PALAZZO DEI NORMANNI
Palazzo dei Normanni: Monday, Friday, Saturday 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00, Sunday 9:00-14:00
Capella Palatina: Monday-Saturday 8:30-12:00 and 14:00-17:00
(last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Tickets: 6 EUR/adult, 3 EUR/child
Duration: 1,5-2 hours
On a plateau above the incessant traffic and hubbub of the modern city, the Norman Palace, Palermo's stronghold, rises skyward. This piece of architecture offers a taste of the rich variety of art, the simplicity and the poised style of the Norman Sicilian kings' court. The mosaics of Christ the Pantocrator the Evangelists, and images of stories from the New and Old Testaments, on a gold background, are masterly pieces of the palace.
Opening hours: March-October Monday-Friday 9:00 -17:30, Saturday-Sunday 7:30-13:30 and 16:00-19:00, November-February Monday-Friday 9:30-13:30, Saturday-Sunday 7:30-13:30 and 16:00-19:00
Free entrance to Cathedral.
Royal Tombs and Treasury: 2 EUR/person
Duration: 1 hour
Rising among the narrow streets and the low storey buildings of the Cassaro, the Duomo is majestic. Built in 1184, it still preserves its original structure in spite of the changes brought along the centuries, the most relevant of which was the addition of the aisles and of the baroque dome at the end of the XVIII century. The Cathedral features some sculptures by Gagini, together with Henry VI, Frederick II and Constance of Aragon’s tombs, but also some verses from the Koran engraved on a column and the silver urn housing the remains of S. Rosalia, patroness of Palermo.
CATACOMBE DEI CAPUCCINI
Opening hours: 9:00-12:00 and 15:00-17:00
Tickets: 1,5 EUR/person
In 1599, Capuchin monks discovered that their catacombs contained a mysterious preservative that helped mummify the dead. As a result, more than 8,000 Sicilians from all walks of life chose to be buried here. For visitors to Palermo who enjoy the macabre and/or bizarre, the Catacombs of the Capuchins are a must-see. Like most displays of human remains, a visit to the mummies can lead to reflection on the meaning of death.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9:00-18:30, Sunday 9:00-13:30
Tickets: 3 EUR/adult, 2 EUR/child
Amongst the Sicilian palaces that open their doors to the visitors stands the majestic Mirto Palace, one of Palermo’s aristocratic households. Most of its salons, furnished with original items owned by the family, are Baroque in style. The Chinese Salon is quite similar to the rooms of the Chinese Villa built for King Ferdinando of Naples just a few years later, and may have been an influence. Palazzo Mirto is remarkable in that it offers the visitor a unique glimpse into the lifestyle of Sicily's aristocratic families during the nineteenth century.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9:00-13:00 and 15:30-18:30, Saturday 9:00-13:00
Tickets: 5 EUR/adult, 3 EUR/child
Opening hours: 8:00-13:00 and 14:30-18:00
Duration: 1,5 hours
Overlooking Palermo, the town of Monreale, from the Latin "Mons Regalis" (literally 'Royal Mountain'), straddles a slope of Mount Caputo. The cathedral and its cloister represent the largest concentration of Norman, Arab and Byzantine art in one place. The undisputed highlight of Monreale Cathedral is its richly mosaiced interior. Dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, the golden mosaics completely cover the walls of the nave, aisles, transept and apse.
Temples of Hera, Concordia and Herakles: 8:30-19:00
Temple of Zeus, Sanctuary of Chtonian deities and Temple of Dioscuri: 9:00- 17:00
Tickets: 8 EUR/adult, 4 EUR/child
Combined tickets (Temples + Acheological Museum in San Nicola): 10 EUR/adult, 5 EUR/child
Duration: 2 hours
The archaeological area known as the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily, is one of the most important archeological sites in the world and a Unesco world heritage site since 1998. Along a long rocky scarp, chosen as the southern limit of the town, are still sited the great temples of ancient Akragas:the Temple of Hera (Juno) Lacinia, Concordia, Heracles (Hercules), Olympian Zeus (Jupiter), Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri) and Hephaistos (Vulcan). Further down, on the bank of the Akragas river, near a medical spring, stood the Temple dedicated to Asklepius (Eusculapius), the god of medicine. At the mouth of the river there was the harbour and emporion (trading-post) of the ancient city.
Vulcano tour: 50-60 EUR/person
Duration: 4 hours
Getting there: South Side - funicular from Rifugio Sapienza-Nicolosi (1900 m) to 2900 m, from there 4x4 jeep and 30 minutes walking to crater
Etna is the most majestic active volcano in Europe: all around the craters, the lava flows confirming the ceaseless activity of the volcano.
Today Etna, which dominates the entire province of Catania, looks like an enormous black cone (white in winter), visible from 250 km away.
TEATRO GRECO - panorama view for Mount Etna and Taormina
Opening hours: April-September 9:00-19:00, October-March 9:00-16:00
Tickets: 5 EUR/adult, free for children
But by far the most remarkable monument remaining at Taormina is the ancient theatre ("Greek theatre"), which is one of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, on account both of its remarkable preservation and of the surpassing beauty of its situation. With a diameter of 109 metres (after an expansion in the 2nd century), this theatre is the second largest of its kind in Sicily (after that of Syracuse); it is frequently used for operatic and theatrical performances and for concerts.
Getting there: Hydrofoil (Ustica Lines)
Milazzo-Lipari - 50 minutes – 15,8 EUR oneway
Milazzo-Lipari: 6:20, 7:50, 9:40, 12:00, 14:25, 15:10, 16:20, 19:10
Lipari-Milazzo: 7:50, 10:55, 11:40, 12:15, 13:50, 17:40, 18:15, 19:15
Lipari-Vulcano - 10 minutes – 5,8 EUR oneway
Lipari-Vulcano: 7:50, 10:45, 11:40, 12:15, 13:50, 16:05, 17:40, 18:15, 18:45, 19:15, 20:30
Vulcano-Lipari: 6:35, 7:15, 8:45, 10:35, 11:05, 12:55, 15:15, 16:05, 16:25, 17:10, 20:05
Milazzo-Stromboli - 3 hours – 20,95 EUR oneway
Milazzo-Stormboli: 7:50, 9:40, 14:25, 16:20
Stromboli-Milazzo: 8:45, 11:00, 17:25
Milazzo-Salina - 1,5 hours – 17,55 EUR oneway
Milazzo-Salina: 6:20, 7:50, 9:40, 14:25, 15:10, 19:10
Salina-Milazzo: 7:15, 9:55, 11:10, 17:40, 18:40
As the domain of Aeolus, god of the winds, the Lipari Islands are a volcanic archipelago visible from Sicily's northern coast. The principal islands are Lipari, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi, Stromboli, Panarea and Vulcano. Here you'll find beautiful scenery, volcanoes, castles, thermal resorts, water sports, good fishing and, of course, some great beaches. Geologically, these beautiful islands are quite rugged, with deep caverns, steep cliffs, and splendid views. The volcanoes of Stromboli and appropriately named Vulcano, erupt fairly frequently; Filicudi, Alicudi and Salina are without volcanic activity in historical memory.