Touring Palermo Sicily
Noted for its colorful history, intricate architectural design, as well as its distinctive culture and culinary traditions, Palermo is the capital of the southern Italian region of Sicily. When, during the 9th century, the Arabs conquered the city, they turned it into a thriving center of Islamic culture in the Western world.
Exploring Palermo's Cultural Mosaic
The Normans arrived in 1072, creating what some people refer to as Palermo's "Arabo-Norman " period. All of the city's other conquerors, such as the Spanish, have left their mark in the form of art, architecture and culture. Palermo thus treats its visitors to an endless list of things to see, explore, experience and taste; a formidable challenge for even the most proficient travel itinerary planner. If you find yourself overwhelmed, engage the services of a Palermo tour guide. Touring services in Palermo come in all forms, and appeal to a variety of travel styles.
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Photo by : Palermo Andrew Eick Creative Commons
Southern Italy Tours | Hop-On Hop-Off Palermo Bus Tours
Palermo's hop-on, hop-off tours (city-discovery.com/palermo/tour.php?id=2987) offer the most flexible option for guided tours of the city. These bus tours feature recorded guides in the language of your choice. One ticket lets you explore two different routes. As its name implies, hop on or hop off as you please. The first route takes you past the the Massimo Theater (teatromassimo.it/index_en.php), then meanders toward Piazza Quattro Canti.
It passes by Palazzo Steri, and the botanical gardens. Next, you ride takes you near the royal palace, the flea market and the cathedral. A Ride along the ancient Via Roma brings you back to the starting point. The second route wanders through the villas, gardens and castles of Palermo.
Renting a Villa in Lucca | Walking Tours of Palermo
Associazione Guide Turistiche di Palermo e Provincia, called AGT, (palermoguide.eu/en/) was Palermo's first independent guide service. These licensed, multilingual guides will design a tour based on your interests. They provide free tours during specific events, such as the the International Day of the Tourist Guide, National Day of Urban Trekking and the International Culture Week. The organization's four standard tours include a 12th century Arab-Norman itinerary, a 15th and 16th century Palermo itinerary, a Baroque period tour and a gardens and theaters tour.
Things to do in Palermo | Palermo Tours
Picture by: Piazza Pretoria Palermo Russell J Smith Creative Commons
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Palermo Segway Tours
And now, for something completely different, we present (drum roll please) the Segway Tour! CST Rents (cstrents.com) offers guided segway tours of Palermo. All of the tours begin with an introduction, where you learn how to maneuver the device. Segway tours ride past most of the major sights and attractions of the city of Palermo. A guide narrates the tour as you ride throughout the city. The price of the tour includes equipment rental.
Horse and Carriage Tours: The Old Fashioned Way
If you just want a visual overview of Palermo, Sicily, you might enjoy a horse and carriage tour. This type of tour is strictly old-school. There are no websites, and the drivers work on a cash-only basis. You will have to negotiate a price, and that may require some haggling skills. The drivers usually line up near the Teatro Massimo, the Cathedral, or on the Via Maqueda at Piazza Pretoria.
Palermo Sicily Food and Wine Tours
Sicily Tour guides (sicilytourguides.net) offers a full day walking tour of Palermo's wine shops and medieval street markets. The tour group stops for lunch at Antica Foccacceria di San Francesco (sito3d.it/anticafocacceria/), founded in 1836. Your day ends at Antico Caffé Spinnato, founded in 1860, where you sample a Sicilian cannoli.
Should the cuisine inspire your inner culinary god or goddess, the organization also offers cooking classes at Ristorante Cin Cin (ristorantecincin.com/eng/home.html). The day begins with a tour of the local markets to select the fresh ingredients.
Palermo Sicily Vacation Rentals
Speaking of local markets, fresh ingredients and Sicilian cuisine, at the end of one of these tours, you might feel an overwhelming desire to try out your newly developed cooking skills. Unfortunately, that's kind of hard to do if you are staying at a hotel, with, alas, no more than a microwave oven, if that, in your room.
A Palermo Sicily vacation rental will usually have a full kitchen-- exactly what you need for creating tasty Sicilian dishes. Venues range from small apartments, to penthouses, to entire villas, where you can pretend to star in your own Italian movie. Many have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, making them a cost-effective choice for families and larger groups of people.
In addition to the money you save on renting more than one hotel room, you'll save money by buying your food at the local market, and preparing it in your home away from home.
Palermo awaits! Andiamo!
Things to do in Palermo | Palermo Tours | Sicily Tours | Travel to Sicily