What to see & do in Palermo, Sicily

The ancient harbor city of Palermo is Sicily’s capital and Italy’s capital of culture in 2018 which explains why it’s worthy of a visit during your trip to Sicily.  Palermo has lived to tell the rich tale of the island’s history and the different people groups that conquered Sicily have left their impact on the capital’s architecture, art and culture.

Palermo is the very heart of Sicily and we know those who visit are sure to be captivated by its people, customs & unique charm.

Want to travel to Sicily?  Come with us in 2019.
Click here to download our 2019 itinerary.

What to see & do in Palermo, Sicily - Papa Vince

The ancient harbor city of Palermo is Sicily’s capital and Italy’s capital of culture in 2018 which explains why it’s worthy of a visit during your trip to Sicily.  Palermo has lived to tell the rich tale of the island’s history and the different people groups that conquered Sicily have left their impact on the capital’s architecture, art and culture.

The biggest influences upon the island were the Arabs who arrived in Sicily in the 9th century and then the Normans who were the next nation to conquer and settle in Sicily.  The Arabs made Palermo the capital of the island and decorated the city with gardens, parks, mosques and palaces. When the Normans arrived in 1061 it was King Roger II who championed the arts in Sicily and many of these influences can still be felt in the city today.

Start your city tour off at the Palazzo dei Normanni (also known as the Palazzo Reale or Norman Palace) which in times past was the seat of kings and rulers and today houses Sicily’s regional government.  King Frederick II had his court of minstrels and literati here.  It was the place where he founded the School Poetica Siciliana which marked the birth of Italian literature.  The foundations of the palace date back to the 8th century BC, in the 9th Century AD the Arabs built the palace for their emirs and it was the Normans who brought the palace to its full splendor and to whom the current appearance is due.

Inside the Norman Palace, at the top of the sweeping staircase, hidden behind the palace walls, is the Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel).  Originally designed to be a private place of worship, it is ornately decorated and the interior is simply breathtaking.  You’ll find a fusion of different architectural styles which somehow work together to create a masterpiece.  The exquisite Byzantine mosaics are in laid with precious stones which delicately and gracefully tell the stories of the Old Testament.  The walls are decorated with marble inlay and up above is the Arabic wooden honeycombed ceiling, it is an exuberant feast for the eyes which makes this small chapel probably the most visited attraction in Palermo.

From here head down Via Vittorio Emanuele to the intersection known as Quattro Canti (Four Corners), the heart of Palermo and the point where the four ancient districts of Albergheria, Capo, Kalso and Vucciria all converge.  It is a fascinating sector, officially known as  Piazza Vigliena, in honor of the Spanish Viceroy who commissioned this construction in 1609.  The Piazza is octagonal, four sides being streets and the remaining four being multilevel Baroque buildings each with sculptures depicting a different theme. Starting on the lowest level each building has its own fountain, moving up from here on each facade, there is a figure depicting the four seasons, Eolo, Venus, Ceres and Bacchus.  Above the seasons are four different Spanish sovereigns, Charles V, Phillip II, Phillip III and Phillip IV.  Finally looking at the highest level are the four patron saints of the city, Saint Agatha, Saint Ninfa, Saint Oliva and Saint Christina.  The square still holds its old world charm and the best news for tourists is that you can visit at any time, and free of charge.

Another must essential stop point on the tour is the Piazza Pretoria, which is commonly known as the Fountain of Shame (Fontana della Vergogna in Italian) due to the 16 nude statues of nymphs, humans and mermaids that have found their home here.  When they were originally unveiled in 1575 many churchgoers were offended especially as they had to pass by them on their way to the churches on the Piazza.  Today this is one of the most photographed sectors of the city and regularly finds itself on Instagram.

There is also Palermo’s cathedral or duomo to visit, a striking building with a blend of Baroque, Byzantine, Arabic and Norman architectural styles, a testament to all the conquerors who wanted to leave their mark on the island.  Glancing at the exterior of the cathedral the discerning tourist is immediately aware of its uniqueness, quite unlike any other cathedral in Europe, which leaves a memorable imprint that lasts long after the tour is over.

To add some extra culture to your tour, be sure to visit the Teatro Massimo, the third largest opera house in Europe after those of Paris and Vienna.  Just over 100 years old, it was built in neo classical style with richly decorated interiors and two lions flanking the outside staircase.  The theater offers an impressive ballet and opera season with programs attracting visitors from around the world and movie fans will recognize it as the stage of the climatic scene in the Godfather part III.

You can’t leave Palermo without sampling some of its famous street food and experiencing the sights and sounds of its lively historical street markets and you can even do a walking tour based around the food!  Palermo is the very heart of Sicily and we know those who visit are sure to be captivated by its people, customs & unique charm.

Want to experience the best of Sicily?  Come with us in 2019.
Click to download our 2019 itinerary.

Experience the Palermo markets & street food in the video below.

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Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin - Unblended, Family Harvest, High in Polyphenols, Single Estate, First Cold Pressed, Sicily, Italy, Peppery Finish, Unfiltered, Unrefined,
Papa Vince Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin - Unblended, Family Harvest, High...
$39.77
[NEW HARVEST FALL 2023] ** GIFT READY ** Add a personalized message in the note section when viewing your cart and your gift will be delivered with a special gift box at no additional cost. This will make sure that your recipient knows it is a gift from you! ** NOTE ** Papa Vince's Extra Virgin Olive Oil is juice; the juice of the olives. Therefore, each harvest will taste different. Be ready for a pleasant surprise! Product Features VOLUME: 16.91 fl oz 100% UNBLENDED, NON-BLENDED Extra Virgin Olive Oil HARVEST DATE: FALL 2023-2024. We harvest from Oct - Dec every year SINGLE ESTATE, SINGLE SOURCED, FAMILY MADE: from our Orchards in Santa Ninfa, Sicily, Italy CONTAINS POLYPHENOL: 370 mg/kg as of Dec 2023. IMPORTANT: Content of polyphenols decreases with time EARLY HARVEST HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS: Vitamin E (20% DV) - ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL CONTAINS VITAMINS FIRST COLD PRESSED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - We literally press the juice of the olives into the bottle LOW ACIDITY (FFA < .33) - the lower the acidity, the higher the quality CLEAN TASTE: with hints of tomatoes, artichokes & peppery finish! DELICIOUS PEPPERY FINISH - Yes, the peppery kick at the back of your throat is your assurance that it's loaded with polyphenols. 4-YEAR SHELF LIFE before opening; 1-Year after opening. ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL ENJOYS SUCH ANLONG SHELF-LIFE 100% RAW, NON-BLENDED, UNFILTERED, UNREFINED Extra Virgin Olive Oil SMOKE POINT > 375º F - The greater the smoke point, the higher the quality IDEAL FOR KETO, VEGAN, PALEO, & WHOLE 30 How to use extra virgin olive oil Daily shot every morning: Clean taste and peppery finish that makes it an absolute delight. Salad Dressing: Mix with Papa Vince Moscato Vinegar & Sea Salt to make a salad dressing that is not only delicious but healthy. Seasoning: Yes, season all your foods with a drizzle of Papa Vince. Believe me, it will make your veggies, soups, pasta, fish,...and even fruit taste awesome. Have you tried oranges with Papa Vince Extra Virgin Olive Oil? What a treat!! Dipping: simply mix with your favorite spices for an unforgettable dipping experience. Baking - healthy replacement for butter and other oils Cooking - Papa Vince enjoys a very high smoking point. Used for roasting, pan-frying and more. Believe me, you will taste the difference! Storage Notes: HARVEST: FALL 2023-2024 Best Used before Jan 2028 Use within 12 months after opening Store away from light & heat
Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin Gift - Unblended, Family Harvest 2022/23, High in Polyphenols, Single Estate, First Cold Pressed, Sicily, Italy, Peppery Finish, Unfiltered, Unrefined, Green Bag - Papa Vince
Papa Vince Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin Gift - Unblended, Family Harvest...
$41.97
** GIFT READY ** Add a Personalized Message in the note section when viewing your cart and your gift will be delivered in a special gift box at no additional cost. This will make sure that your recipient knows it is a gift from you! ** NOTE ** Papa Vince's Extra Virgin Olive Oil is juice; the juice of the olives. Therefore, each harvest will taste different. Be ready for a pleasant surprise! PRODUCT FEATURES VOLUME: 16.91 fl oz GIFT OPTION: Natural Burlat Green Bag 100% UNBLENDED, NON-BLENDED Extra Virgin Olive Oil HARVEST DATE: FALL 2022-2023. We harvest from Oct - Dec every year SINGLE ESTATE, SINGLE SOURCED: from our Family Orchards in Santa Ninfa, Sicily, Italy CONTAINS POLYPHENOL: 350 mg/kg as of Dec 2022. IMPORTANT: Content of polyphenols decreases with time HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS: Vitamin E (20% DV) - ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL CONTAINS VITAMINS FIRST COLD PRESSED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - We literally press the juice of the olives into the bottle LOW ACIDITY (FFA < .26) - the lower the acidity, the higher the quality CLEAN TASTE: with hints of tomatoes, artichokes & peppery finish! DELICIOUS PEPPERY FINISH - Yes, the peppery kick at the back of your throat is your assurance that it's loaded with polyphenols. 4-YEAR SHELF LIFE before opening; 1-Year after opening. ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL ENJOYS SUCH ANLONG SHELF-LIFE RAW, NON-BLENDED, UNFILTERED, UNREFINED Extra Virgin Olive Oil SMOKE POINT > 375º F - The greater the smoke point, the higher the quality IDEAL FOR KETO, VEGAN, PALEO, & WHOLE 30 HOW TO USE PAPA VINCE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL Daily shot every morning: Clean taste and peppery finish that makes it an absolute delight. Salad Dressing: Mix with Papa Vince Moscato Vinegar & Sea Salt to make a salad dressing that is not only delicious but healthy. Seasoning: Yes, season all your foods with a drizzle of Papa Vince. Believe me, it will make your veggies, soups, pasta, fish,...and even fruit taste awesome. Have you tried oranges with Papa Vince Extra Virgin Olive Oil? What a treat!! Dipping: simply mix with your favorite spices for an unforgettable dipping experience. Baking - healthy replacement for butter and other oils Cooking - Papa Vince enjoys a very high smoking point. Used for roasting, pan-frying and more. Believe me, you will taste the difference! Condition Note: HARVEST: FALL 2022-2023 Best Used before Jan 2027 Use within 12 months after opening Store away from light & heat Legal Disclaimer: Papa Vince's Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a harvested product. It tastes different every year. Import Designation: Imported Country as Labeled: Santa Ninfa, Sicily, Italy  
Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin Gift - Unblended, Family Harvest 2022/23, High in Polyphenols, Single Estate, First Cold Pressed, Sicily, Italy, Peppery Finish, Unfiltered, Unrefined, Natural Burlap Bag - Papa Vince
Papa Vince Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin Gift - Unblended, Family Harvest...
$41.97
** GIFT READY ** Add a Personalized Message in the note section when viewing your cart and your gift will be delivered with a special gift box at no additional cost. This will make sure that your recipient knows that it is a gift from you! ** NOTE ** Papa Vince's Extra Virgin Olive Oil is juice; the juice of the olives. Therefore, each harvest will taste different. Be ready for a pleasant surprise! PRODUCT FEATURES VOLUME: 16.91 fl oz GIFT OPTION: Natural Burlat Bag 100% UNBLENDED, NON-BLENDED Extra Virgin Olive Oil HARVEST DATE: FALL 2022-2023. We harvest from Oct - Jan every year SINGLE ESTATE, SINGLE SOURCED: from our Family Orchards in Santa Ninfa, Sicily, Italy CONTAINS POLYPHENOL: 350 mg/kg as of Dec 2022. IMPORTANT: Content of polyphenols decreases with time HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS: Vitamin E (20% DV) - ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL CONTAINS VITAMINS FIRST COLD PRESSED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - We literally press the juice of the olives into the bottle LOW ACIDITY (FFA < .26) - the lower the acidity, the higher the quality CLEAN TASTE: with hints of tomatoes, artichokes & peppery finish! DELICIOUS PEPPERY FINISH - Yes, the peppery kick at the back of your throat is your assurance that it's loaded with polyphenols. 4-YEAR SHELF LIFE before opening; 1-Year after opening. ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL ENJOYS SUCH ANLONG SHELF-LIFE RAW, NON-BLENDED, UNFILTERED, UNREFINED Extra Virgin Olive Oil SMOKE POINT > 375º F - The greater the smoke point, the higher the quality IDEAL FOR KETO, VEGAN, PALEO, & WHOLE 30 HOW TO USE PAPA VINCE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL Daily shot every morning: Clean taste and peppery finish that makes it an absolute delight. Salad Dressing: Mix with Papa Vince Moscato Vinegar & Sea Salt to make a salad dressing that is not only delicious but healthy. Seasoning: Yes, season all your foods with a drizzle of Papa Vince. Believe me, it will make your veggies, soups, pasta, fish,...and even fruit taste awesome. Have you tried oranges with Papa Vince Extra Virgin Olive Oil? What a treat!! Dipping: simply mix with your favorite spices for an unforgettable dipping experience. Baking - healthy replacement for butter and other oils Cooking - Papa Vince enjoys a very high smoking point. Used for roasting, pan-frying and more. Believe me, you will taste the difference! Condition Note: HARVEST: DEC 2022-2023 Best Used before Jan 2027 Use within 12 months after opening Store away from light & heat Legal Disclaimer: Papa Vince's Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a harvested product. It tastes different every year. Import Designation: Imported Country as Labeled: Santa Ninfa, Sicily, Italy  
Polyphenol Rich Olive Oil Extra Virgin from Sicily, Italy. Chili Pepper & Lemon Fused Olive Oil. Agrumato, Unblended, First Cold Pressed, Single Sourced, Unfiltered, Unrefined, Robust, Mild hot finish, High in Antioxidants EVOO Gift Set - Papa Vince
Papa Vince Polyphenol Rich Olive Oil Extra Virgin from Sicily, Italy. Chili Pepper...
$78.97
** GIFT READY ** If Gift Box Option is selected: add a Personalized Message in the note section when viewing your cart and your gift will be delivered with a special gift box and bow at no additional cost. This will make sure that your recipient knows it is a gift from you! ** NOTE ** Papa Vince's Extra Virgin Olive Oil is juice; the juice of the olives. Therefore, each harvest will taste different. Be ready for a pleasant surprise! Product Features LAB TESTED - to ensure no pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides are note used in farming ONE COUNTRY, ONE FARM, ONE ORCHARD - grown & harvested in Sicily, Italy by our family AUTHENTIC SICILIAN FOOD - 100% Product from Sicily, Italy Includes 1 bottle of Chili Pepper Fused/Agrumato Extra Virgin Olive Oil Harvest Dec 2020/21 - 16.9 fl oz 1 bottle of Lemon Fused/Agrumato Extra Virgin Olive Oil Harvest Dec 2019/20 - 16.9 fl oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil Features VOLUME: 16.9 fl oz -each- TWO FLAVORS: Lemon EVOO & Chili Pepper EVOO FIRST COLD PRESSED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL - Made by crushing the whole fruit of the olive and the whole fruit of the chili pepper and lemon, respectively HARVEST DATE LISTED - We harvest from Oct-Jan every year FEW INGREDIENTS - Olives, Lemons & Chili Peppers HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS - Vitamin E (15% DV), Vitamin B6 (13% DV), Vitamin K1 (6% DV) and Vitamin A (3% DV) - ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL CONTAINS VITAMINS CONTAINS POLYPHENOLS: Hydroxytyrosol and Oleocanthal - 420 mg/kg at harvest date. IMPORTANT: Content of polyphenols decreases with time HEALTHY FAT SOURCE - High in Monounsaturated Fat 100% UNBLENDED, NON-BLENDED Extra Virgin Olive Oil SINGLE ESTATE, SINGLE SOURCED - from our Family Orchards in Santa Ninfa, Sicily, Italy LOW ACIDITY - FFA (Free Fatty Acids) < .26 - the lower the acidity, the higher the quality DELICIOUS PEPPERY FINISH - Yes, the peppery kick at the back of your throat is your assurance that it's loaded with polyphenols 4-YEAR SHELF LIFE before opening; 1-Year after opening. ONLY PREMIUM QUALITY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL ENJOYS SUCH A LONG SHELF-LIFE 100%RAW, UNFILTERED, UNREFINED Extra Virgin Olive Oil SMOKE POINT > 375º F - The greater the smoke point, the higher the quality IDEAL FOR KETO, VEGAN, PALEO & WHOLE 30 Tastes great just by itself! Country as Labeled: 100% product of Sicily, Italy. Harvested and bottled in Santa Ninfa, Sicily, Italy. Legal Disclaimer: Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
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