Palermo is an extremely lively and exciting city, that is quintessentially Mediterranean. As Sicily was taken over during the centuries by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabians, Spaniards they have each left remarkable evidence of their presence and of their civilizations. On this walk you will explore some of the city highlights as well as some of the hidden gems. Our itinerary start from the waterfront, immerging ourselves into Sicilian art by starting with the visit to Palazzo Abatellis.
From here, we’ll walk some of the most iconic parts of the city to visit the Palazzo dei Normanni, a XI century former fortress now seat of the Parliament of Sicily, although part of Italy, Sicily has been granted larger independence and elects its own regional parliament. Here there is the cappella Palatina an amazing result of the middle ages “melting pot”. It saw Arabs, Jews, Christians all living and creating art together in Palermo under the Normans and the Swebian rulers in XII and XIII centuries. The Chapel is a glittering treasure-chest like room, packed with fine art and Kufic inscription next to Christian mosaics. You can easily be overwhelmed by its beauty, it’s probably the closest experience of heaven you’ll ever get in this life. We will end our tour with a stroll to the richly baroque decorated Cathedral and the Teatro Massimo, one of the world’s largest Opera House, that was the set for the final scene of the movie “The Godfather Part III”.
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