Guided tour of the historical center of Palermo
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Departure by coach at 2.00 pm (4 hours)
70 € - Tour price includes: bus, guided tour (in English and Italian), entrance fee tickets and taxes
Minimum 15 pax
An enchanting tour of the historical center of Palermo that begins with the visit of the Palatine Chapel, the royal chapel of the Norman kings situated in the Norman Palace. Consecrated on Palm Sunday, 28 April, 1140, it is inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The visit continues with the Cathedral, the church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palermo, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. As an architectural complex, it is characterized by the presence of different styles, due to a long history of additions, alterations and restorations, the last of which occurred in the 18th century.
Built on the site of an older basilica (used as a mosque in the 9th century) it represents a perfect example of a social-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures. You will then see Quattro Canti, the baroque square laid out on the orders of the Viceroys between 1608-1620 at the crossing of the two principal streets in Palermo, the Via Maqueda and the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Piazza Pretoria, also known as Square of Shame, that is situated at the exact center of the historic city of Palermo. The large central fountain, transferred from Florence to Palermo in 1574, is the focal point for sixteen nude statues of nymphs, humans, mermaids and satyrs. Since eighteenth century, the fountain was considered the representation of corrupt municipalities, and Palermo nicknamed the square with the nudity of the statues, the Square of Shame (Piazza della Vergogna). The visit ends with the Martorana, also Co-Cathedral of St. Mary of the Admiral.
The church belongs to the Eparchy of Piana degli Albanesi of the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church, a diocese which includes the Albanian communities in Sicily who officiate the liturgy according to the Byzantine Rite in the ancient Greek language. The church is characterized by the multiplicity of styles that meet, because, with the succession of centuries, it was enriched by various other tastes in art, architecture and culture. Today, it is, in fact, as a church-historical monument, the result of multiple transformations, also subject to protection.