Escape to Palermo



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Contrary to Sicily's bloodthirsty reputation, its north-western capital, Palermo, is a relaxed and beautiful city

  • Six great reasons to visit Palermo

    Mondello Lido.jpg

    Mondello Lido

    1. Mondello LidoPalermo is a pretty mellow city, but trip out to Mondello Lido to really slow down. This onetime fishing village, second only to Taormina as a desirable destination for Sicily’s moneyed beach bums, is seven miles from Palermo (take bus no. 806) and is lined by dozens of small restaurants dishing up great seafood dishes.2. The VucciriaWhen it comes to Sicily, it has to be markets. Palermo’s outdoor market tradition hails from the 9th Century, when the Saracens were in town – so the food and fish markets have the colour and energy of Arabian souks. The Vucciria is well worth an hour or two, whether you want to ogle freshly caught sharks, feel the flesh of the world’s best tomatoes or sample local snacks. Start your shopping spree at the Piazza San Domenico.
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    The Antica Focacceria

    3. Enoteca CanaPalermo is more of a drinking than a dancing city, so take a candle-lit table at the wonderful Enoteca Cana wine bar (via Alloro, 10, 091 610 1147,, closed Monday), off the piazza Marina. Fans of red wine should try the ancient Nero D’Avola or the Etna Rosso, nurtured on the slopes of the volcano. 4. The Antica Focacceria San FrancescoFood in Sicily is a product of the melting pot of cultures that have settled here, so expect an eclectic mix of Greek, Italian, Roman and Arab cuisines when you dine out. The Antica Focacceria San Francesco (via Paternostro 58, 091 320264,, closed Tuesday) serves high-quality takes on classics such as pani cu’ la meusa (calf’s spleen with cacciocavallo cheese) and sfincione (stuffed pizza).

    5. The Palazzo dei Normanni
    This is one of the finest looking edifices in Europe: its lofty facades suggest both grandeur and impenetrability. Inside, the carved ceiling and marble floors are supreme examples of Arab-Norman-Byzantine architecture
    Piazza Indipendenza, 091 705 7003, closed Tuesday, Thursday

    easyjet.jpg6. Low-price fares
    Fly to Palermo
    • London Gatwick from £27.99 (prices start on June 18)
    • Flights daily, seven days a week.
    • All fares are single and include tax.

    Win and escape!

    Go to - book online for low-cost travel: cheap flights, hotels, car hire, parking and insurance across many top European destinations.

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Mary Weeks
Mary Weeks

I'm still looking to find where to enter for the Win an escape to Italian festivals, and when I did, it says that "this feature does not exist". Is this a joke??

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