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Palermo

The city of palaces

Palermo was founded in the eighth century B.C. and is today the capital of Sicily. Just like the rest of Sicily, Palermo became part of the Roman Empire in the year 254 B.C and in the 12th century it was conquered by the Normans. This opened the way to Palermo becoming Sicily’s capital. The town was heavily damaged during the Second World War, and after that the city was ruled by the Mafia for a number of years. This situation changed in the 1980s and 1990s, when Leoluca Orlano became mayor of Palermo and declared war against organised crime.  

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Tourism in Palermo

Palermo is a city of palaces. A particularly magnificent example is the Palazzo di Normanni (Norman Palace). This was once the residence of Sicily’s reigning kings and is today the seat of the Sicilian Parliament and Sicilian gentry also kept its palaces in Palermo. Whereas these palaces are usually without windows and relatively unadorned on the ground floor, from the first floor up they display beautiful windows, arcade columns and other ornamental elements. The Palazzo Chiaramonte, for example, is over 600 years old and for a long time was the seat of Sicily’s viceroys.

Holiday-makers can also visit wonderful churches in Palermo. The most important of these is the cathedral, which was finished in 1185. Modifications were carried out in the 18th century, whereby the cathedral was equipped with a Baroque cupola.  

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