Pulsing Palermo: An Adventure in Italy’s Ancient Capital – 07/2013
Palermo is one of the oldest cities in Italy, founded by the Phoenicians in 754 BC. Today, it serves as the capital and administrative center of Sicily, with a population of approximately 700,000 people, though it feels like 7 million due to its bustling streets and constant flow of people, cars, and mopeds.
Indeed, Palermo is a very large and noisy city, with a chaotic energy that can be overwhelming for visitors. However, beneath its frenzied surface lies a city rich in history, culture, and tradition. From its ancient architecture to its vibrant markets, there is much to discover and explore.
One of the city’s most popular attractions is the Norman Palace, a stunning example of medieval architecture that has served as the seat of Sicilian power since the 12th century. Inside, visitors can marvel at the ornate mosaics and frescoes that decorate its walls and ceilings, as well as the impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance art housed in its galleries.
Another must-visit destination is the Quattro Canti, a lively intersection at the heart of the city that is adorned with beautiful baroque statues and fountains. Here, visitors can soak up the lively atmosphere of the city, watching street performers and locals going about their daily business.
But perhaps the most rewarding experiences in Palermo are to be found in its many hidden corners and quiet side streets. Here, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, visitors can discover charming cafes, family-run restaurants, and local markets where they can sample some of the region’s famous street food.
While Palermo may be overwhelming at times, it is also a city of great beauty and character. From its chaotic streets to its hidden treasures, there is much to discover in this ancient city. So if you find yourself in Palermo, take the time to explore its many wonders, and let its unique energy and charm leave a lasting impression on you.
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