Hola, palermo

Capital of the beautiful region of Sicily, Palermo is a fascinating hidden gem awaiting to be discovered. This busy port city pulsates with vibrant energy, embodying a perpetual transformation that has firmly reinstated it among Europe's cultural hubs. Palermo is full of sights and treasures: from ornate Baroque churches and glorious Norman-Gothic architecture to elegant Art Nouveau villas and lively markets. Amidst the chaotic streets, the city's flamboyant spirit thrives, offering a delightful surprise at every turn.

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Zisa Palace

Zisa Palace is a 12th century castle built for King William I of Sicily. Its name derives from the Arabic word "al-Aziz", which means splendid. The original Norman building underwent some changes during the years, especially with the decorations added during the Baroque period. The Islamic inspiration for the architecture is clearly visible in the decorations of the vestibule, where Arabic vaults and columns are interposed by Baroque frescoes and marble decorations. Today, the castle houses a museum of Islamic art.

Art Nouveau Kiosks

The three Art Nouveau kiosks by architect Ernesto Basile appear like unexpected gems along the buzzing streets of Palermo. Built about the end of the 19th century, the kiosks once hosted the traditional Sicilian vendors of soft drinks and refreshing beverages but are today converted into tobacconists.Chiosco Ribaudo located in Piazza Verdi, the most famous one, is a crimson and wrought iron building adorned with golden letters. The second Ribaudo kiosk in Piazza Castelnuovo is decorated with colourful majolica and mosaics while the Chiosco Vicari, in front of the Teatro Massimo, is a triumph of Moorish, Islamic, and Colonial architecture.

Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas

Housed in a Renaissance monastery, the Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas boasts a rich collection of Roman and Ancient Greek artefacts including many items spanning most of Palermo’s history. The highlights of the exhibition are the decorative friezes from the temples at Selinunte.

Piazza Pretoria

The grandiose Piazza Pretoria captivates with its fountain, spreading proudly in front of Palazzo Pretorio (City Hall) as one of the major symbols of Palermo. The Pretoria Fountain was sculpted by Francesco Camilliani in 1574 and initially placed in Florence for a few years. It was then bought by the municipality and transported to Palermo. The fountain is a true masterpiece and is considered one of the most beautiful fountains in Italy. The nude figures adorning the fountain have got the most prudish population in the city to nickname the square "Piazza della Vergogna", (Square of Shame).

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