Day 1 - 4 Nov 2021
Content: Every year around my birthday I try to take a trip. The last few years I haven’t been able to, so when this year my birthday lined up with my partners break we immediately decided to look for flights!! We both wanted to go somewhere warm if possible but decided the best option was to look on Skyscanner and find the cheapest options. Lucky for us, Palermo in Sicily, Italy was the perfect fit!
Day 1 - 4 Nov 2021
Content: We flew from Budapest, Hungary to the Palermo airport. There’s more than one airport so make sure you see which is the closest to your destination when visiting Sicily. It’s a two hour direct flight and we found tickets for only €26 round trip!! From airport you can take a bus that runs every half hour for €6. It takes around 50 minutes to get to the city center, which is the last stop on the bus route. We rented an Airbnb for €38 a night in the city center, only 5 minutes walking from the bus station.
Day 1 - 4 Nov 2021
Content: We checked into our Airbnb with contactless check in! It was a FANTASTIC location and great value for money. The host was very responsive and kind with recommendations. Would definitely suggest staying here.
Content: on our first night we arrived quite late and were looking for a late dinner. Only a few streets up from out apartment we found Francesco Grillo. It’s located in a quaint courtyard and has small patio styled seating out front. Inside is decorated in American like memorabilia and it played some of the best music. When we looked at the street menu, we were hooked. Right there on the sign: Fried pizza. That’s right, you heard me.... FRIED. PIZZA. Think calzone meets langos or savory styled elephant ear. All I can say is wow. Just wow. We each ordered one and they cost €6 a piece. We also both ordered a cocktail. My partner had a Blue lagoon (€6) and I enjoyed a delicious Amaretto sour (€6). The hours of operation are Wednesday- Monday 18:00-2:00. Closed on Tuesday.
Day 2 - 5 Nov 2021
Content: Our Airbnb was in a great location!
Content: We walked around the city and the streets all have beautiful buildings! Highly recommend taking a stroll through the city.
Content: Piazza Quattro Canti, officially known as Piazza Vigliena, is a Baroque square in Palermo, Sicily. It was laid out on the orders of the Viceroys between 1608-1620 by Giulio Lasso and Mariano Smiriglio at the crossing of the two principal streets in Palermo, the Via Maqueda and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The piazza is octagonal, four sides being the streets; the remaining four sides are Baroque buildings, the near-identical facades of which contain fountains with statues of the four seasons, the four Spanish kings of Sicily, and of the patronesses of Palermo, (Christina, Ninfa, Olivia and Agata). The façades onto the interchange are curved, and rise to four floors; the fountains rise to the height of the second floor, the third and fourth floors contain the statues in niches. At the time the piazza was built, it was one of the first major examples of town planning in Europe.
Content: This adorable door is right around the corner from Piazza Quattro Canti
Content: Cafeteria del Corso: Our first morning we woke up and I really was craving some Italian coffee, seriously bless the Italians and their coffee. I looked for top rated breakfast places nearby and found Cafeteria del Corso. It’s on one of the main streets and the staff was so friendly! I ordered a cappuccino and my partner ordered a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate is like most places in Italy... a melted cup of chocolate. I also ordered a Cannoli which was fantastic, and my partner had an Apple pie cream Pastry which he said was very good. Highly recommend visiting here for breakfast if you’re in the area. Hours of operation are Monday - Saturday 6:30-19:30, Sunday 6:30-12:30.
Content: The Cathedral of Palermo is one of the most important architectural monuments in Sicily. It was built in 1184 by the Normans as a re-converted Christian church on the site of a Muslim Mosque that was previously built over a Christian basilica. This Cathedral is a must see when visiting Palermo! The reason for building this cathedral was to surpass in beauty the Cathedral of Monreale so you can imagine how architectural exaggeration was involved due to the competitiveness. What we see today is the result of a stratification of styles over the centuries from Gothic to Medieval, Arabic (an actual passage from the Koran is still engraved on one of the columns) to Neoclassical. The sites are: Treasury of the Cathedral of Palermo if you want to see precious gold , silver and enamelled objects. Terraces if you want to see the Cathedral with its lovely green domes and Palermo from the top. Royal and Imperial Tombs of the Cathedral of Palermo if you want to see the tombs of important royals and emperors. (you will see them anyway while going to the terraces). Crypts if you want to see highly decorated marble sculptured sarcophagi. Admission is free for visiting only the church but cost €7.00 for the Tombs, Treasury, Crypts and Terraces all together otherwise you can pay each one separately if you don’t want to see them all. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday from 9.00- 17.30; Sunday only the Royal Tombs from 9.00-13.00
Content: This is located right next to the cathedral and was one of my favorite photo locations !
Content: Palazzo dei Normanni, or the Normanni palace is a grand 9th century palace with neo- classical facade, historic chapel and ornate royal apartments. It was the seat of the Kings of Sicily with the Hauteville dynasty and served afterwards as the main seat of power for the subsequent rulers of Sicily. Since 1946 it has been the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly. The building is the oldest royal residence in Europe; and was the private residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Sicily and the imperial seat of Frederick ll and Conrad IV. Tours are available Tuesday - Thursday 8:30-16:30 for €16.50. Friday to Monday and during holidays the tours increase to €20 with the same hours of operation, except for Sunday when they are only available between 8:30-9:30 and 11:30-12:30.
Content: Villino Florio is a striking 1900’s villa designed by Ernesto Basile. Tours are free and in Italian, so you might not get a guide who speaks your language unfortunately. We didn’t get lucky so we didn’t learn much about the house but it was still very interesting to see. Hours of operation are Tuesday - Saturday 9:00-13:00.
Content: Palermo is famous all around the world for Rice arancina. It is a rice ball filled with different ingredients (meat, smoked ham, spinach, mixed cheeses and so much more) and then deep fried according to centuries-long tradition. KePalle is the top rated place for these in Palermo and justifiably so! Each ball cost €3 a piece and we ordered 3 which was the perfect amount. Hours of operation are Sunday - Thursday 10:30-23:00 and they stay open til midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Content: I wanted to have a tapas styled dinner one night and came across CuFu on the highly rated list. They have a huge tapas selection and two cocktails for €15 a person , usually it’s minimum of 4 people but they made a half portion for us. It was fantastic. It included a pasta, 2 arancina, 2 croquettes sandwiches, 2 hash brown quiches, a bowl of roasted veggies, 2 types of bread with spreads, olives, 2 bruschetta, a bowl of fruit and 2 cannolis! Hours of operation Tuesday- Thursday 18:00-1:00, Friday/Saturday 18:00-2:00, Sunday 18:00- midnight, closed on Monday. During non COVID times, they have a night club here.
Day 3 - 6 Nov 2021
Content: by far this is the most Instagramable café we visited. The adorable entrance with the bike leads into the front of the café where they have swing seats. It’s light and airy and it’s decorated beautifully. The staff are young and speak English. There is quite an assortment for breakfast. My partner went with the desert pancakes while I went for a croquet madam. I also had a wonderful cappuccino and my partner had a white chocolate milkshake! Hours of operation, while it says online they open at 9:00 , we went around 9:40 and they didn’t open until 10:00. They close everyday at 15:00 and are not open at all on Wednesday.
Content: The Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele is an Opera house located on the Piazza Verdi in Palermo, Sicily, dedicated to King Victor Emanuel ll. It is the biggest in Italy, and one of the largest of Europe (at the time of its inauguration, it was - with its area of 7730 m² - the third largest opera house in Europe after the Palais Garnier in Paris. and the K. K. Hof-Opernhaus in Vienna, renowned for its perfect acoustics. An international competition for the creation of the opera house was announced by the Palermo Council in 1864 at the instigation of the mayor, Abronio Starrabba di Rudinì. The opera house was designed, and overseen by the Italian architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile, who was well known in Sicily for his previous Cathedral restoration design in the city of Acireale, as well as garden and villa designs in the city of Palermo and Caltahirone. Following G. B. F. Basile's death in 1891, construction was then overseen by his son, Architect Ernesto Basile. Construction started on 12 January 1874, but was stopped for eight years from 1882 until 1890. Finally, on 16 May 1897, twenty-two years after the laying of the foundation stone, the opera house was inaugurated with a performance of Verdi’s Falstaff conducted by Leopoldo Mugnone. Guided tours cost €8.
Content: The Politeama Theatre is a theatre located in the central Piazza Ruggero Settimo and represents the second most important theatre of the city after the Teatro Massimo. It houses the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana. The architectural project was assigned to Giuseppe Damiani Almeyda. The theatre would have to be built on the border of the monumental structure of Palermo, as an ideal point of reference of the city's expansion. On 7 June 1874 the theatre was inaugurated with the opera I Capuleti e I Montecchi of Vincenzo Bellini. However, the building wasn't complete yet. During the following years the name of the building was simply "Teatro Municipale Politeama". In 1882 Guiseppe Garibaldi died and the theatre was named after him.
Content: La Colonna dell'Immacolata is a monument situated in front of the San Domenico church, in the neighborhood La Loggia. The column was founded in 1728 in the Baroque style. The monument is composed of a marble pedestal and a bronze statue.
Content: They have a make your own style menu for cannolis!
Content: We stumbled upon Sud while we were walking on the Main Street and decided to make a reservation for dinner that night. It’s the most upscale place we went on our trip. They have a great menu and very good wine. You are given the best bread drizzled with oil as a starter and it is AMAZING. I ordered the pasta carbonara And my partner ordered a pizza . Both were fantastic. Our bill was €37 with the service charge. Hours of operation are from 10:00-1:00 every day.
Day 4 - 7 Nov 2021
Content: Our final morning before heading to the airport we set out in search of a last breakfast. My partner found Bacio Nero. What a selection. We ordered 3 types of tarts, a cannoli and a croissant. I also ordered an iced tiramisu cappuccino! Everything was delicious. Hours of operation are 24 hours every day!
Content: Ballaro market is a traditional market selling fruit, vegetables, meat, spices, fish and street food. When we first arrived it didn’t seem like it was a large market, boy were we wrong. The markets goes for blocks and blocks winding in different directions down the small alley streets. It even turns into a flea market on the weekends where people continue for more blocks selling all kinds of antiques and assorted items. Monday- Saturday the main market is open from 7:00-19:00 and on Sunday it’s opens from 7:00-13:00.
Day 4 - 7 Nov 2021
Content: Our flight back was 2 hours!