Palermo is a metropolitan cosmopolitan city. It is really quite a big city, as far as cities go in Sicily and should be a destination of interest for the traveler. It has a unique contrast of ancient and modern day city buildings and monuments throughout.
Restaurants in Palermo
As Sicily’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Palermo offers great dining as well as great shopping opportunities. Though there are really good restaurants throughout Palermo, they are not very easy to find.
In general, we would suggest that you try the ones on the side streets instead of the ones near Via Amari and via Cavour which might be described as “tourist restaurants”.
The best restaurants and bars in Palermo include Antica Focacceria, Il Bagatto, Piazza Marina, La Cambusa Trattoria, Genio Trattoria, and Il Goliardo Trattoria-Pizzeria.
For the tourist, it might be good to note that the Piazza Olivella, hidden from the eyes of the casual tourists walking the main streets, is one of Palermo’s most popular spots. It’s the square near the archeological museum and San Filippo Neri church in a rectangle formed by via Cavour, via Roma and via Maqueda near the Teatro Massimo. About thirty dining places, including bars, are located in the square itself and also along via Orologio, via Bara and all’Olivella and the surrounding streets.
Cin-Cin is an elegant restaurant and one of Palermo’s culinary treasures, routinely ranked by critics as one of the city’s favorite dining spots. Cin-Cin’s cuisine is a highly-evolved yet traditional Sicilian cooking. If you want to find refined Sicilian cuisine you’re ready for an enchanting dinner at Cin-Cin, whose essential menu features grilled appetizers, superb main courses of beef, seafood and pasta dishes. The setting is serene: Cin-Cin occupies a number of rooms that allow an intimate ambience; a pleasant environment to enjoy a great meal.
Throughout Palermo there are excellent pastry shops and bars that serve ice cream, pastries, and sandwiches. If you want to sample these tempting delights in a leisurely setting, we suggest the charming outdoor cafes on Via Principe di Belmonte. Located in the best shopping district, Via Belmonte is closed to traffic.
Shopping at Palermo
The city doesn’t just offer great cuisine and fascinating history. Palermo also has some great shopping facilities and many better shops are conveniently located in the city’s centre around via Maqueda and via Liberta, especially on the side streets where you’ll find shops that sell everything from antiques to Sicilian-made specialty goods like crafts, ceramics and jewelry.
Famous sights at Palermo
Beyond this are the many landmarks, monuments and buildings to visit in Palermo. The Cathedral, Chinese Villa, Magione Church, Martorana Church, Mount Pellegrino, Politeama Theatre, Quattro Canti, Royal Palace, St Francis Church, St. John of the Hermits, Teatro Massimo, and Zisa are some of the many sights. As well, Mondello is a beautiful beach that can be visited during the day or night. It is not only a beach, but also a tourist and vacation spot as there are many shops and restaurants along its boardwalk. During the day it’s a lovely place to go for a swim or just to take a walk, and at night its beautiful lights along the water are dazzling.
Via Liberta Quarter
Via Liberta Quarter is a great area to visit. This area has a variety of landmarks and sights including Mount Pellegrino, Saint Rosalie’s Shrine, Chinese Villa, Favorita Park, Villa Trabia, and Ficuzza. It is also the area where Mondello beach is located, so be sure to make a trip there.
Mount Pellegrino offers amazing panoramic views of Palermo but it is most famous for the Sanctuary of Saint Rosalie, located near the summit along winding roads that travel through woods of Mediterranean stone pines. The Chinese villa, which is also located in this area, is a beautiful ancient home built in the Oriental style. The Chinese villa is located in the Favorita Royal Park and the nearby Pitre Folk Museum is open to the public. Favorita Park or the Royal Park is a vast wooded area, and rabbits and migratory birds are seen here occasionally. The Park is owned by the City of Palermo, and is an attractive entrance to Mondello Beach.