What to do in Palermo during a cruise stop?

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Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily, Italy (c) Can Stock Photo

Palermo is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, this is located in the region of Sicilia. In the cruise world, this stop is one of the most valued due to its beauty, as well as its important cultural value, the good weather, the climate and the beautiful and crystalline beaches that bathe it. Not all cruises include Palermo in their itinerary, but if so, we recommend that you read this article so that you can fully enjoy the activities to be done in this beautiful island city. Read on to find out!

Cruises with a stop in Palermo

The first thing you should know is that not all cruises have an itinerary in Palermo. Keep in mind that this city is located on the island of Sicily, the largest in the entire Mediterranean, which is why the itinerary is only covered by some shipping companies with longer trips or with departures from this port. Our recommendation for this 2022 season is that you travel with MSC cruises. Specifically with the following:

  • MSC Seaside: MCS Seaside has organized trips starting in April this year. This ship was built in 2017, it allows a capacity of up to 5331 people and has a total of 2066 cabins. MSC Seaside offers a wide variety of activities on board, such as the water park, Broadway-style shows at the Metropolitan Theatre, nurseries for children and teenagers...
  • MSC Grandiosa: This ship was built in 2019, it offers a capacity of up to 5714 people and a total of 2444 cabins. Within its facilities we can find a large number of entertainment activities, such as the Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, the Sportplex sports club, the bowling alley or the Formula 1 simulator, among others. It has itineraries from February of this year until the end of the year.
  • MSC Opera: It is another of the boats that you can find to travel to Palermo. It was built in 2003 and offers a capacity of up to 2200 people. On board, different activities can be carried out, such as the Sparky Park, impressive shows at the Teatro dell'Opera and a shopping area in the Walk Through Shops area. MSC Opera organizes trips from May this year until the end.

These are just some of the options to travel to Palermo in this season, however, if you want to look at other itineraries that include this city —as well as other destinations in Italy and the Mediterranean— we recommend that you take a look at this cruise search engine: solocruises.com. In it you can find more than 1.000 different destinations throughout the Mediterranean, with a wide variety of dates and itineraries.

What to see in Palermo?

There are a large number of places and destinations that you can visit in Palermo on your own or with excursions organized by the cruise ship, as well as by other specialized tourism agencies. In case you go on your own, we recommend that you get into a taxi or a bus and start the route with one of the itineraries that we propose below.

Palatine Chapel and the Palace of the Normans

Here at the Independence Square Palermo is the Palazzo dei Normanni built by the Arabs in the XNUMXth century and the Palatine Chapel (in the lower part of the palace). Both places are now part of the seat of the Sicilian Regional Parliament. The Palatine Chapel is probably one of the most important areas you have to visit in Palermo. This mixes the Arab styles with the Norman, the Byzantine and the Sicilian. In it you can find the beautiful Pantocrator of the dome which is one of the most important works of art in Italy.

Catacombs of Palermo

The catacombs of Palermo can be quite disturbing, especially if you have a sensitive stomach, so it is an option recommended only for the most daring. Inside these you will find more than 8.000 embalmed or mummified bodies of the religious of the Capuchin order, as well as of the upper bourgeoisie of Palermo. It is undoubtedly a place that preserves an important historical legacy, but it is very impressive.

Center of Palermo

Of course, when you visit Palermo you cannot miss its historic center. In it you can find a lot of typical restaurants where you can have breakfast or eat delicious Italian dishes, but also access special enclaves, such as Piazza Vegliena, the Ballarò market, the Cathedral of Palermo, the Co-Cathedral of Santa María del Almirante and many other places.

Palermo Cathedral

The Cathedral of Palermo impresses from the outside and from the inside. This beautiful architectural work of art stands out for its eclectic style and for the mixture of artistic movements in all its corners. It is also known as Our Lady of the Assumption and is founded on a Paleo-Christian basilica that was transformed into a mosque. In it you will be able to appreciate the Arab-Norman style in the apses and battlements, but also the baroque of the dome, the Catalan-Aragonese Gothic in the portico with 3 arches and, finally, the neoclassical art of the XNUMXth century.

Pretoria Fountain

Last but not least, the Fontana Pretoria stands out. This is located in Piazza Pretoria and it is the most famous fountain in the whole city. Reasons are not lacking due to its impressive beauty, and that is that this Renaissance fountain represents a mythological world scenery in which gods, nymphs and nereids can be found with their naked torsos.

Organized excursions to Palermo

To travel in Palermo and enjoy this itinerary in one day, we recommend that you book your excursion directly on the cruise or with the specialized agency. These include transportation, as well as the price of entrance fees at paid monuments. In addition, they guarantee you to arrive on time at all the places and that the cruise does not leave without you. Likewise, the excursions organized on cruise ships are very varied, with plans focused on tourism, on the mysteries of Palermo, on the best food, on the beaches, in romantic places... You can also organize trips with specialized agencies directly at the port . The options are very varied.

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