Sicily is one of Italy’s most exotic regions with almost too many things to do and see in the capital city of Palermo! Surely images of “mafia” and “The Godfather” come to mind when imagining Sicily but there is so much beauty and fascination with this region. Sicily has it all: Ancient ruins, mountains, volcanos, wine, ocean (after all, Sicily is an Island), mind-blowing food, warm people, divine desserts and unforgettable cities- like it’s capital Palermo.
Palermo is Sicily’s capital and a major touristic destination. The city is a contrast of Sicilian color, old and new architecture, ruined and developed as it was hit hard by the bombings of WWII. One minute you’ll walk down a street and be dazzled by sparkling new shops and smooth sidewalks and down around the corner you may find a tiny outdoor food market with vats of boiled potatoes waiting to be sold by a grandfather like vendor, surrounded by ruined buildings visibly charred by bombing while a young boy carries food to his family on a donkey. It is an incredible trip that every Italophile must make in his or her life!
If you are planning to visit Palermo, here is a list of top 7 things to do in Palermo to put on your list:
(images from google)
2. Sicilian Cooking Class- After your market visit to the Vucciria with bags full of ripe Sicilian produce and specialties- don’t you think you should learn how to make some Sicilian fare? We specialize in gourmet travel and our clients can’t stop raving on tripadvisor about how cooking classes in Italy transform their understanding of Italian food and how they bring this culinary magic back with them home. Not only are these benefits evident when you take a cooking class in Italy, but you make priceless connections with the locals. Sicilians have a gift of being some of the warmest people on earth. Cooking with locals will give you the opportunity to spend an afternoon not only with a Sicilian chef, but with new friends.
3. Museo Archeologico Regionale (Regional Archeological Museum)- Sicily has a strong connection with the Greeks and Romans so many ancient structures were influenced by their styles as a result. Many artifacts reside in this museum monastery with not only these constructed remains, but also galleries of preserved scenes from various eras of Sicily’s rich history.
4. Catacombe dei Cappuccini (Cappuccini Catacombs!) Get ready to get goosebumps because these catacombs are the home to some 8000 mummified Palermitani who died between the 17th and 19th century! These mummies are even on display and divided by social status such as religion, crimes, chastity and wealth. Make sure you make this stop a request if you are taking a guided tour of Palermo!
5. A cultural walking tour of Palermo- Yes, knowing what sites to visit are important, having a guide take you through Palermo to discover sights, monuments and museums makes your trip to Palermo not only informative but fun! Get to know the inside and out of this Sicilian hub full of artifacts and modern history with a private, entertaining and friendly English speaking private tour in Palermo. Plus, you’ll get some exercise walking around to justify the food and wine you’ll enjoy on your tour.
6. Eat out! Sicily is known for succulent meat dishes, mouthwatering lasagna, superb wines made from rich, mineral volcanic soil, explosive tomatoes (not from the volcanos, but the effect on your tastebuds) and decadent desserts like world famous cannoli and cassata. So treat yourself to a night (or few) out fine dining your way through the culinary treasures of Sicily. Want to avoid the touristic trap restaurants in Palermo? Contact us- we offer complimentary bookings in Palermo’s finest restaurants (secret tips that not even the guidebooks know).
7. Visit to the botanical garden (Orto Botanico Palermo)- Sicily has an exotic past and a tropical nook in the city with it’s botanical garden! Visit to walk through groves of fig and palm trees, striking flora and fauna, papayas and coffee trees! I bet you didn’t know Sicily could grow 2 things: coffee and palm! Were we right?
Anything we are missing or that you would like to learn more about for things to do in Palermo? Contact us! Le Baccanti is proud to have been planning luxury vacations and tours in Italy for over 10 years. We are happy to share our expertise with our clients aka our VIPS!