is absolutely gorgeous. It was constructed in 1608 in the center of the city and the architecture of it is what makes it famous. There is a semi circular face at each corner that contains marble columns, statues of various important leaders and rulers of Palermo and inscriptions. The design and symmetry of the architecture, gives you a feel of Renaissance Italy.
The Fontana Pretoria is a monumental foundation that was built in 1554 in the center of Piazza Pretoria. The structure was built by a Florentine architect and was later transferred to Palermo in 1574. Twelve Olympians have been depicted as marble statues on the fountain and each statue is well decorated and sculpted that complements the centerpiece. Besides thse statues, there are various statues of rivers and animals of Palermo as well.
Inaugurated in 1897, Teatro Massimo is the largest Opera house in Italy. It is renowned for its acoustic qualities and many concerts and events are held due to the same. The exterior of the palace looks like a palace and the interiors are even more lavish. You can take a guided tour of the beautiful building including the auditorium and its boxes. The structure is vast and truly opulent, something you must see, if you are interested in amazing architecture.