Hotel Marbela Residence

Via Salvatore Puglisi, 9, Palermo, 90143, Italy
Hotel Marbela Residence
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Forum Posts

Short visit, reccomendations??

by rubbersoul75

Planning a quick 2 day visit to the city, here's some questions, suggestions welcome...

Best way from the Airport to Centro, the Bus or Train?
Thinking of booking the Opera at Teatro Massimo- thoughts?
Vucciria market, is it open everyday?

What are your Must see sights? How about best places to eat (love seafood), and any typical Palermo dishes?

Thanks for any input!

(Anche poi rispondere in italiano se voi)

RE: Short visit, reccomendations??

by Paisleypaul

Train is by far and away easiest way from airport to centre, a taxi will be about 45 Euros. Vucciria and other markets open daily except Sunday I believe. As for where to eat and sightsee take your pick from my own or any of the dozen plus excellent Palermo sites from VTers

RE: Short visit, reccomendations??

by Marianne2

Hi Jon,
I think you'll really enjoy Palermo. Great walking city! I was there within the last year, but maybe some Sicilians can give the best advice. The Teatro Massimo is gorgeous, standing in a perfect square of Renaissance proportions, although the theater is actually 19th century. There are lots of other great architectural monuments here, including the Duomo, loads of churches, and the lovely Palazzo del Normanni. Vucciria Market is closed on Sundays, best seen in the mornings on weekdays. Terrific fish market here. A great highlight for me was a trip a bit out of town to the enormous Cathedral of Monreale -- with its stunning gold mosaics that are unforgettable.

For seafood dining, in the nearby beach community of Mondello to the NW there are some very good seafood restaurants, but I was there in late summer, and not sure if they'd be open in winter. One specialty is a pasta dish with sardines and fennel, very tasty. Have a great trip!

RE: Short visit, reccomendations??

by khanguet

Try the Santandrea restauant in Piazza San Domenico. Best sicilian cooking in Palermo. Very evocative way to spend the evening. Great seafood also

RE: RE: RE: Short visit, reccomendations??

by rubbersoul75

Thanks guys, Ciao Marianne!

This is a very short 2-day get away, a surprise for the wifes birthday...
So I need to maximize the time and of course enjoy the few meals we'll have!

Very good to know that the Vucciria market is closed on Sunday. I do want to squeeze in a visit to Monreale. Other than that, We'll bring our walking shoes and the other sights you mention Marianne are all on our list now, and I'm probably going to book the Verdi Opera at Massimo.

I think we'll be having a memorable meal at Santandrea then (to include pasta with sardines). I searched and found some other great reviews, thanks for the tip.

Of course I sift through the multiple italia travel books scattered through my house, and the VT tips, but the current, first hand accounts can prove more valuable.


Travel Tips for Palermo

Corso Vittorio...

by SirRichard

Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle.
Some history: During the Norman domination, in 1184 the archbishop of Palermo Walter Offamilio started the construction of a splendid cathedral to replace the Muslim mosque with a Christian church. Over the centuries the additions and restorations modified the original building: the most radical change was made by Ferdinando Fuga in 1771 and in 1809. He was an architect from Florence and gave to the interior of the church a neoclassical aspect.
Visiting the Cathedral it is important to observe: the XIV century portal with bronze doors, the long right side is decorated with a scenic portico in Catalan-Gothic style from the XV century, under which there is a highly decorated portal by Antonio Gambarra in 1426, the apses kept their original form of the XII century.

Tasty Sicilian seafood treat

by shiran_d

Sea food plates, and many more fish and meat dishes cooked in Sicilian way. What to look out for during a visit to the region. Typical food and dishes, food related festivals, wine, cheese, sea food, lemons and oranges.

San Giuseppe dei Teatini

by tim76

While tourists crowd together in La Martorana, many forget to cross the street and visit this exquisite church. San Giuseppe dei Teatini was built in the 17th century and is a prime example of Sicilian Baroque.
You probably wouldn't tell so from the outside, but the interior is embellished to the extreme. I especially liked the vaults: every inch is covered with frescoes or stucco work.
Don't forget to admire the angels holding the holy water next to the main entrance.
The church opens in the morning and early evening.


by ruki

Cefalu is beautiful place for holiday. Just about 40 minutes from Palermo. There you have narrow streets, beautiful cathedral, delicious food and nice sand beach. You will have great view if you climb on the top of the hill, especially in the evening because the place have very good lighting. Almost everything is opened during night hours and the city stays awake for a long time. Only wantage is that the public beach is too crowdy.

Walking South from the Quattro Canti

by hquittner

"Piazza Pretoria"

About 50m S. from the Quattro Canti on via Maqueda on the East side we come to a set of marble steps leading to the Piazza Pretoria and its (in)famous Fontana., which arrived here in 1573 after being discarded for Tuscan use by the Spanish Viceroy who inherited it. Filled with Mannerist nude statues and fanciful animals, it is the pride of Palermo. Unfortunately for us it was undergoing cleaning and much of it was behind windows and under canvas while the pavement stones of the square were being reset. This is a fragmentary view but you can get the point. To the East of this is the side of a long church whose small facade faces another almost contiguous rectangular large space, the Piazza Bellini. The Church is S. Caterina (it was closed).

"Two Churches and a Pizzeria"

The S. side of the Piazza is occupied by a wall and beyond it somewhat raised are two churches. To the left are umbrellas and tables backed up by a marble faced building(previously the Teatro Bellini),now the interior space of the "Pizzeria" of the same name (See Rest. Tip and picture of the square){See another Rest. Tip of ours for another view as well). Let us enter the left Church under its Campanile, turn left, procede to its center and look up.This is the original church of the 12C, covered with mosaics. Christ is in the dome with 4 angels. Below and on the Triumphal Arch are evangelists and prophets.

"The Story of Mary"

The correct name of the church is S. Maria dell'Ammiraglio(Admiral) and so mosaics of Mary are present most prominently in the vaolting of the S. apse where a Nativity and a Dormition are easily seen (also12C). Between the apses is a later extended Baroque altar area.

"Who paid the bill?"

The Admiral of Roger's navy was a M oslim turned Christian and flush with victories and money he strenghthened is status. Walk back to where we entered and on your left (the S. wall) see two 12C mosaics set in Baroque frames: one is Admiral George of Antoch prostrate before the Virgin and the other is his boss Roger being crowned by Christ. (A smooth move)

"Let us now go next door."

A small box-like building sits nearby on this elevated garden ground . It looks like a fast food joint with a 3-strawberry ice-cream sundae ad on top. Closer examination reveals fine blind arcading and a crenellated top with delicate stonework immediately below. This is the Cappella di S. Cataldo.

"Inside S. Cataldo"

This church has been closed for a long time. It is not in use. There is an entrance fee. There is nothing much of Artistic interest inside (as yet) The little that is present is not identified. No literature is provided (?). If you are interested in the architecture of the Romanesque (especially Norman) this is a fine study. The builders ran out of money and never covered the stonework (there are no mosaics) leaving a severe shapely building. Compare the picture of the interior with the central dome picture(#2 above) of the Matorana. Note that they are essentially identical. Note the 2 corner and 1 central windows and the molding of the stones to complete the square support.

"We are floored"

There is one part of s. Cataldo that is finished and the same work is present in the Matorana. That is the flooring, most splendidly done in the central worship area. This is a form of mosaic design stone work. It has been called Cosmatic after a family of Roman sculptor-painters of this period. There is a lot of it in Monreale and on the pulpit in the Cappella Palatina. The sheer volume of the stuff indicates that the tecnic started here and not in Rome(but I am not an art expert). The graceful designs seem to be Moorish, the method Byzantine, the grandiose application Norman-Romanesque

"Across the via Maqueda"

If we look left (west) when we leave S. Cataldo we see the busy via Maqueda before us. Across the street is a large building that runs up to the Quattro Canti. If we look carefully there is a campanile at its S. end. This must be a Church and a door midway along is open. We can enter if we can figure how to cross the street. Luckily it is one-way with a light that interupts the traffic flow. We enter an enormous Baroque structure with a central dome at the crossing supported by glistening marble giant columns, bigger than the others that run down the nave.This is S. Giuseppe dei Teatini built in the early 1600's. There are a few ornate artistic embellishments worth looking at, among them tiwo fonts near the N. doors by Marabitti.


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