Finally making a first contact with the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily, and Palermo itself, its capital city. A long time desired destination where unfortunately it is rare to find good flight deals at more or less decent flying times. We knew this trip was going to be quite a busy non-stop from one place to another, but definitely well worth it. Furthermore, the more we could visit the better in order to leave plenty of time to reach some of the many other cities and sights in the island for the next trips to Sicily, such as Agrigento, Trapani, Catania, Syracuse, Cefalu, Messina, Taormina. There’s a lot in the island, good enough for 2 weeks travelling and visiting non stop.
With so many sights and that much history everywhere on every corner, it is physically, and literately speaking, impossible to see everything not in just a day, but even a complete weekend will still be too short. You should calculate at least 3 days if you want to fully explore it. Just to give you an idea on how much heritage Palermo houses, many buildings have been listed UNESCO World Heritage sites as part of the “Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalu and Monreale”. This means Italy has the largest number of listings compared to any other country in the world, with the region of Sicily itself topping with the most number of sites.
The Arab-Norman style is something unique in the world and only to be found in Palermo and its nearby metropolitan area cities. This style was born right after the Normans conquered Sicily from the Arabs, destroying the majority of palaces and mosques of the once considered jewel not only in the Mediterranean but Europe itself; and in replacement emerged the new style combining arabesque decorations, Romanesque architecture and Byzantine mosaics, becoming once again a beautiful jewel city proud of its history. (more…)