Designed by Roger II in 1130, this chapel is the greatest tourist attraction of Palermo. Located on the middle amount of Palazzo dei Normanni’s three-tiered loggia, its glittering gold mosaics are matched with inlaid marble floors and a wooden muqarnas ceiling, the latter a masterpiece of Arabic-style honey-comb carving reflecting Norman Sicily’s cultural complexity.
Palazzo dei Normanni
Home this cosmopolitan palace, to Sicily parliament dates back to the 9th century. However, it owes its current look (and name) to a leading Norman makeover, even during which spectacular mosaics were added to its royal apartments and magnificent chapel, the Cappella Palatina. Visits to the apartments, which are off limits from Tuesday on Thursday, take from the mosaic-lined Sala dei Venti and King Roger’s 12th century bedroom, Sala di Ruggero II.
Cattedrale di Palermo
A feast of patterns crenellations, maiolica cupolas and blind personalities, Palermo’s cathedral has suffered visually from various re workings over the centuries, however, remains a prime example of Sicily’s exceptional architectural design that was Arab-Norman. The inside, while impressive in scale, is fundamentally a marble shell whose many interesting features would be the royal Norman tombs (to the left as you enter), the treasury (home to Constance of Aragon’s gem-encrusted 13th-century crown) and the panoramic views from the roof.
Chiesa e Monastero di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria
Transformed into a Dominican convent the century and built as a hospice in 14th century, that complicated amalgamated with its maiolica cloister, punctuated by Sicilian sculptor Ignazio Marabitti by an 18thcentury fountain and surrounded by balconied cells. The convent’s rooftop terraces provide views of city and the piazzas, as the church interior harbours works by artists, among them Vito D’Anna Filippo Randazzo and Antonello Gagini.
Galleria Regionale della Sicilia
Housed in the stately Palazzo Abatellis, this art museum regarded as Palermo’s best — showcases functions Sicilian musicians dating from the Middle Ages .” Certainly one of its best treasures is Trionfo della morte (Triumph of Death), a magnificent fresco (artist not known ) by which Death is symbolized as a demonic skeleton mounted on a horse that is wasted, brandishing a wicked-looking scythe whilst jump over his hapless victims.
Palazzina Cinese & Parco della Favorita
Once a retreat for his spouse Maria Carolina and King Ferdinand IV, this pavilion illustrates the popularity of’Asian exotica’ at 18th century Europe. Chinese, Egyptian, Islamic and Pompeiian motifs decorate its various chambers, with special highlights including a trompe l’oeil’collapsed’ ceiling by Giuseppe Velazquez and a nifty dining table joined to the kitchen below via an elevator. To arrive here, catch bus 107 into Piazza Giovanni Paolo II and bus 615 or 645 to Duca degli Abruzzi — Palazzina Cinese.
Pinacoteca Villa Zito
Elegant 18thcentury Villa Zito houses a set of mainly art crossing the 17th to 20th centuries. You’ll find a number of intriguing historical depictions of Palermo, Many paintings from Ettore De Maria Bergler (considered the foremost Italian painter of the Liberty age ), as well as functions by 20th Century Heavy Weights Ugo Attardi, Fausto Pirandello, Filippo De Pisis, Carlo Carrà and Renato Guttuso.
Overtaking 20 years to complete, Palermo’s neo-classical opera house is the roughest in Europe and currently the largest in Italy. The closing scene of The Godfather: Part III, having its visually arresting juxtaposition of high civilization, crime, drama and death, was filmed here and the building’s richly decorated interiors are nothing short of spectacular. Guided 30-minute tours can be obtained through the day from German, Italian, French, Spanish and English.
Mercato di Ballarò
Snaking for several city blocks southeast of Palazzo dei Normanni is the most busy street market, which throbs with activity well into early evening of Palermo. It’s a fascinating mixture of sounds, smells and street lifestyle, and the lowest place for everything out of Chinese cushioned dolls to fresh produce, fish, beef, olives and cheese — smile nicely for un assaggio (a preference ).
Housed in basements of 14th-century Palazzo Chiaromonte Steri and the lower floors, this fascinating museum investigates the heritage of the Inquisition. Countless’heretics’ were detained here between 1601 and 1782; the honeycomb of prior cells has been painstakingly restored to disclose a number of layers of their graffiti and artwork (religious and otherwise). Visits are one-hour guided tour ran in English and departing roughly every 40 to 60 minutes.
On the southern side of Piazza Bellinithis luminously beautiful 12th century church was endowed by King Roger’s Syrian emir,” George of Antioch, and was originally planned as being a mosque. Delicate Fatimid pillars encourage a cupola constituting Christ enthroned amid his archangels. The inside is best appreciated in the early hours, when the magnificent Byzantine mosaics are illuminated by sun.
Oratorio di Santa Cita
This chapel showcases the stuccowork of all Giacomo Serpotta, that introduced rococo to Sicilian churches. Note that the fancy Battle of Lepanto on the entry wall. Depicting the Christian victory stucco curtains held by means of a throw of smart cherubs modelled on the street urchins of Palermo framed it. Serpotta’s virtuosity also dominates both walls, where sculpted white stucco figures carry gilded blades, protects and also a lute, and also a gold snake (Serpotta’s emblem ) curls round an image frame.
Museo Archeologico Regionale Antonio Salinas
This splendid museum houses a number of Sicily’s most valuable Greek and Roman artefacts, including the crown jewel: a collection of decorative friezes from the temples in Selinunte of the museum. Other important finds from the museum’s collection comprise Phoenician sarcophagi from the 5th century BC, Greek carvings in Himera, the Hellenistic Ariete di bronzo di Siracusa (Bronze Ram of Syracuse), Etruscan mirrors and the most significant collection of ancient anchors on the planet.
Oratorio di San Lorenzo
Even the Oratory of St Lawrence features stuccowork that is magnificent by master rococo sculptor Giacomo Serpotta. Capturing scenes from the lives of St Lawrence and St Francis, the job is maintained in company by an Antonino Grano — built side benches and marble floor with ivory and motherofpearl inlaying. Above the altar is actually a reproduction of Caravaggio’s The Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence, stolen from within 1969 but one of those FBI’s top unsolved art crimes.
Chiesa di San Giuseppe dei Teatini
At the southwestern corner of the Quattro Canti is the 17th-century church, topped by an elegant cupola designed by Giuseppe Mariani and flanked by the two lower orders of Paolo Amato’s pristine campanile (bell tower). Significantly restored after suffering damage in WWII, its enormous baroque interior comprises Filippo Tancredi’s scenes from the life of St Gaetano capping the nave and Flemish painter Guglielmo Borremans’ Triumph of St Andrea Avellino gracing the dome.
Officially titled Piazza Vigliena, the tasteful intersection of Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda is known as the Quattro Canti. Marking the epicentre of the city, a group of curvilinear facades that evaporate up to the vault of the skies in a smart display of view frames the intersection. Each facade lights up subsequently throughout the course of the afternoon, landing it that the nick name Il Teatro del Sole (Theatre of sunlight ).
Galleria d’Arte Moderna
This lovely, wheelchair-accessible museum has been set at a 15th-century palazzo, which metamorphosed into a convent at the 17th century. Divided over three floor, the selection of 19th- and 20th century art focuses on Sicilian works you need to comprise sets. There exists a significant museum shop, as well as a schedule of exhibitions that are modern-art. Audioguides cost $4.
Chiesa di San Domenico
The current Chiesa di San Domenico was constructed in 1640 following design of architect Andrea Cirrincione; the facade was inserted following the buildings that once occupied the square were built to grant a few space to the church. Entered from the side of the nave, the gorgeous 13th century cloister dates from the initial Dominican monastery which stood on the site.
Museo Diocesano di Palermo
The Diocesan Museum of palermo is home to an important collection of artworks. The cellar hosts a medley of sculptures from the 15th to 18th centuries, including works by Antonello Gagini and Renaissance artists Francesco Laurana. The 1st floor occupies 12 halls of the Archbishop’s Palace, also provided with Flemish and Italian paintings by the 16th to 19th centuries. Do not miss the Sala Beccadelli, surrounded by also the Cappella Borremans and a ceiling, lavished with frescoes by painter Guglielmo Borremans.
Only off Piazza Marina, this palazzo is just one of the very few in Palermo open to the general public. Dating back to the 17th century, the building will be offering people a glimpse of the extravagant, lost world of their Sicilian nobility, and functioned for 3 years. Englishlanguage booklets provide information for people.
Museo Internazionale delle Marionette
This whimsical memorial homes around 4000 marionettes, puppets, glove puppets and shadow characters from Naples and Sicily, in addition to from places such as China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India and Africa. The museum’s delightfully decorated conventional theatre — detailed using hand-cranked music system — stages puppet shows (adult/child $10/5) many afternoons at the summer time and on Friday afternoons through the rest of the year.
Certainly one of Palermo palaces is an impressive, multi faceted ethnic centre. One-hour guided tours (email ahead for english language tours) depart every half an hour and take from the Fondazione Sicilia Library, crowned by Ignazio Moncada di Paternò’s bold contemporary fresco, in addition to the Monte di Santa Rosalia, a spectacular, timber framed exhibition space which houses a significant collection of traditional Sicilian pupi (puppets). The groundfloor archaeological collection asserts over 4750 objects, a lot discovered at the ruins of Selinunte.
A showcase of Liberty architecture, set in a 9-hectare (22-acre) formal garden planted with rare and exotic species, this villa is most notable for its whimsical interior decoration, that contains a’Summer Room’ with walls painted to resemble a whirlpool, and a music room draped with 15th-century tapestries displaying the Aeneid. It’s a 20-minute walk west out of Piazza Castelnuovo.
Chiesa del Gesù
Also called Casa Professa, that is only one of Palermo’s most churches that are breath taking. The Jesuits first built a church on this site between 1578 and 1564. After suffering major bomb damage in 20, incorporated into a larger church at 1633, the construction was revived. While the church’s facade exhibits relative restraint of the 16th century, its transept, apses and dome burst with extravagance. The dome’s vault is decorated with a fresco.
Fringed by imposing churches and buildings, the over-the-top Fontana Pretoria, one of the major landmarks of Palermo dominates Piazza Pretoria. The fountain’s tiered basins ripple out from circles, leaping river gods, tritons and crowded with naked nymphs. Such flagrant nudity established a bit much for Sicilian churchgoers, who prudishly dubbed it that the Fontana della Vergogna (Fountain of Shame).
The disparate architectural styles and eras of these buildings adorning this glorious piazza should by rights be visually pleasing, however in reality contribute to a space that is community that is wonderfully harmonious. The piazza’s eastern border is adorned with the beautiful Teatro Bellini (Bellini Theatre).
Oratorio dei Bianchi
The 16th century’Oratory of this Whites’ obtained its nick name against the snowy gowns worn by its religious guild, whose associates comforted offenders before their execution from the 3 days. It houses a wooden terrace that is 10th-century from the Arab citadel that burst , the gate whereby the Normans invaded and defeated Palermo. In addition, it houses beautiful stuccoes by master rococo sculptor Giacomo Serpotta.
Chiesa Capitolare di San Cataldo
This church in Arab-Norman style is one of the most buildings of Palermo. Together with blind arcading, solid shape, its dusky-pink bijou domes and delicate tracery, it illustrates the forming of both Norman and Arab architectural fashions. The interior, while rustic, remains amazing, with its floor and lovely rock and brick work.
The thing that was once a row of dull apartment blocks is its trio of outstanding murals part of this Pangrel initiative, a veritable gallery. On the left is artist Camilla Falsini’s playful depiction of Frederick II, crowned king at Palermo in 1198. The arresting portrait of a African woman is by duo Rosk e Loste, as the mural to the right of itby Mbre Fats, is inspired by Palermo’s 15th-century fresco Trionfo della morte (Triumph of Death).
Chiesa di Sant’Agostino
The Capo quarter’s centrepiece is that the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino and its adjacent monasterythat conducted the location. There increased A glorious the late-13th-century facade of the church is embellished by window. Though this is not his work, Indoors, a make-over saw that the accession of stuccowork by the amazing Giacomo Serpotta.