In the heart of the historical Palermo
A stone’s throw from the Royal Palace and the Cathedral stands “Albergarìa Holiday House”, the place where you can find and discover your own tranquility and relaxation immersed in a unique setting in a fascinating city like Palermo with the most ancient origins. 7 apartments between 25 and 90 square meters with kitchen equipped with all utensils and kettle, double bed with cotton sateen sheets, air conditioning and LED TV, wardrobe or walk-in closet, bathrooms with XL shower with towels and hairdryer.
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A visit to the Abergheria district is certainly a fascinating stop for a tourist who is in Palermo. This historic district with a thousand facets is rich in history and monuments. Among its many alleys, it also houses the Ballarò market, which extends mainly on the Piazza del Carmine, from the name of the church here: that of the Carmine maggiore. The church has what can be called “the most beautiful dome in Palermo”. The Albergheria district, so called because once the home of travelers, is a place to scrutinize with interest, because of its many surprises. In a moment you can discover the mullioned windows, now walled, of Palazzo Rosselli. The Albergheria is a precious casket covered with earth to be peeling. The Albergheria, as it deserves, is still to be re-evaluated.
Palermo was a Phoenician, Greek and Roman city, an Arab capital, a land of conquest for Normans, Swabians, French and Spaniards. Centuries of history and domination have marked the Sicilian capital, a city with a thousand faces, crossroads of peoples, amalgam of different cultures and traditions, beautiful and immense. Palermo proudly displays the testimonies of its glorious past that lives on in the grandeur of its artistic and architectural heritage. In the “city of delights” harmoniously cohabitation of Arab domes, Baroque churches, Art Nouveau palaces, neoclassical theaters, eighteenth century green spaces and teeming historical markets, similar to the Arab souks.
Impossibile non restare affascinati da questa città innegabilmente splendida che purtroppo però, mostra su molti dei suoi beni monumentali i segni dell’incuria e del degrado, che la dolcezza del clima, la vivacità dei palermitani e la straordinaria cucina vi faranno dimenticare presto! In questa pagina vi indichiamo le 10 cose più importanti da fare e vedere a Palermo.
Despite the changes made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (the Baroque façade is an example), this charming sacred building preserves the original Arab-Norman style as shown by the square body surmounted by a hemispherical dome, and the beautiful bell tower open arches and three orders of large mullioned windows. The interior of the church has in the upper part of the walls, in the under-arches and in the dome magnificent Byzantine mosaics considered the oldest in Sicily. The central point of all the mosaic decoration is the image of Christ Pantocrator surrounded by archangels, apostles, saints and prophets. The mosaics complete the cycle with the Nativity of Jesus, the Transitus of Mary, the Annunciation and the Presentation in the Temple.
It is 1185 when the construction of the Cathedral of Palermo is completed. The immense religious building consecrated to the Assumption of the Virgin rises on the site previously occupied by a Christian basilica (604) transformed by the Saracens into a mosque (831) subsequently (re) converted to the Christian cult by the Normans (1072).
Remodeling and restoration carried out over the centuries have changed the original appearance that is characterized by the presence of different architectural styles. The main facade between two towers has a large 15th century portico in Catalan Gothic style, the dome is late baroque while the oldest part is represented by the apse with splendid Arab-Norman decorations. The interior reconstructed on the design of Ferdinando Fuga in the nineteenth century in neoclassical style is a Latin cross with three naves. Here are the remains of the royals of Sicily, including Frederick II and Roger II, and those of Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo. Other tombs are present in the crypt dating back to the 6th century. In the rooms of the Treasury it is possible to admire the golden tiara of the Queen Costanza of Aragon, together with other precious objects found in the royal sepulchres.
The Palazzo dei Normanni, also known as Palazzo Reale, is one of the main monuments of Palermo. The fortification built by the Arabs in the ninth century was transformed and enlarged by the Normans who made it their center of power.
That of Roger II was a rich and sumptuous palace as shown by the royal apartments decorated with mosaics depicting hunting scenes (12th century) and the Palatine Chapel, the church of the royal family, decorated with splendid Byzantine mosaics, considered among the most beautiful of all Sicily, and with the wonderful stalactite wooden ceiling.
After a phase of oblivion, the Palace again returned to shine in the 16th century when the Spanish viceroys chose it as their residence. During those years the towers of the Norman era were demolished (with the exception of the Pisana tower survivor), two large internal courtyards and other representative rooms were added, including the Sala d’Ercole which takes its name from the Velasquez frescoes representing the twelve labors of the Greek hero. Since 1947 the majestic Palace hosts the Sicilian Regional Assembly.
There are about eight thousand mummified bodies deposited from the seventeenth to the late nineteenth century in tunnels built under the Convent and the adjacent church dedicated to Our Lady of Peace. The micro – climatic conditions of these burial sites and the methods used by the friars to embalm bodies, have allowed the bodies to remain almost intact, and very recognizable. The Catacombs of Palermo, despite being a bit ‘outside the heart of the city, are one of the most popular tourist destinations by visitors to the Sicilian capital. The charm of the macabre, which has been kept intact from 1599, never goes out of fashion.
The local markets of Palermo are places out of time, which have retained the charm of a culture that has left unmistakable marks here. The markets of Ballarò and Vucciria, located near the station and the Church of the Martorana respectively, are the most visited, where the colors and scents of Palermo and Sicily, meet up on the stalls of the street vendors. Ballarò is still alive, authentically popular while the Vucciria has been subdued for some years, almost decandent, although it still deserves a visit.
Two other markets to visit are absolutely those of Capo, located behind the Teatro Massimo, and Borgo Vecchio, which is located near the port and is also open at night. Four places not to be missed to relive an ancient Palermo, which never loses its charm and to take home some food souvenirs at Km 0 and at very low cost.
Inaugurated in December 2008, the unique “Casa Museo Stanze al Genio” takes its name from the cultural association of the same name, collecting one of the largest collections in Europe of ancient Neapolitan and Sicilian majolica with over 2300 specimens on show (from the end of the 16th century in the early twentieth century), and other minor collections of contemporary art and modern art.
Rooms at the Genio in Palermo
The Casa Museo is housed in an elegant private house in a part of the main floor of the historic Palazzo Torre – Piraino, in the historic center of Palermo. The museum space is divided into 4 splendid rooms (entrance hall, kitchen room, flower hall and neoclassical room), also used for collateral cultural events. The exhibition path adopted for the majolica tiles follows a distinction by age, geographical origin and production highlighting for each of them the most beautiful and precious pieces.