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Palermo

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Culturforum, Italian Language school in Palermo

 

Italian Capital of Culture 2018, home to Manifesta 2018, the European Nomadic Biennial of Contemporary Art, Palermo is a city that in recent decades has impressively changed its face.

This welcoming and vibrant city has transformed itself into a truly cosmopolitan and thriving capital where you can breathe joy of living, liveliness and culture.

An Italian language course in Palermo will give you the opportunity to discover and experience this fascinating multi-faceted city, truly melting pot of cultures at the border of Europe.

Palermo in history

Chosen by the Arabs as the capital of the island before the year 1000, Palermo is a city steeped in history, with monuments of different ages, the legacy of the peoples who took turns in his government.

The Normans built the eclectic cathedral and the most original achievement of the Arabo-Norman Art, the Palatine Chapel, set as the most shining of jewels among the ancient walls of the Royal Palace.

The little chapel was described by Oscar Wilde it as ” the wonder of all wonders … In the Cappella Palatina, which from pavement to domed ceilings is all gold, one really feels as if one was sitting in the heart of a great honeycomb looking at angels singing”.

The long Spanish domination has coloured the streets of the town centre with the honey tones of the facades of the magnificent palaces and captivated the eyes with the marvellous marbles of the baroque churches.

The Bourbons have shown the most bizarre side in the oriental extravagances of the Chinese Palace. At the end of the nineteenth century, when the city welcomed crowned heads from all over Europe, the refined Art Nouveau buildings arose.

Palermo today

The streets of Palermo town centre, reborn to new life after recent restorations, are pulsating with life at any time of day or night. Here you can experience the voices, the colours, the smells, the flavours and friendliness of a city where, with its undeniable controversial sides, north and south meet and that offers a warm Mediterranean atmosphere permeated by oriental charm.

What are the places you cannot miss in Sicily’s capital? 
Here’s a list of the 15 absolute must-see places in Palermo!

Visiting Palermo is like traveling through centuries of history and art history.  Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Spaniards have all made this city their home and adorned it with the best they had to offer.  Today, Palermo is an extraordinary testimony of the multicultural soul of Sicily.

The city hosts one of Europe’s largest historic centers.  Visiting all of it would take quite a long time, so we propose to you the can’t miss places.  However, we also recommend losing yourself in the streets, alleyways of the historic center in order to find hidden little corners, palaces, churches to discover the more authentic side of Palermo.

palazzo-dei-normanni

The Norman Palace of Palermo, once and still the political seat of the city, is the oldest royal residence in Europe, home of the Norman kings, imperial seat with Frederick II of Hohenstaufen and of the historical Sicilian parliament, one of the oldest in the world.

Cristo-pantocratore

Without a doubt, the crowning glory of Palermo, the most precious religious jewel to be conceived of by a human mind and accomplished by an artist, is the Palatine Chapel, one of the absolute masterpieces of the Medieval period, nestled inside of the Norman Palace.

Cattedrale-palermo

The Palermo Cathedral is one of the most distinctive works of art of the city, its originality owed to the eclectic mix of styles.  Having been a mosque in the Islamic period, it was transformed into a church after the Norman conquest of Palermo.

chiesa-martorana-Palermo

The Church of the Admiral is one of the most stupendous Christian monuments….that leaves one speechless to describe it because it is the most beautiful monument in the world.  The gold and vivid colors of the mosaics evoke that same astonishment even today.

piazza-pretoria

The town hall square came to be called shame square by Palermitans because of the many nude statues that adorn the fountain at its centre.  Sculpted entirely from white Carrara marble, the fountain is a magnificent example of the Tuscan Renaissance artistry.

Villena Square,  the Theater of the Sun, or quite simply the Quattro Canti ( Four Corners), is the heart of the city. This scenic square is considered one of the masterpieces of baroque architecture of the entire region.  Completed in 1600, it divides the old city into four quadrants.

Spasimo

Santa Maria dello Spasimo is perhaps one of the most fascinating churches in all of Sicily, due to one peculiarity in particular: it has no roof – and not because it was destroyed by some calamity, but simply because it was never constructed.

The Capuchin Catacombs are one of the most unusual and unsettling places to visit.  They are not for anyone who is highly sensitive, but certainly unforgettable and worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.

teatro-massimo

A grandiose symbol of the Belle Epoque, the Teatro Massimo is the largest opera house in Italy.  Built when Palermo was at the height of its splendor and selected Art Nouveau to exhibit the luster and shine of the entrepreneurial bourgeoisie of the time.

Antonello-da-messina

Palermo is not just food, sea and sun; Palermo is first and foremost culture, history, and art.  Centuries of historical significance made the Sicilian capital a crossroads of people and cultures, and the evidence can be found in its museums and galleries.

zisa-palermo

The Norman rulers surrounded Palermo with splendid palaces called Solatia, pleasure palaces built around gardens, fountains, and small artificial lakes all inspired by the most sophisticated Islamic architecture, intended to create heaven on earth.

Palazzina-cinese

To brighten his exile at the start of the 19th century, Ferdinand I had the eccentric Chinese Palace built in the private hunting reserve called the Parco della Favorita.  A passion for Chinese art spread throughout Europe at the end of the 18th and start of the 19th century.

ballarò

The historic markets of Palermo are where you can discover the soul of the city, that mid-eastern flavor that still distinguishes Palermo from others.  Situated in the historic center of the city, the markets are an indescribable mixture of extraordinary colors, languages, and aromas.

Located in the heart of the city, Palermo’s Botanical Garden offers an oasis of peace from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Stroll through the blooming plant life, among palms, giant trees, and rare plants from all over the world; it is a unique experience not to be missed.

Located in the heart of the city, Palermo’s Botanical Garden offers an oasis of peace from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Stroll through the blooming plant life, among palms, giant trees, and rare plants from all over the world; it is a unique experience not to be missed.

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