Palermo, the largest city on the island of Sicily, has stood the test of time since the ancient ages, straddling the cultures of the Occident as well as the Orient. Don’t be surprised if you sight Gothic chapels lined with swaying date palm trees, or if you come up against ancient architecture sporting Islamic domes and early Christian frescos. That’s the rich essence of Palermo, home to the country’s largest opera house, the Teatro Massimo. The imposing buildings of the Palermo Cathedral, the Palazzo dei Normanni and the Cappella Palatina with its intricate Byzantine mosaic work point to the city’s heyday in the Middle Ages. A visit to the city’s busy central plaza, vibrant street markets and harbor front, however, will tell you that Palermo is still young at heart. Take in this ancient city’s youthful art scene and savor the nouvelle cuisine served up at the many artisanal eateries and trendy bars around town.
Excelsior Palace Palermo overlooks the Giardino Inglese gardens near the heart of the city, just a short walk away from the ferry station. Expect a heritage building dating back to the 19th century and done up in the beautiful Art Nouveau style.
Plaza Opera Hotel is located in the heart of Palermo, just a short drive away from Teatro Massimo and the Palermo Cathedral. Walk into an elegant reception, featuring contemporary art and antique paintings.