The province of Palermo
It is simple understand why Palermo is considered as the “Capital city of Mediterranean”- the city is surrounded by a mysterious allure and by a mysterious beauty which offers treasure of art, as well as proofs of ancient cultures.
The Sicilian state capital
Palermo, capital of Sicily, is situated in a great level called “Conca d’Oro”. The province is constituted by 82 districts, which contribute to the historical, cultural and natural influences of the city. The province can offer a very surprising material: a lot of monuments, in addition to the ruins of past periods, and the fascinating seaside places on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The obviousness of the Past
The history of the city goes back to 2500 years, because Palermo is one of the most ancient cities of the world. The marks of the history pass through all periods. The city was founded by Phoenician. It is a must the visit at Solunto archaeological site, where you can see the ruins of private residences, the Agora, the Theatre and Odeon. It is also fascinating the view of Tyrrhenian Sea. The archaeological area of Mount Jato is so important. Here you can admire the ruins of Aphrodite temple and its altar, testimony of Greek culture, with a great theatre, the Agora, the private residence with two floors that goes back to 3° century B.C. The first floor has 23 rooms and in the second floor a magnificent banquet hall with a beautiful colourful decoration. The ruins of the so-called “Casa del Peristilio” are so interesting… Also in the island of Ustica come to light evidences of past periods - including a Necropolis of the late Romanesque period and the ruins near the sea stack.
The magic of nature
The province offers different views of rare beauty and numerous parks. There is the “Madonie Park”, that is located between the fluvial valleys and the North part of Imera Valley, located along Tyrrhenian coast. The landscapes of this great natural oasis are so varied- a mix of high peaks, wide valleys, that are crossed by numerous rivers and green little hills that are used in summer pastures for the plantation of barleys and wheat. This reserve includes 15 districts, from Pollina, Caltavuturo, Gratteri, Isnello and Cefalù. These places offer different possibilities and they are in perfect harmony between mountains and sea. In the urban centres, as well as in the far regions, there are a lot of architectural treasures, among which the beautiful palaces of Ventimiglia in Geraci Siculo and Castelbuono, the Norman Cathedral in Cefalù and the Church of Santa Maria la Nuova in Caltavuturo.
Palermo coast extends itself from Balestrate to Finale di Pollina and includes three bays: Carini, Palermo and Termini Imerese. The coast has in particular fantastic colours- the deep blu of the sea, the green of vegetation, the dark colours of the cliffs. A beautiful walk along the bay of Palermo, Sferracavallo, an ancient sea side location with sandy and rocky beaches: a full immersion in a beautiful paradise. Palermo inhabitants consider also Mondello, an elegant and very popular seaside bay. In this bay there are also the villages of Vergine Maria, Acqua Santa and Arenella. The northern part of the coast is dominated by Catalfano-Berg, in which the mountains spill to the sea. In this area stands out the city of Cefalù. Here you can make endless walks on the beach surrounded by unspoilt nature and you can explore numerous monuments.
Festivals and Events
In Palermo, as well as in the rest of Sicily, folkloric events have a long tradition. There are numerous festivals about the products that make fertile the land. In Gangi it is celebrated a characteristic folk festival. In Cerda is held the feast of the artichoke with a complimentary tasting of healthy vegetables. Here are served typical local bread and local wine. Don’t miss the "Medlar Festival" in Trabia where folkloric groups occur and flag-wavers, as well as traditional customes can be admired. Among the most traditional events there is the Carnival of Termini Imerese - the oldest carnival in Italy. Here you can admire the symbolic floats.
Distances from Palermo
Caltanissetta 58 Km
Catania 130 Km
Enna 138 Km
Messina 225 Km
Agrigento 127 Km
Ragusa 297 Km
Syrakus 259 Km
Trapani 107 Km
The roots of Cefalu go back at least to the times of the Greeks (the name comes from the Greek word for Cape) and the city as we know and love it was built at the behest of the Norman King Roger II. The construction of the cathedral began in 1131 and is an outstanding example of "Sicilian Romanesque". Thanks to the splendid mosaic of Christ as Pantocrator above the altar, it is a partner church with the Palace Chapel in Palermo and the Cathedral in Monreale. When visiting Sicily it is recommended to visit all these three sanctuaries. Also of interest is the medieval lavatoio wash house, fed by a natural spring, and the Osterio Magno, traditionally the residence of King Roger II. The latter now houses art exhibitions. The ascent to La Rocca is a challenge especially in the hot summer months, but it is an absolute must: the views are spectacular and the walls of the ancient Saracen fortress and the remains of the Diana temple (supposedly dating back to Greco-Sikan times ) are just as fascinating. Just south of Cefalu is the magnificent Madonie National Park, with its enchanting villages and places such as Castelbuono, its breathtaking scenery, its impressive mountains and wonderful hiking trails. It is therefore no coincidence that after Taormina and Palermo, Cefalu is probably the most sought after tourist town in Sicily. It really offers something for everyone.