Rich in culture, traditions and culinary masterpieces, the Sicilian capital of Palermo is the perfect balance between past and present. A proud heritage showcasing ancient wonders stands comfortably alongside contemporary living, with an increasingly cosmopolitan atmosphere emerging thanks to convenient connections to cities across the island state. Palermo Centrale train station is well connected to other cities across the island of Sicily. The train to Palermo from nearby Cefalu takes only 42 minutes, while the train to Palermo from Catania takes approximately 2h47mins.
Once visitors have hopped off their train to Palermo, they need only take a 10-minute walk to reach to the Chiesa della Martorana (the Church of St. Mary, otherwise known as the Church of Martorana). This beautiful building is a splendid example of Byzantine architecture and is a preserve of precious frescoes and mosaics. Standing alongside this inspiring site is the Fontana Pretoria, originally built in Florence before being dismantled piece by piece and moved to its current home. One of the most beautiful fountains of its kind, this spot offers a true sculptural spectacle, with representations of some of the most iconic Olympians, including Apollo, Venus and Diana. Continuing the walking tour south through the city, after 10 minutes, visitors will stumble upon one of Palermo’s true icons — the cathedral. Fans of architecture will love this spot, offering up an eclectic showcase of varying styles, including Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical and Arabic. The Norman Palace, known locally as Palazzo Reale, can be found just a short 8-minute stroll away. It once served as the residence of the King of Sicily, and it now houses countless artefacts and exhibitions. It is also the home of the Cappella Palatina, which is a real icon of Byzantine art, with rich mosaics and a stunning wooden ceiling to marvel at here. No trip to this city is complete without a trip to the catacombs of Palermo. These catacombs serve as an underground city in their own right, and they stand head and shoulders above other underground graveyards from around the world! Just a 20-minute walk from the palace, visitors will want to get here early to beat the crowds, seeing as these catacombs are amongst the most-visited attractions in the Sicilian capital.