Busy day in Palermo Cathedral, tuk-tuks, carriages, Sicily

What to visit in Palermo for one day

Palermo is a beautiful city in middle of the Mediterranean and the largest city in Sicily. Despite being an italian city, it is very different from what the rest of Italy has to offer: their light, but slightly orange buildings (due the material they were constructed with) and the abundance of palm trees in certain historic places, make Palermo an unique mixture between its mediterranean and italian roots.

If you want to discovery a little bit more about this city, but have no idea where to start, then scroll bellow to see its main highlights.

 

Façade of Teatro Massimo in Palermo

Teatro Massimo in Palermo seen from the side

Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele

Start your day in Palermo with a visit to this amazing opera house. Dedicated to the king Vittorio Emanuele II, it’s one of the biggest opera houses in all Europe and it was the set for the final scenes of The Godfather  Part III. While you’re in town, make sure you assist to a show here and understand for yourself why the opera is renowned for its acoustics.

 

Via Maqueada, Palermo

Via Maqueada

Located on the historic centre of Palermo, this streets connects the Massimo’s Theatre to another emblematic place of the city: Piazza Vigliena, also known as Quattro Canti. While you are there, make sure to buy a few souvenirs since this street offers a great variety of products: from mugs to t-shirts, you can find almost any souvenir type. My tip is to buy Limoncello- Italy’s most famous liquor and a typical product of both the south of Italy and Sicily.

 

I Quattro Canti, Piazza Vigliena

Detail of a statue in I Quattro Canti, Piazza Vigliena

I Quattro Canti

Officially known as Piazza Vigliena, this baroque style square was one of my favorite spots in Palermo. It may be “just” a square, but there’s definitely something special about it. The majestic and near-identical four buildings that give the name to this place, and its incredible architecture, almost makes you forget that you are in middle of the crossing between the two main streets of Palermo (Via Maqueda and Corso Vittorio Emanuele). Besides, what makes this square so unique is the symbolism behind each facade: each of the four fountains have statues that represent the four seasons, the four Spanish Kings of Sicily and the patronesses of Palermo.

 

Fontana Pretoria at Piazza della Vergogna in Palermo, Sicily

Fontana Pretoria

Just a few meters away of Piazza Vigliena there’s Piazza Pretoria. The square is also known as Piazza della Vergogna or, in English, the square of Shame, due to the nudity that the statues in the fountain display.

 

 

Martorana, Palermo, Sicily

Martorana seen from below, Palermo, Sicily

Martorana

Considered by many as Palermo’s most beautiful church, Martorana is definitely a unique place. Despite looking very simple on the outside and almost going unnoticed, is its interior that make Martorana absolutely stunning and totally different from what you would expect. If you get the chance, try frutta di Martorana, a sweet formerly moulded by the nuns of this church and one of Palermo’s most distinctive foodstuffs.

 

 

Entrance of Cappella Palatina

Palazzo dei Normanni seen from below, Palermo, Sicily

Capella Palatina and Palazzo dei Normanni

If you love art and history, don’t forget to include this stunning chapel and palace in your visit to Palermo. In many aspects similar to Martorana, specially in the size and the use of the golden to decorate it’s walls, Capella Palatina is the place to go if you want to see a rich architecture.

 

Detail of the Palermo Cathedral's dome

Busy day in Palermo Cathedral, tuk-tuks, carriages, Sicily

Cattedrale di Palermo

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, the majestic Palermo Cathedral. Completed in the 18th century , it is mainly characterized by the presence of different styles, due to a long history of additions and alterations, similar to what happened to many monuments in Palermo.

 

After seeing all of these places, if you still have time, you can always include a visit to the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, one of the world’s most famous catacombs, and to Monreale’s church.

Have you ever been to Palermo? Do you have any suggestions to complete this list? Leave your comments down below!

 

 

 

Fountain at Piazza De Ferrari

What to see in Genoa in 24h

Detail of Galeone Neptune at Porto Antico di Genova

Typical Italian Car

 

Genoa is one of the largest cities around the Mediterranean and also one of the most important seaports in this area. Despite being one of Italy’s major economical centers, La Superba, as it is known, is also  very rich in history and culture. After all, it is home to a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like Via Garibaldi and Plazzo dei Rolli.

If you are visiting this city for a short period of time and want to know the main attractions, or if you are just curious about what the city has to offer, than scroll bellow to see its main landmarks.

 

Entrance of Acquario di Genova in Porto Antico

Acquario di Genova and Porto Antico

One of the largest in Europe, the Aquarium of Genoa, located in the Old Harbor (Porto Antico, in Italian), is home to 500+ species and welcomes more than 1.2 million visitors. If you love marine life, you will love this place. However, be prepared to spend a good amount of time here, as there is so much to see!

 

Il Bigo at Porto Antico

Il Bigo

Built to celebrate the fourth centenary of the Discovery of America, Bigo is an amazing structure that offers a 360 degree view on Porto Antico and its surroundings. It’s also located on the Old Harbor, right next to the Aquarium.

 

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

Situated near the city centre, this cathedral was built with a gothic style and completed in the 17th century. It is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, to whom it owns the name, and it is the seat of the Archbishop of Genoa.

 

Facade of Palazzo Ducale

Palazzo Ducale

Former residence of the Doges of Genoa, this palace is now a museum and receives temporary art exhibitions. It’s located in the city centre, very closely to Piazza de Ferrari.

 

Fountain at Piazza De Ferrari

Piazza de Ferrari

Named after the fountain (above), this piazza is the most emblematic square of Genoa. Surrounding it, there are many important buildings such as offices and headquarters of several companies, making this square the business center of Genoa.

 

Road of Via XX Settembre

Via XX Settembre

This street is one of the most noticeable in the city center. Here you can find stores like H&M, Caledonia; Swarovski, Vodafone… So, if you feel like doing a little bit of shopping, go here!

 

Porta Soprana

Porta Soprana and Casa di Cristoforo Colombo

This majestic gate was once the east entrance to Genoa for those who came by the old roman road. On it´s right side, there’s a small stone house that is considered by many as the Columbus House (although the interior is reconstructed) and some beautiful cloisters.

 

Via Garibaldi

This street is definitely a must-see in Genoa. Here you can find most of Genoa’s best known palaces, such as Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Bianco, but also other amazing, but less known palaces, like Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino (above), making a total of 13 palaces considered World Heritage sites.

 

Panoramic view of Genoa at Spianata Castelletto

Spianatta Castelletto

Just a few meters away from Via Garibaldi, there’s this belvedere that offers the perfect panoramic view of the city of Genoa. Unfortunately, I went there at midday because I was really short on time, but if you have the chance,try to go there at the sunset (or sunrise, if you are an early bird!), as everything looks more beautiful during the “Golden hour”.

 

Palazzo Reale seen from below

Palazzo Reale

Lastly, but not leastly, the Palazzo dei Rolli. Situated in Via Balbi, this palace, also an UNESCO World Heritage Site, was originally built for the Balbi family. However, in 1823, the palace was sold to the Royal House of Savoy, and from there the palace started to be known as the Royal Palace. Currently, it is used as a museum and its rooms are decorated with objects that once belonged to the Savoy family.

 

Now that you know the main highlights of Genoa, you are ready to visit the city! I know this “itinerary” is a bit long, but if you have a full day (and a fast pace!) you can definitely squeeze all of these places in less than 24h.

If you have ever been to Genoa and have more ideas about what places one should visit, than leave your opinion down below. I would love to know your suggestions!