Here’s my little travel guide of Palermo. Enjoy!
WHERE TO EAT
Mercato del Capo (via Cappuccinelle)
Mercato di Ballarò (Ballarò area)
Palermo is famous for street food. I suggest you to ask for some of their typical sandwiches and flat breads. You won’t regret.
Trattoria ai Cascinari (Via D’Ossuna, 43/45)
Typical Sicilian restaurant with a great selection of wines and desserts.
Kus Kus (Piazza Virgilio, 9)
The place where the Arabic influences meet Sicilian kitchen. Their fish cous-cous is just woaw.
Via Roma Vecchia (Via Ortolani di Bordonaro Carlo, 76, Cefalù) 40 minutes from Palermo by train. The restaurant has a stunning view on the sea. Ask for a table on the terrace.
WHAT TO SEE
Botanical Garden (Via Lincoln, 2)
It’s one of the most beautiful botanical gardens I’ve ever seen. Some areas are a bit messy, but that’s part of its charm.
Cattedrale di Palermo (Corso Vittorio Emanuele)
No words needed. Let’s just say that the cathedral has been a mosque from 831 to 1072 so the arabic influences in the decor are huge. You can also go on the rooftop of the cathedral and enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the city.
Teatro Massimo (Piazza Verdi)
I couldn’t visit the inside because of the lack of time, but it needs to be seen at least from the outside.
Catacombe dei Cappuccini (Piazza Cappuccini)
That place is kinda creepy, but very fascinating. Inside the catacombs you can see one of the world’s most famous mummies conserved with the contribution of the National Geographic.
(I warn you, it could be disturbing since it’s a mummy of a 2 year old girl who died more than 90 years ago).
Palazzo Reale (Piazza Indipendenza, 1)
The royals rooms are stunning, but they are nothing if compared to the magnificent Cappella Palatina at the first floor.
Mondello (15 minutes from Palermo by bus)
The Hamptons of Palermo citizens.
Mercato delle Pulci (near Piazza del Papireto)
Old treasures, pieces of furniture that smell like Sicily. I promised myself I will come back there one day and buy their typical tiles for my bathroom and an entire wrought iron garden set.
WHERE TO BUY
Except for the flea market I mentioned above, there aren’t precise shopping destinations in Palermo. You need to get lost in the city’s little streets to find the majolicas boutique you were looking for, but trust me, that’s worth it.
WHAT TO DO
Order a pane e panelle (sandwich with chickpea flour omelette) and eat it while walking through the colored and rowdy stands of a market (see “Where to eat”).
Let a native talk you -literally- for hours about the charming stories of Palermo.
Get lost, take a bus, get lost again, let the bus driver make an exceptional stop so you can go visit that little church he suggested you to go to.
Take a train for a last minute trip to one of the wonderful villages near the city (I went to Cefalù and Mondello and left my heart there).
Ph Sara Ottavia Carolei
See more photos of my trip here.