A sunny city
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The city of Palermo counts nearly 700,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of Sicily, the fifth Italian municipality for population after Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin and the 31st at European level. According to an old legend the original name of this place was Tsits (or Ziz), that means “wonderful”, “flower”: this is due to the fact that Palermo presents itself as a fragrant flower, situated in a pleasant beach in front of the blue sea. The metropolis develops along the homonymous Gulf, lying on the Conca d’Oro plain. The plain is so named for the typical colors of citrus fruits. The area is finally surrounded completely by a natural wall: Palermo Mountains. The history of this village has very ancient origins, immense is its artistic and architectural heritage. Finding points of interest in the city is amazingly simple. Palermo is characterized by different and varied places that deserve our attention, from the ruins of the Punic walls to the villas in Art Nouveau, the residences in the Arab-Norman style, the Baroque churches and the neoclassical theatres. In the past it was found to be among the major cities of the Mediterranean.
The Phoenicians were first to arrive on site and to rule. They founded it as a city-port around 734 B.C., then passed to the Phoenicians domain, followed by Carthaginians and Romans (254 BC). Throughout its history it suffered several invasions. The barbaric invasions were the worst because they devastated the city over and over again. The first ended with the arrival of the Byzantines in 535 and then 300 years later with the coming of the Arabs. They made it one of the most beautiful cities of the time. In the 11th century the Normans conquered the crown of the Kingdom of Sicily, giving life to an exceptional historical period characterized by cultural syncretism, during which Palermo became an important junction between Asia and Europe and began to be the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily for many centuries, almost uninterruptedly (from 1130 to 1816). The famous and powerful Frederick II of Hoehenstaufen, called Stupor Mundi, was a descendant of the Normans and today he is buried in the Cathedral of Palermo. The fate of the city changed, for the worse, in the thirteenth century with the arrival of the Angevin, whose brief domination ended following the famous uprising of the Sicilian Vespers. However decline and misrule fortunately lasted little. In fact, the Angevins were followed by the Aragonese that conquered the island in 1282 thanks to the “Sicilian Vespers” uprising. The Angevins were followed by the Aragonese and with them Palermo experienced a new and long period of economic and social growth. The beginning of the eighteenth century (1711) coincided with the end of Spanish domain, followed by the Savoy government and then by the Bourbons. They ruled until the unification of Italy. Until 1861 Palermo was the second most important city in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The unification of Italy led the municipality to undertake the construction of some important architectural works. The beginning of the twentieth century was a very prosperous period. Palermo emerged almost unscathed from the First World War, but the bombings during the Second World War caused a huge demage. The twentieth century was unfortunately also characterized by the sad phenomenon of the mafia development, which was courageously faced by brave men of the State and ordinary citizens. Today, this metropolis is one of the most important business and commercial centres of the Mediterranean basin; there are often cultural events of great interest and it is among the most famous tourist destinations of the southern part of Italy and among the major cruise destinations.
The importance of this beautiful city can be understood thanks to Goethe words, who wrote: “Italien ohne Sizilien macht gar kein Bild in der Seele: hier ist erst der Schlüssel zu allem” (Italy without Sicily leaves no image in the soul: here, only here, can be found the key of everything).
Palermo is characterized by a great richness thanks to the art produced in four different historical moments: the Arab-Norman architecture, the art of the low Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Baroque art of the XVII century, the decorative art of the XVIII century. Located in the centre of the Mediterranean, this is where the beginnings of the oldest civilizations originated. Palermo throughout its history has always been a crossroads of cultures between the West and the East. It was also a privileged basis for merchant trading, transit place of strategic significance too. Here have landed peoples of different cultures, languages and religions. The advantageous position and the beauty of the places have certainly contributed to this and the countless dominations that the city has had to undergo during its millenary history can find an explanation. Nevertheless, Palermo managed to maintain its own identity. Walking through the streets is like attending a grand parade of testimonies belonging to different civilizations, but intimately fused. Appreciating such a large number of masterpieces means to be lost in something immortal and unalterable, just as the people who live there lose themselves immersed in memories, legends and traditions.
When you visit a new city you want to discover new things, live different experiences. Cuisine enthusiasts, professional cooks make a menu and unique location available where you can meet new people and get to know the city from who experiences it daily.
Musement helps travelers make the most out of their destinations offering a vast choice of tours and local attractions that can be booked. More than just “things to do”, the range of offers includes temporary activities, exclusive, hidden jewels and even free activities
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