Palermo, Sicily, Italy

 

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Sicily is the largest and one of the most densely populated islands in the Mediterranean. Its natural landscapes include mountains, hills, gorges, grottoes, caves, and the active volcano, Etna. Over time, Sicily has been ruled by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans.

Palermo, Sicily's capital, long a crossroads of civilizations, is known for its history, architecture, culture and gastronomy.

We only saw a fraction of the many smaller towns scattered throughout the island.

 Sicily's rich cultural background has been recognized by having 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Palermo's massive cathedral was begun in 1185 and completed in the 18th century.

Albergheria district is known for its Arab-Norman architecture and Arabic garden design. Nearby are the grand Norman Palace and the Church of St. John of the Hermits.

Colonna dell Immacolata in San Domenico Square is a baroque church built in 1640.

The neoclassic Politeama Theatre, completed in 1891, accommodates 5,000 people. 

 

Palermo is going through careful redevelopment, positioned to be the Italian capital of culture in 2018 and the host of Manifesta, an international contemporary art festival.

The ancient Church of San Cataldo commemorates the coexistence of people of different backgrounds and religions.

A monument in Piazza Vitoria Veneto commemorates the unification of Sicily and Italy.

 

A memorial to the fight against the Mafia commemorates the successful imprisonment of Mafia bosses in 1986.
 

The cathedral in Monreale, 7 miles inland from Palermo,  is considered one of the finest architectural legacies of the Italian Middle Ages.

Its Byzantine-inspired gold mosaics were completed in 1184.

We found the Sicilians to be industrious and entrepreneurial, striving hard to overcome the damage done during the times of poverty, of Fascism, and of Mafia control.

Numerous small markets sell almonds, pistachios, grapes, melons, citrus fruits, vegetables, fish, and cured meats.

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This site was last updated 08/11/19