9 things to see in Palermo, Italy

What to see in Palermo – 10 places worth seeing in the capital of Sicily. Part I

Palermo is not only the largest port in Sicily, but also the fifth most populous city in Italy. Palermo can be called a museum in the open air – there are so many monuments of architecture of different styles and eras collected in the city. In order to simplify the life of tourists, we decided to dedicate a separate post to the topic of what to see in Palermo.

The Fountain of Pretoria is now called one of the most beautiful fountains in Italy, but at one time, because of the large number of naked statues, pious residents of Palermo also called it “Fountain of Shame”.

№10. Fountain “Pretoria” (Fontana Pretoria)

Fontana Pretoria is a composition, in the center of which one above the other are three bowls, surrounded by statues of various mythological characters, heads of animals and monsters. On the four sides of the main Fountain are staircase bridges, also decorated with mythical figures.

The Fountain of Pretoria was called “the fountain of shame” by the pious citizens of the city.

Pretoria was created by Italian sculptor Francesco Camilliani in the mid-16th century to decorate the residence of the Viceroy of Naples and Sicily in Florence.

After some time the Fountain of Pretoria was bought by the Senate of Palermo, moved to Sicily and in 1581 took its rightful place in Piazza Pretoria.

№9. Teatro Massimo

The Teatro Massimo in Palermo was built by the architect Giovanni Basile in 1897. It is the largest in Italy and one of the largest opera houses in Europe. The auditorium can accommodate 3,000 spectators, and its acoustics are considered one of the best in Italy.

Another “feature” of the theater is the abundance of busts of great composers by sculptor Giusto Liwa and his sons.

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The Massimo Theater is one of the largest opera houses in Europe

Like many Italians, the inhabitants of Palermo love and appreciate opera, which in Italy is considered an art for everyone, and tickets to performances are not too expensive and quite accessible to everyone.

By the way, the final scenes of the famous movie “The Godfather” were filmed exactly on the steps of the Massimo Theater.

№8. Archaeological Museum of Antonio Salinas

The Museo archeologico regionalale Antonio Salinas (Italian: Museo archeologico regionalale Antonio Salinas) is housed in a seventeenth-century building originally built for a religious order. In the middle of the 19th century, the activities of the Order were outlawed and the building was confiscated and given to the National Museum.

The Archaeological Museum of Palermo is rightly proud of its collection of artifacts from the Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

The museum’s collection is full of objects that reflect the rich history of Sicily, which has developed since antiquity under the influence of the most important civilizations of antiquity – Hellas, Rome and Carthage.

The name of the museum is inseparably linked to the archaeologist and numismatist Antonio Salinas, who bequeathed him his personal collection of 6,000 objects. It is noteworthy that Salinas was the director of the museum for over forty years – from 1873 to 1914.

№7. Puppet Museum (Italian Museo Marionetto )

Puppet Museum is famous for its collection of more than three and a half thousand exhibits.

Big and small, rag and wood, marionettes on strings and knights in armor for years collected by a man passionate about the study, preservation and promotion of folk traditions and customs – Antonio Pasqualino, who in 1975 founded the International Puppet Museum in Palermo .

The Puppet Museum of Palermo is famous for its collection of puppets

To pass on his experience to posterity, Antonio Pasqualino founded the Association for the Preservation of Sicilian Culture.

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In addition to traditional guided tours, the Museum shows films about puppetry, offers master classes in puppeteering techniques, seminars and lectures for schoolchildren and theater students. Finally, the Puppet Museum owns an extensive library about the history of puppets and puppet theaters.

№6. Palermo Markets

Nearly a millennium has passed since the Saracens left the shores of Sicily, but the city’s Arab history comes alive when you find yourself in its markets.

The straight and narrow shopping aisles are filled with spicy oriental scents, and the abundance of exotic goods, touted by noisy traders in an attempt to attract the wary customer, makes one dizzy.

Vucciria Market filled with spicy oriental scents

The Ballaro Market is located in the heart of the city, in the historical quarter of Albergheria. You can buy everything from cuttlefish, snails and octopus to Caciocavallo cheese, handbags and sandals.

The Vucciria Market is located on Piazza San Domenico. It is renowned for the abundance and freshness of fish, which is bought early in the morning from local fishermen by cafe and restaurant owners. This is also where the Sicilian peasants who bring meat, fruits and vegetables to Vucciria offer their goods.

Other markets worth mentioning in Palermo are the Mercato di Capo and the Pescheria Market.

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