Famous throughout the world, Palermo is the regional capital of Sicily and the fifth largest city in Italy. On the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is located between Monte Pellegrino and the bay of Conca d’Oro, in the western part of Sicily.
Palermo is the City of a thousand faces, loud but elegant, eclectic and never dull, Palermo with its architectural beauty, its traditions and its people attract and enchant thousands of visitors from all over the world. The Sicilian capital, called the “Kingdom of the sun” by invading Normans in the 12th century, has been a cultural melting pot since Phoenicians and Greeks fought over it in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Sitting close to where Europe ends and Africa begins, Palermo bears the scars – and echoes the glories – of centuries of domination. Once Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman and ultimately Italian – unified with the mainland only in 1861 – it has a relatively recent “made in Italy” identity. And in 2018 it basked under the banner of Italian Capital of Culture, hosting the prestigious Manifesta contemporary art biennale and helping regenerate its waterfront.
You might already know that Palermo is the capital city of Sicily but you would not know the most conquered city in the world. In the 7th century, Phoenicians would find a home on the Island, and call what is now Palermo, Zyz (which in their language meant flower). Afterwards, other civilisations such as Greeks, Ostrogoths, Romans and Byzantines, Angevins, Aragonese, Spanish and Bourbons Germans, Normans and Arabs inhabited the island taking full advantage of the annual mild climates and the fertile soil here.
Over the years and under many different ownerships magnificent buildings were constructed within the city walls, such as Capella Palatina and several Palermo cathedrals, and Monuments were erected all over the city; Pretoria fountain, Piazza Pretoria and Quattro Canti being the most notable.