Palermo is a wonderful city founded on contrasts: here, one street may contain the ruins and remains of the past, and another one can look polished, renovated, with expensive hotels and branded stores. Palermo is the city where people often violate traffic rules. The city is full of dynamics and different events. Those who can put up with its creative mess will fall in love with it forever, because the city's attractions will definitely delight you, which here are hidden from the common eye and not paraded like in some other cities.
In Palermo, you will see many interesting castles and palaces, churches and temples, which represent a mixture of several eras and styles: Byzantine style, Arabic, Norman, as well as the Renaissance style. But this is only one side of this wonderful city. The other side is represented by wide modern streets and vibrant shops where famous representatives of the aristocracy from various European countries like to shop. In the midst of all of this splendor, you will also find lovely mansions and villas that were built here back in the 19th century.
Once, Palermo was one of the Arab Emirates, as well as part of the Norman kingdom. At that time it was the greatest city in Europe of the 12th century. However, in recent years its popularity has subsided to a great extent because it became infamous for various murders and corruption among the police.
Palermo is the ancient capital of the island, and it still looks like a large port city with cozy Istanbul streets, mysterious Arab mosques that later became churches and magnificent palaces of the Norman kings.
A distinctive feature of the city is a great number of churches. There are almost three hundred here. Churches of Palermo are widely known for their beauty and grandeur. Each of them has a unique architecture and inside you will find rare manuscripts, icons and frescoes that have survived intact.
The historic center of Palermo is considered Quattro Canti. It is interesting for its complex of the Norman palace, palaces of Ciarmonte, Abatelis, Skafante and a very beautiful fountain "Pretoria". The city also has an amazing observation deck, which is located on the mountain of Monte Pellegrino and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the entire city and the surrounding areas, as well as the beauty of the sea.
Beside the palaces and the observation deck you should definitely visit the International Museum of the puppets and the Museum of Islam, which are located in the complex of Castello della Dzisa. Not far from the castle, there is a well-known opera theater "Massimo" where tourists go not only to listen to marvelous opera and enjoy beautiful voices of opera singers, but also to be photographed next to the famous staircase from the tragic scene in the movie "The Godfather."
A local market, called Vucciria, will demonstrate to you the city life and customs of today's Palermo. Despite some noise and bustle, it is still worth visiting, because here you can purchase some interesting things that you won’t find elsewhere. Also at the market you can buy nice souvenirs that will delight your friends and relatives when you get back home.
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