Previously known as the Province of Palermo, the Metropolitan City of Palermo sprawls across the north coast of Sicily. It has been ruled by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Normans throughout its past, with historical records showing that the province has existed since around the 8th century BC.
Things to do in Palermo
Whether you want to discover the historical marvels of Palermo or relax on the blissful beaches of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Metropolitan City of Palermo is a deservedly popular Italian destination.
Sightsee in Palermo. Centred around a monumental cathedral, Palermo is an ancient city that has experienced a recent tourism boom. Marvel at the Neoclassical-style Teatro Massimo where opera performances are regularly held and see the Byzantine mosaics that decorate the 12th-century Cappella Palatina. Palermo is also home to one of the oldest palaces in Europe, the Palazzo dei Normanni, which exhibits both Moorish and Norman architectural influences.
Explore Parco delle Madonie. In the far east of the Metropolitan City of Palermo is this regional park encompassing some of the highest mountains in Italy. It’s home to rugged terrain inhabited by wildcats, fallow deer and Bonelli’s eagles, as well as extensive beech forest and the almost extinct Nebrodi fir tree. Ancient churches, centuries-old castles and medieval villages also dot the park.
Relax in Cefalù. A short drive east of Palermo is Cefalù, which is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It centres around a fortress-inspired Norman cathedral housing well-preserved Byzantine mosaics and is fringed by stunning beaches with crystalline waters. Kick back in Spiaggia di Mazzaforno's sandy cove or experience the tranquility of rocky Spiaggia di Settefrati.
Getting around Palermo
Falcone Borsellino Airport is the main aviation gateway to the Metropolitan City of Palermo and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect from towns and cities across Sicily to the Palermo Central railway while ferries travel from the province to mainland Italy and Tunisia. Buses serve smaller towns and villages throughout the Metropolitan City of Palermo.