With three options to choose from: the morning tour, afternoon tour or complete tour, you have the opportunity to explore Palermo, Capital of Culture 2018, accompanied by professional guides. Discover the wonders this city has to offer with a sublime walk through history and amazement. The tour includes two parts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with the freedom to follow only one or both.
MORNING TOUR: THE REGNANTS AND PEOPLE
DEPARTURE: 9.00am from Piazza Verdi – Main staircase of the Teatro Massimo of Palermo
Depart from the Teatro Massimo and admire the imposing structure of the largest Opera House in Italy. Within walking distance, we will enter the heart of the historical 'U Capu' Market where history, tradition and street food mingle with the voices and faces of the people of Palermo. There is hidden a baroque jewel that has just been restored; the church of the Immaculate Conception. Through alleys and ancient buildings, we will reach the Norman cathedral where there are the remains of Frederick II of Swabia and the silver “Vara” of Santa Rosalia.
Between the gardens of the Villa Bonanno and the ancient Roman ruins of Paleopolis we will make our way to the Royal Palace of the Normans. The palace preserves 3000 years of our history and the splendid mosaics of the Palatine Chapel in which Arabs, Byzantines and Normans shared knowledge, esoteric secrets, life and traditions in great state of tolerance can be found here. Along the ancient fortifications we will photograph San Giovanni degli Eremiti, an evocative Arab-Norman architecture with its particular domes. Discovering the Middle Ages, Spanish facades and courtyards of the historic residences we will travel along the “Cassaro” to conclude our morning tour to Quattro Canti or the Teatro del Sole, an elegant baroque building.
BREAK: 12.30pm – Stop and free time for lunch a few steps from historic gourmet restaurants or modern street food places.
AFTERNOON TOUR: BAROQUE AND ARISTOCRACY
DEPARTURES: 1.30pm from Quattro Canti.
The afternoon tour starts from Quattro Canti to finish towards the sea at 4.30pm. You will see how the famous Pretoria (Shame) fountain is a scene beholding popular stories. In Piazza Bellini we will admire the domes of San Cataldo from the 12th century, as well as the domes of the Order of the Knights, of the Holy Sepulcher, the Martorana and of Santa Caterina and we will travel along the alleys of the Corporations of the artisans and of the Judges who accompanied the Inquiries to the Death. You will be introduced to the stories of Gattopardo admiring the terrace of the Gangi palace, location of the famous film by Visconti, to reach the square decorated by the splendid Gothic rose window of the church of San Francesco D’Assisi. From there we will discover the richest and darkest centuries of Hispanic Sicily with a visit to the oratory of San Lorenzo decorated by the stuccos of the Serpotta and admire the ancient furnishings, stables and treasures in the Historical House of the Mirto Palace. In the shadow of the centuries-old ficus magnoliids of the sea square, a surprise visit in the footsteps of the 'Santa Inquisition' will end our walk through traditional ice-creams and cannoli in the district of the old port of the Cala.