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Palermo

Ok, I'm back, thanks to all with their suggestions on my trip to Italy, Fall 2022; we are spending 20 days + air days driving from Venice, Lake Garda, Tuscany, Amalfi & Rome.... I missed seeing Palermo last Fall because of Covid. Is it worth it to fly from Rome to Palermo for 3 nights then home to Canada; if so what would you see?

Thanks,

Jean

Posted by
6186 posts

Just outside ofPalermo is the beautiful Cattedrale di Monreale, filled with beautiful mosaics. In the city proper The Cathedral of Palermo, The Opera House, the Palatine Chapel, wonderful street markets . With such a short stay, why don’t you book a walking guide for part of your time? There are so many layers of the different countries and cultures that have ruled in Palermo, fascinating.

Posted by
18120 posts

There's lots to see not only in Palermo but also in the rest of Sicily. I wouldn't fly to Sicily for just three days unless I was sure it was my only chance to see anything of the island. I'm sure there are other places right on your path where you could fill three nights easily: Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Orvieto, etc.

Palermo has many, and varied, chapels (oratorios) in addition to interesting churches, but next to the Cathedral at Monreale, the Cappella Palatina located in the Palazzo dei Normanni is perhaps the most beautiful religious building in the Palermo area.

There are also two atmospheric food markets.

I believe the archaeological museum is considered very good, but I haven't been there.

Posted by
2506 posts

Oooh, I would consider Palermo as well since we also missed it last fall. Palermo was going to be our starting point of a 28 d tour of Sicily. We would have flown from Rome on Alitalia. It was about $87x 2. We were going to follow “Priscilla’s” itinerary. If you do a search on RS, it’s “My trip to Sicily- In Zoe’s memory.” Priscilla has a wonderful trip report. Her description of Palermo was very helpful. We had planned to stay at the same B&B- delle Vittorie & do day trips. When we had to cancel the innkeeper was very gracious. It was cancellable. We would definitely reschedule there in the future.

Posted by
681 posts

Do see Sicily someday but I recommend seeing more than Palermo. Palermo is old and dirty but the architecture there is memorable and unique.

Posted by
431 posts

I should have mentioned that we did Tour the East coast of Sicily some years ago and planned to tour the Palermo area last September but Covid cancelled our cruise; just wondered if it was worth a 3 night stop after Rome to visit this area of Sicily?

Thanks to all with your suggestions,

Jean

Posted by
4390 posts

It’s a bit west of Palermo, and I don’t know if there are organized day tours available, or if you’d be renting a car at all, but a trip to Sicily should include Segesta.

Sicily, as you may know, was called “Greater Greece” by ancient Greeks. First-born sons inherited the father’s land, so younger brothers had to look elsewhere for land. Sailing to what is now Sicily provided that, an extension of the Greece homeland. At Segesta there’s an ancient Greek temple, frankly in better shape than what’s at the Acropolis in Athens, plus the remains of an ancient theater, uphill from the temple. Short of making an extra trip over to Greece on your Italy trip, it’s your best chance to see such treasures. Actually, Agrigento, which is at the southern coast of Sicily, has even more Greek temples, but then that’s farther away, and would call for even more time. If you can get a little bit away from Palermo on your visit, it will be memorable!

Posted by
431 posts

Hi Cyn, this is the info I was looking for; I did book a tour of some of this area with a guide for last Fall but as I said, it all got cancelled. Plan to rehire him again to take us to these places you have suggested.

We’ve been to a lot of the Greek Isles but we prefer Italy!

Many thanks,

Jean

Posted by
698 posts

Jean, yes, Palermo is worth at least 3 nights. I really liked Palermo. I personally would not add Palermo to your trip. You already have a lot of destinations to fill your 20 days. If you decide to add Palermo, I would eliminate another destination.

We found RS Sicily to be a very helpful guidebook. You could look at this guidebook to see how much more you want to see in Sicily.

Posted by
431 posts

Hi, I would not be including Palermo in the 20 days, I would add it on so with air travel it would add up to 25 days, so I think we’ll go.

Thanks,

Jean

Posted by
185 posts

Sicily is worth a lot more time. The travel time to get there and extra time to fly back home doesn’t seem worth 2 days in Palermo. We took a 2 week trip to Sicily with a week car rental in the middle. Palermo and the east coast towns of Syracuse, Taormina and flying in or out of Catania are seen without the car. This means you don’t backtrack. This trip was part of a week in northern Italy. Having said all this, we thoroughly enjoyed Palermo. This included the food, gelato, markets, funky little sites like the skeleton crypt, and street life. Ciao

Posted by
1605 posts

hey hey jean
so many different answers here, yes or no. i'm in the yes group "GO FOR IT".
with you adding a few more days, check for budget fares to palermo, enjoy those few days which in the end you'll be glad you went. years ago my first trip to rome i was determined to ride the fast train, friend says not enough time, i said i'll ride by myself, she agreed to go and off we rode to of all places naples. loved it, was a crazy, interesting, "army guards" in tanks and their guns/rifles all around and fun, ate pizza, shopped the back alleys, rode a bus down the coast a bit, sat to people watch and have a glass of wine in the piazza. we still laugh till this day.
are there flights from palermo to canada without going to rome?
like others have said, do a street/food/market tour.
streaty.com eatwith.com withlocals.com/palermo
bestofsicily.com
stop by a tourist kiosk in piazzas and see what's available, ask host/hostess of hotel for info of a tour/driver. have fun and enjoy
aloha

Posted by
1660 posts

We stayed in Palermo for a week and really enjoyed it. We liked seeing the sites, but also just wandering around. Great little trattorias. We stayed in an Airbnb. Easy bus ride to the airport.

Posted by
2445 posts

Palermo is great, and if you are in Rome or another city with frequent direct flights it’s not too much of a hassle to get there. 3 nights is fine, but that leaves little room for anywhere outside the city if you also want to see Palermo. So I’d either do 4 nights or stick to the city. I do include Monreale in “the city”. Technically it’s not but it’s not the day trip some people act like it is. A cab and 30 minutes gets you there.

So things to do - explore the markets and take a food tour, go to the Norman Palace, the cathedral, Monreale (this is a true must-see if you have any interest in mosaics, art, architecture, or history!), and just explore the city. It’s fascinating and you’ll find all sorts of interesting things.