19/06/2016

♥ The Holiday Diaries: Palermo, Sicily (part 1) ♥


A few weeks ago, my friends Céline, Julie and I took a few days off and flew to Palermo, Sicily. For a little background info, Julie and I have been friends for a while now, and we met Céline last year in England during our Erasmus. She doesn't live around Paris, so basically, we had not seen her since June of last year. Talk about a long time! It felt so good to be reunited again. We decided to go to Palermo, the capital city of the beautiful island of Sicily, for very simple reasons: beautiful weather, Italy, and good prices. But there are a lot more reasons to visit Palermo, and I'll tell you why in this post! It might be a long one, and quite photo-heavy, but I'm sure you'll enjoy!

First off, Palermo is a real city. Sometimes when you go to islands and picture-perfect destinations, it can feel like the whole place was made for it. Made for tourists, made to sell its beauty and to make you feel like you are stuck in a postcard. This is totally fine and of course it can be pleasant to travel to such a place, but sometimes, it all feels a bit fake, don't you think? Well, Palermo is not like that. Palermo's real, it is loud, it is a bit messy, a bit wild, but it is all kinds of beautiful and authentic. If you are looking for luxury travel and quiet time by the pool, maybe try Capri or Portofino. But if you want real adventures, a mix of city bustle and calm nature, yummy but fatty food, Palermo is for you!
I have decided to split this photo diary into two parts. This one is all about the historical centre of the city, and the second part will about the beach and the port. Of course, I'll pop in some tips if you want to visit Palermo yourself!


The Historical Centre of Palermo


One of the main features of Italian towns and cities are their churches. The historic centre is full of beautiful, old stone churches that you shouldn't be afraid to explore. Because of its history, Sicily has very unique art and architecture styles, thanks to the different peoples who ruled it over the centuries. The first photos are of Palermo Cathedral, which is so impressive when you see it in real life. It is a wonderful blend of Norman and Arabic art, two peoples who had a massive influence on Sicily, it also has elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. If you visit the Cathedral, I recommend getting the full ticket (7€) which allows you to climb the tower of the building and have a beautiful panoramic view of the city. 

Another church we've visited, and in which I took the last two photos below, is the Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, at the piazza Bellini. The entry fee is 2€, and what you'll see inside the church is invaluable! Bizantine art, along with medieval and baroque features... a complete time-travel machine. Of course, you don't have to do all the churches of Palermo, and I think you shouldn't do that at all because at some point, it would probably get repetitive. Instead, just have a walk in the tortuous streets of the city!


The city itself is a gem, and you just have to walk around to realise it. One of my favourite areas is the Quattro Canti, a crossing of roads between two of the biggest and most important streets of the city. At that crossing, four concave buildings, carved with ornaments, statues and fountains, encircle the area. Following the via Maqueda, you'll stumble the Fontana Pretoria, also called Fontana della Vergogna - this means Fountain of Shame, and it was nicknamed that way because of the naked statues that are - shamelessly - displayed there. It is a huge fountain and the actual statues are worth having a look at. Finally, the last threes photos of this post were taken at the Teatro Massimo. This impressive theatre is the third biggest of Europe, and I love its Roman-inspired façade and the beautiful Corinthian columns (#Ihavethisthingwithcolumns). You can visit the theatre (tickets cost only 5€), it is a guided tour that takes you in the beautiful room where operas and concerts are held every day. We even had a glimpse into a ballroom, where ballet dancers were practising. It almost felt like we were part of this world for a moment!

I'll stop here for today, this post is long enough as it is! There are a lot more things to see and do in the centre of Palermo, I have only selected the most interesting and iconic to show you. Watch out for my second post about Palermo, which going to be all about getting down to the beach and enjoying the crazy warm Italian sunshine!


Have you ever been to Palermo, or to Sicily? Where would you go on holiday to discover beautiful architecture and art?
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30 comments:

  1. I have been to Italy, but never to Sicily. Your pictures make me want to fly out immediately.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. It is an amazing island to visit, there are so many different cities and landscapes to see, from mountain to sea! xx

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  2. I'm so jealous, the photos are gorgeous. I would love to visit Sicily :) xo

    http://57-days.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/13-things-that-made-me-happy-today.html

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    1. Thanks! I hope you get to visit one day :) xx

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  3. Sicily looks like such a beautiful place for vacation. I've always wanted to go because of Sofia from the Golden Girls. :) You are so pretty!
    - Sanjana
    peridotcove.blogspot.com

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    1. It is, and so cheap as well! It could be a nice alternative to Spain for a cheap summer holiday with friends. I don't know the Golden Girls I'm afraid, but you should definitely go there! xx

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  4. I've never been to Italy at all, and would perhaps not have thought about going to Sicily first and foremost, but you're really selling it with these wonderful photos and beautiful descriptions. I really want to see Sicily now. And the theatre sounds absolutely magical. I have a thing for theatres.
    Gorgeous photos, thanks for bringing us along.
    Much love,
    Mona

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    1. Haha I'm glad! Sicily is a magical place, and I've just shown you a tiny amount of what there is to visit there. You'd have loved the theatre then, it was beautiful, inside and outside :D xx

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  5. Wow Julia, your photos are so beautiful! I especially love the one where you stand in front of the fountain, your dress looks so stunning :D the architecture is so lovely here! What an amazing place to visit with friends, I wish I could share that experience! xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara | (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! The dress is from Zara, it might still be in store ;) It is definitely a great place to go with friends, for lazy days on the beach but also to explore and discover what the place has to offer! xx

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  6. I have been to Sicily many times but never visited Palermo. It looks so beautiful and I love the photos :)

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes

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    1. You should try Palermo one day, you'd love it I'm sure! xx

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  7. Ahah you know I've been there and seeing this awesome photos makes me dive into memory lane!! i loved palermo, yes it is pretty loud and chatty but so fun!! and the architecture... the mixture of arabian, byzantine and something else makes it unique !

    xx from Brighton
    Cate ღ kate/idoscope | youtube | Enter my Charlotte Tilbury GIVEAWAY here

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    1. It is really fun indeed! You guys are so lucky to have the aperitivo, I wish it were a thing in France haha. There's nothing better than an aperitivo with friends :D And yes, the architecture was so unique, definitely something you don't see very often! xx

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  8. I've been to Sicily but only for a short while because I was on a cruise and it was a stopover for the day. I'd love to go to Palermo though because it looks beautiful and like it's so full of culture and history- like most places in Italy!

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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    1. It is indeed full of History (and yummy food!), you should totally spend a few more days there to discover it properly! xx

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  9. Beautiful photos!!! :)

    Julia
    http://www.thephillyphotoblog.com/

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  10. I love visiting historical part of the places as well as main city itself. I love how they haven't changed in the city and built new things around, it would take that historical feeling away. I haven't been there, but I sure would love to go there! x

    Ela BellaWorld

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    1. You are right, it makes it ever more real and more touching somehow, that they've kept the city as it was centuries before. Some buildings would need repairs here and there, but the spirit remains untouched! xx

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  11. Lovely pictures!


    Take care doll! Kisses,
    BLOG | TAISLANY

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  12. Oh wow, it looks absolutely beautiful! I love Italy but have never been to Sicily, it is definitely on my travel wish list :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. It should be on everyone's travel list I think, so authentic and vibrant, it would please most types of travelers, from friends who want a good summer holiday to people more drawn to art/architecture and who want to discover a new lifestyle :) xx

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  13. Palermo is such a beautiful city. It's my first time to hear and read something about it! Everything looks so natural and stunning! <3

    xoxo,
    SHAIRA // New post

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    1. I'm glad I made you discover Palermo then, it is a place worth knowing about :D xx

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  14. Oh wow Sicily looks beautiful and your photos are amazing! Such great photography lovely :)

    Rebecca Coco

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  15. Wow Sicily! I'm soooo jealouse I always wanted to go Italy. I use to play this game called Hitman and one of the missions was in Sicily lol ever since then I have been gassed on Italy! Is a beautiful place you managed to capture it soooo lovely. Amazing photography. This is on my list for next year, definitly!

    www.its-dominica.blogspot.co.uk
    Have a lovely week. :-)

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    1. Haha that's an awesome reason to visit Sicily one day then! I hope you get to see Italy. It is honestly one of the most stunning countries on earth to me :) xx

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