New penthouse apartment in Palermo (180 sq.m. on two floors) located in a architect restored historic building with porter and lift. We have 2 living rooms, 2 spacious, bright and comfortable bedrooms and two ensuite bathrooms. One of the bedrooms is on two levels and forms a sort of indipendent apartment of 30 sq. m which can sleep 4: the upper level (a loft) has a double bed and the lower level has a sofa bed. The other double bedroom is very large, about 25 sq. m., and there is enough space to add an extra bed if necessary. Each room has its own bathroom and TV, and air conditioning. There is a large furnished terrace on the top floor from which you can admire the city's seven domes. The kitchen is fully equipped with an electric oven, fridge, freezer, microwave and dishwasher.
Our apartment is located in the historic heart of the old city center of Palermo, in a historic building, Palazzo del Gran Cancelliere, built on the ancient Punic city walls which are visible through a glass floor in the lower lobby. It is only a few steps away from the most important monuments of the city such as the Arabic-Norman Cathedral, Palazzo dei Normanni (the Royal Palace), Riso, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, the historic market Ballarò, Via Maqueda and Quattro Canti, and the beautiful Opera House, Teatro Massimo to mention only a few. Conveniently located near the central train station and bus terminal it provides easy access to Falcone Borsellino airport, and to the network of regional buses which connects the whole island.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Mondello 8 km|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Falcone Borsellino 33 km, Nearest railway: Palermo Harbour 2 km|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, Video player, CD player, Safe, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Dining seats for 10, Lounge seats for 1|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace|
The territory is mostly hilly, though there are some higher mountains along the Northern coast (the Peloritani, Nebrodi and Madonie) and the highest and major active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna (3323 m), and just below lies the fertile, large Plain of Catania.
Sicily is surrounded by many smaller islands, such as Ustica, the Eolie or Lipari group (also called the Seven Sisters), comprising two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, then the Egadi group, Pantelleria and the Pelagie Isles.
PALERMO - The capital of Sicily was founded by Phoenicians under the name of "Ziz" (= Flower, but the meaning is still uncerain) and later renamed by Greeks "Panormos", which means "all port". It reached its golden age during the Arab domination (9th to 11th centuries AD) when it became one of the most prosperous cities in the Mediterranean and Europe, known as "city of delights" for its marvelous and lavish gardens, as well as for magnificent mosques and palaces.
After being conquered by the Normans (1060-1080 AD), most of palaces and mosques were destroyed, but the new rulers exploited the cosmopolitan environment of Palermo and the artists, architects and masters from different cultural roots giving the birth to a unique architectural style, the so-called "Arab-Norman Style of Sicily", which is an original mixture of arabesque decorations, Romanesque architecture and Byzantine mosaics.
After being home to one of the most famous emperors of the Middle Ages, Frederik II fo Swabi, named "Stupor Mundi" by contemporaries, Palermo began its decadence under the influence of several dominations In the mid-19thcentury, Palermo was one the leading revolutionary cities in Italy, strongly contributing to the success of the "Mille" (literally "one thousand"), a patriots' expedition lead by the famous Italian national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi which ended with the reunification of Italy under the Savoy dynasty from Turin (1860).
Nowadays, Palermo faces several problems affecting its economic development, mainly because of the presence of the very powerful criminal organization known worldwide as "Mafia" or "Cosa Nostra". The city's economy is based on local government institutions, port, shipbuilding industry and the mechanical industry. It is also seat to some important Sicilian wine making companies (like Tasca d'Almerita, Duca di Salaparuta, Corvo, Planeta, etc.) whose popularity in the world is growing.
For the varieties of its monuments, witnessing its long and rich history, the number of other cultural and naturalistic attractions,it can offer a very interesting experience to the visitors interested in exploring it.
Cathedral - honey-coloured and Catalan influenced. Frederick II, Barbarossa's son, died in 1250 and is buried here, far from his ancestral home above Hohenstaufen, Germany. Frederick's sarcophagus is of porphyry dyed with imperial purple.
Quattro Canti - the symbolic crossroads at the old centre of the city and the nearby small, but pretty La Martorana church with byzantine mosaics inside.
Catacombe dei Cappuccini, open daily 9AM-12 noon and 3PM-5PM, entrance is €3 - the catacombs of the Capuchin convent located on the Piazza Cappuccini, just west of the city centre, contain over 8000 mummified ex-residents from Palermo and its surrounding villages, some merely clothed skeletons, other remarkably well-preserved and lifelike. Well worth a visit, interesting, if slightly morbid. Children may either find it exciting or terrifying and it must be the responsibility of their parents to think carefully before taking them.
Palazzo dei Normanni. Inside, don't miss the mosaics in the Cappella Palatina and the old Royal Apartments.
street markets, especially near the Piazza del Carmine and Vucciria. At the Ballaro there is a huge variety of fresh fruits on offer.
Piazza Garraffello near Vucciria on Friday nights a DJ is playing open air if the weather is good. Huge crowd dancing. There are also lots of bars right next to the square.
Piazza Pretoria, including the Fontana Pretoria
The Gesu Church is one of the most architecturally important in Palermo. Constructed between 1564–1633, it's late date of completion resulted in an abundant use of polychrome marbles on both floors and walls. This form of decoration, which gradually evolved in Sicily from the beginning of the 17th century, was a mark of the beginning of the Sicilian Baroque period, which was to give Sicily almost an architectural national identity.
San Giovanni degli Eremiti. Via dei Bernadetti. Tel: +39 91 6515019. Old church ruin and nice garden. The €6 admission ensures that the lovely garden is quiet and peaceful. Open mo-sa 9AM-7PM.
Cappella Palatina, Piazza Indipendenza, Tel: +39 091 7054317. Chapel with mosaics. It's one of the artistic gems of Palermo, magnificent mosaics and Arabian-style decorations, among the most beautiful in the world. Open mo-fr 9-11. 45AM and 3-4.45PM. Sa 9-11.45AM. Su 9-9.45AM, 12-12.45PM.
The Zisa and the Cuba, Arabic-Norman royal palaces. The Zisa is in Piazza Zisa; the Cuba in Corso Calatafimi.
Monreale - a village/suburb 8 km west of Palermo, sitting on the hill with a great view back towards the city and the sea. Be sure to visit the Duomo (Cathedral) and its cloisters too.