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Palermo Middle Ages and Baroque tour

Middle Ages and Baroque Palermo tour

Choosing what to visit in Palermo is quite difficult due to all it has to offer. There are so many alternatives; if you don’t want to focus on a single characteristic but wish to explore different aspects of Palermo without getting tired, I suggest Middle Ages and Baroque Palermo walking tour rich in contents and at the same time very easy due to the proximity of the sites.

A 3 hour guided tour will disclose some of the town’s most representative Norman and Baroque sites.

Middle Ages and Baroque Palermo tour will unveil authentic jewels of the city, Medieval mosaics and architecture, colorful baroque marble inlays. End up in the lively and colourful food market Ballarò.

Middle Ages and Baroque Palermo Tour: the sites

Middle Ages and Baroque Palermo tour will lead you through history from the 12th century all the way to the 17th, without having to walk miles. Taking you through the 17th century Via Maqueda and revealing  “Quattro Canti” (four corners). In the attractive Piazza Bellini two churches built during the Norman era, are evidence of “cultural syncretism” and Palermo’s Golden Age. You will be amazed by the precious interior mosaics of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio or Martorana, carried out according to the Byzantine iconographic tradition. Next to the Martorana, the Church of San Cataldo discloses the deep secrets of Islamic architectures.

In the same square, you can admire the Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, built in the late 1500s and annexed to the Dominican convent founded in the fourteenth century. Beyond a linear façade you uncover one of the most stunning examples of Baroque decoration in Palermo. You will be overwhelmed by the splendour of an uninterrupted flow of amazing marble inlay wall ornamentation, sculpted elements and frescoes.  If you wish, can also go up to the rooftop for a breathtaking view of the city.

You can rest en route at “The secret of the Cloister”, the Confectionary (La Dolceria) of Santa Caterina and enjoy a traditional sweet made according to the ancient recipes handed down by the nuns.

The exploration continues through alleyways, leading you to the backstreet market of Ballarò, one of the most famous historic outdoor markets in Palermo. Here, all your senses will be awakened: the abbanniate of sellers shouting their wares; displays of colorful fruit and vegetables; the smell and smoke of grilled food lingering in the air will point you in the right direction for a culinary trip through Palermo’s past till present day.

Meeting point

Piazza Bellini

Tour itinerary

Churches of San Cataldo and la “Martorana”, Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, Santa Caterina Bakery (Dolceria), “Quattro Canti”, Ballarò.

Tour duration

3.5 hours

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