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Palermo Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

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2 Hours

Private Tour

Why take this tour?

Fought over by multiple civilizations, Palermo’s history has intricately woven itself into the fabric of the city. Founded almost three thousand years ago, Palermo boasts a rich heritage featuring outstanding architecture and art, tantalizing markets, and an exceptional culinary scene. On this two-hour private tour with a local guide, you’ll discover the main landmarks that are a testament to its storied past and vibrant cultural atmosphere.

Highlights

  • Created with Sketch.Discover the highlights of Palermo on a private two-hour tour with a local expert
  • Created with Sketch.Admire Teatro Massimo and learn about the the largest opera house in Italy
  • Created with Sketch.Marvel at the unique Quattro Canti, an octagonal-shaped piazza formed by four exquisite buildings
  • Created with Sketch.Explore Piazza Pretorio and hear the fascinating history of its fountain
  • Created with Sketch.Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio to take in its splendid mosaics

Take in Palermo’s remarkable architecture and rich history

To truly understand Palermo, you have to delve into its complicated and intriguing history. On this two-hour private tour, follow your guide to discover the highlights from the regal Teatro Massimo to its Baroques buildings to a bustling market, while you hear stories that provide the crucial context needed to fully appreciate the city.

Did you know that Palermo is home to the largest opera house in Italy and the third-largest in Europe? The splendid Teatro Massimo, situated in Piazza Verdi (often regarded as Piazza Massimo), was designed by a Palermo-born architect and inaugurated in 1897. Here, you'll distinctly notice that the front facade, reminiscent of a Greek temple with a dazzling staircase and six Corinthia...

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To truly understand Palermo, you have to delve into its complicated and intriguing history. On this two-hour private tour, follow your guide to discover the highlights from the regal Teatro Massimo to its Baroques buildings to a bustling market, while you hear stories that provide the crucial context needed to fully appreciate the city.

Did you know that Palermo is home to the largest opera house in Italy and the third-largest in Europe? The splendid Teatro Massimo, situated in Piazza Verdi (often regarded as Piazza Massimo), was designed by a Palermo-born architect and inaugurated in 1897. Here, you'll distinctly notice that the front facade, reminiscent of a Greek temple with a dazzling staircase and six Corinthian columns, pays tribute to its Greek roots. Today, Teatro Massimo continues to present a solid program of performances and cultural events every year.

As you meander the streets of Palermo, you'll see its animated and chaotic local life play out, and enhancing that experience is a visit to a historical market, where vendors of all sorts spill their displays onto the street. From there, you’ll make your way to one of the most exquisite intersections. Quattro Canti, officially called Piazza Vigliena after the Spanish Viceroy who commissioned it in the early 17th century, is an octagonal-shaped square formed by four splendid Baroque buildings. As picturesque as its imposing, take in the details of the exceptional three-tiered facade of each building, adorned by sculptures of Spanish kings, Palermo's former patron saints, and representations of the seasons.

Nearby is another fascinating square: Piazza Pretoria, where the star of the show is the notable fountain. Here, your guide will reveal the intriguing story of this lavishly decorated fountain by a Florence sculptor originally created for a garden in Florence. Bought by the Palermo Senate in 1573, it was called "The Fountain of Shame" due to the numerous nude statues that shocked residents in Palermo. And if legends are to be believed, the nuns in the nearby convent were so ashamed that they would head out in the middle of the night to put clothes on these statues!

Just steps from Piazza Pretoria, you'll be whizzed back to an earlier time in the city's history at the Cathedral of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. Also known as La Martorana, it was commissioned in the 12th century in Arab-Norman architecture and had been restored in Baroque style. Its true treasure, however, is the incredible composition of resplendent mosaics that decorates the interior.

After your up-close encounter with the splendor of Palermo, you'll learn that while the city is not polished nor perfect, it is certainly bursting with character and charm.

  • Sites Visited
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio Martorana
  • Baroque buildings of the Quattro Canti
  • Piazza Pretoria and fountain Historical market
  • Teatro Massimo
  • Piazza Verdi opera house
  • Tour Includes
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Expertly guided walking tour
Price varies by group size