Historical and Sites to Visit

► Palermo is synonym of one of the most prestigious cities in the Mediterranean, as well as the capital of Sicily. It rises in a wonderful inlet on the island's northern coast. Palermo's history dates back to the 8th - 7th centuries BC, at the time of the Phoenicians from Carthage and was called Ziz (flower). After several civil fights which broke out throughout the centuries, Palermo and all Sicily were annexed once and for all, to the crown of Aragona.

► One of the most popular traditions in Palermo is “the ancient myth of the flames”, which announces Saint Joseph's feast day. Everybody piles up old furniture, tables, objects and any sort of things and then they burn all this stuff in one big bonfire, around which kids run ang jump, singing praise to Saint Joseph. This custom is linked to the cult of the sun. In fact, fire helps you chase off harmful forces, greeting the arrival of spring (the day coincides with the vernal equinox) and wishing the town a new positive season. Among the most suggestive monuments, which enrich the landscape, there is our majestic Cathedral with its Treasure, where several artworks are preserved. The Palatine Chapel, characterized by its gold and mosaics and Cappuccini catacombs with (ma che significa con?) the Regional Archaeological Museum. Politeama Garibaldi and Massimo theatres among the best in the world. The history of every quarter is full of misteries. They are linked to the Arab-Norman-Turkish (in italiano c'è scritto turcha)-Spanish dominations and each of them expresses a nature that has remained in its inhabitants throughout the centuries.

Some things to visit in Palermo

1 The largest historic centre in Europe (it is controversial but on the record of UNESCO it is the largest one. It competes with Lisbona’s centre).

2 In Palermo there is the oldest paper document in Europe. It is the bilingual letter (Greek and Arabic) by Adelasia (or Adelaide) degli Aleramici, married to Ruggero I, count of Sicily and Calabria.

3 The “Pietra di Palermo” (Palermo Stone), is regarded as the second most important archaeological find after Rosetta Stone. It is a bilingual text to help decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. Regional Archaeological Museum Antonio Salinas. Via Bara All'Olivella 24.

4 In Palermo there is one of the largest collections of Etrurian Art in the world. Regional Archaeological Museum Antonio Salinas (Bonci – Casuccini da Chiusi collection). Via Bara All'Olivella 24.

5 The Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele is the first opera house in Italy and the third in Europe, after Paris’s Opéra and Vienna’s Staatsoper. Piazza Verdi.

6 Palermo boasts some of the largest City Gates in Europe. Porta Felice, Porta Nuova, Porta Vicari, Porta dei Leoni, Porta San Giorgio, Porta di Castro, Porta dei Greci, Porta Carini, etc....

7 Italian Language originated in Palermo at the Sicilian School at the court of Frederick II.

8 Palermo’s Botanical Garden is the biggest in Europe. Via Lincon 2.

9 Villa Bonanno’s palm grove is regarded as the largest in Europe. Via Vittorio Emanuele 463.

10 Piazza Marina’s Ficus macrophylla, is among the biggest trees in Europe. Piazza Marina.

11 La Favorita park is the largest city park in Italy. Viale Diana e Viale Ercole.

12 The Sicilian Parliament is the oldest parliament in the world, along with the Fær Øer islands and Iceland ones.

13 Palermo was the first town in the world which had two opera houses. Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele, Teatro Politeama Garibaldi.

14 The Chinese Palace is the only Chinese style building in Europe. Via Duca degli Abruzzi 1.

15 The Qanats are the only ones in Europe; we can find them only in Iran and Siria. Via Nave – Corso Calatafimi.

16 The wooden ceiling of the Palatine Chapel is considered the best Islamic art monument in the world. Palazzo Reale, Piazza Indipendenza

17 The wooden ceiling of the Auditorium of Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri is considered the best example of medieval wood painting. Piazza Marina 61.

18 The Mirror Gallery of Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi is the best production of baroque-rocaille in Europe. Piazza Croci dei Vespri 6.

19 The Murano chandelier of the ballroom of Palazzo Pietratagliata is the biggest in Italy. Via Bandiera 14.

20 The Villa Giulia is the oldest city park in the world, open to “plebs”too. Via Lincoln.

21The architecture of Maredolce Castle is unique in Europe and we can find it only in Maghreb countries. Vicolo del Castellaccio 21/23.

22 Palermo Punic necropolis is the largest necropolis in the Punic world. Corso Calatafimi 100.

23 The Savage Stone Abyss, a vertical karst cave located in Mount Pellegrino, is the biggest in Southern Italy.

24 The graffiti of the Addaura Cave are considered unique in prehistoric cave art. They show the oldest human settlement in Mondello gulf.

25 The Triumph of Death, today in Abatellis Palace, inspired Picasso’s Guernica. Via Alloro 4.

26 Mabuse’s  triptych in Abatellis Palace is considered one of the best examples of Flemish art in the world. Via Alloro 4.

27 Giacomo Serpotta was the most outstanding stucco sculptor of all time:

Casa dei Crociferi, Via Maqueda – Chiesa di Santa Ninfa dei Crociferi, Via Maqueda – Oratorio dei Santi Pietro e Paolo behind the Cathedral – Chiesa del Gesù, Piazza del Gesù – Chiesa del Carmine, Albergheria district – Chiesa dell'Assunta, Via Maqueda – Chiesa di Sant'Orsola, Via Maqueda – Chiesa di Sant'Anna, Piazza Sant'Anna – Chiesa San Francesco d'Assisi, Piazza San Francesco d'Assisi – Oratorio di San Lorenzo, Piazza San Francesco d'Assisi – Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli, known as “La Gancia”, Via Alloro – Chiesa della Madonna della Pietà, Via Torremuzza – Oratorio del Rosario di San Domenico, Via dei Bambinai – Oratorio del Rosario di S. Cita, Via Valverde – Chiesa di San Sebastiano, Piazza della Fonderia – Oratorio di Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, Via Monteleone – Chiesa di Sant'Agostino, Via S. Agostino e Via Maestri d'acqua – Chiesa di San Matteo, walking past the “Quattro Canti”.

28 The painting cycle in Villa Igiea hall by Ettore De Maria Bergler is considered one of the best examples of Art Nouveau in the world.

29 There are no other examples in the world of the graffiti discovered in the Holy Inquisition Palace (Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri). Piazza Marina 61.

30 The Water Tank in the cellars of Marchese Palace is regarded as the oldest and biggest Jewish ritual bath in Europe by Jerusalem scientists. Piazza SS. Quaranta Martiri al Casalotto.

31 In Palermo Astronomical Observatory, Giuseppe Piazzi discovered a class of asteroids. Cerere, the first asteroid he discovered, is now classified as a dwarf planet. The NASA Dawn probe is visiting it in 2015. Moreover the astronomer worked with Piazzi on the writing of the very first star catalogues, he discovered the NGC 6541 Globular Cluster and had a name for the two main Delphinus constellation stars. Piazza del Parlamento 1.

32 – I Mercati rionali della  Vuccira, di Ballarò e del Capo. Ad oggi rimango in uso quello di Ballarò e quello del Capo dove potrete ammirere i colori e gli odori tipici delle mercanzie esposte. Il mercato della Vucciriua, famoso per essere il soggetto del quadro più famoso dell'artista bagherese Renato Guttuso, oggi è il centro di ritrovo notturno della movida palermita e non più mercato storico. 


THANK YOU VERY MUCH                                     Casa Riccio