Palermo is one of the highlights of the seven-night western Mediterranean cruises on MSC Grandiosa, with embarkation possible at every port: Marseille, France, Genoa, Italy, Civitavecchia/Rome, Italy, Palermo, Italy, Valetta, Malta and Barcelona, Spain.
Palermo, capital of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, will remain in the heart of anyone who visits her luscious shores.
The arrival into Palermo from sea is spectacular. As your ship approaches the coast the golden sun illuminates the plain, and the plantations of lemons and other citrus fruits come into view creating an incredible view that gives Palermo its name Conca d'Oro (Golden Valley). It’s not only its natural beauty that has made Palermo and Sicily a top tourist meta: the various settlements in history have left a rich historical, artistic and gastronomic heritage.
The treasures of the Chapel
The Palatine Chapel is located on the inside of the Palazzo dei Normanni, the oldest royal residence in the whole of Europe. It is decorated with splendid mosaics and frescoes. The floor is made of pure marble, dotted with precious stones, and the ceiling is beautifully decorated with intricate inlays.
The historic centre of Palermo is full of monuments to visit: the Cathedral, the square of the Quattro Canti, “Vucciria”, the most famous market in Palermo, the Kalsa district, the Teatro Massimo, one of the most important opera houses in the whole of Italy, and the Benedictine monastery of Martorana where the nuns invented Sicily’s famous almond paste, ingredient of many of the island’s sweet delicacies.
Mondello and Cefalù
One of the prettiest trips outside the city centre of Palermo is to the coastal area of Mondello, loved by locals and tourists alike thanks to its beautiful beaches and Art Nouveau villas. You’ll also find plenty of places to try some of Sicily’s gastronomic specialities such as cannoli, a delicious fried pastry filled with creamy ricotta, and cassata, small cakes made with ricotta and decorated with candied fruit.
Cefalù is a seaside village dominated by its magnificent Cathedral the Duomo Fortezza, with its twin bell towers. In the historic centre you’ll find the old public washhouse and many small shops for buying puppets, Sicilian carts, pottery and tambourines, the typical local handicrafts.
Don’t wait, guarantee your cabin on board MSC Grandiosa now, and explore all that Palermo and its surroundings have to offer.