Palermo, Sicily, Italy

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Cathedral of Palermo
Palermo Cathedral
Palermo Harbour

Introduction to Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Sicily's ancient capital has been around for nearly 3,000 years since its foundation by Phoenician traders.

Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, Austrians and others have contributed to its epic history and culture - leaving their imprint upon a rumbustious city whose atmospheric amalgam of often shabby back-streets, lively markets and weathered monuments epitomises all the colour and contradictions of a city that is so splendidly Sicilian.

 

 

 

 

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Highlights of Palermo & Ballaro Market (Tour J)

• This tour is a mix of history, scents and flavours
• Admire the beauty of the Martorana Church with its elegant interior
• Join the hustle and bustle of the local Ballarò market

 

Price£45.00-£50.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Take in the highlights of Palermo the centre of the ancient world, a place where souk like markets rub against baroque churches.

 

Firstly, you will enjoy a panoramic drive of Palermo before arriving at the church of Martorana, your guide will explain all the secrets hidden behind the wall of this religious building. Do not be fooled from the plain exterior, what you are preparing to experience inside will be simply jaw-dropping. Next, you will walk to the Cathedral of Palermo, where our guide will explain outside before independently exploring inside.

 

After the visit to the cathedral, you will travel to Ballaro, one of the ancient markets of Palermo. Here, you will be able to admire its mix of noises, smells and street life. You will find everything from fresh fish and meat to olives and cheese. After browsing the market, you will then be invited for a tasting, where you will delight in trying some typical Sicilian foods, including Panella or panelle bread, a fried dough made from chickpea flour.

 

 

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Should our call be during a religious time, guides will give an explanation before entering the church. Comfortable sturdy shoes are recommended. Sun protectionand a bottle of water would be a handy addition to your bag.

 

 


Monreale & Palermo's Old Quarters (Tour H)

  • Visit two of Sicily’s greatest architectural treasures
  • Explore some of the fascinating history the island has to offer
 

 

Price£45.00-£50.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Discover the charming village of Monreale, and explore the fascinating old town of Palermo.

 

Departing the quayside, enjoy a scenic drive to the centre of Palermo, once considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, situated in the middle of the gulf that bears the same name. Palermo’s history traces its roots to the beginning of the Mediterranean civilization as it has been ruled by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Cartagineses, the Romans, the Arabs and the Norman’s.

 

Journey along the road that climbs up to Monreale, a small village of Arab origin surrounded by the ‘Conca d’Oro’. Famed for its orange, olive and almond trees, the produce of which is exported in large quantities. The town has a population of approximately 30,000, and it is located 12 miles south of Palermo.  Here you will enjoy a visit to the Cathedral, famous for its beautiful mosaics. See the spectacular Opera house and the grand squares. You will also be able to admire a wonderful panorama over the gulf of Palermo, where your camera is a must.

 

On your return to the ship, explore Palermo’s Old Town.  Admire the 12th century Cathedral. This magnificent Cathedral is the centerpiece of Palmero and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It also houses one of Palermo’s greatest treasures - the burials of King Fredrick II and King Roger II of Hohenstaufen.

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour has a moderate amount of walking involved, approximately two and a half hours at the various sites visited. There will also be approximately 90 steps to negotiate from the parking area in Monreale to the Cathedral. The order of your visits may be changed depending upon traffic conditions. Please dress conservatively for your visit to the Cathedral (covering arms and legs).

 

 


Panoramic Palermo (Tour G)

  • Admire the highlights of Palermo from the comfort of your coach
  • Savour in a taster of one of Italy’s most famous exports – Ice cream
 

 

Price£30.00-£40.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Discover the true beauty of Palermo on this half day tour.

 

Recognitions to its wonderful position between the mountains, the sea and the lush ‘Conca d’Oro Valley’, its beauty, its gardens and the abundance of variety of its monuments and works of art, Palermo was (and still is to a certain extent) considered one of the most important European cities. During the Norman period Palermo attained an incomparable glory, becoming under Frederik II the liveliest cultural centre in Italy. Each different historical period of the city has left its trace both in terms of culture and architecture.

 

Your panoramic tour will show its most important splendours: Mount Pellgrino which stands isolated from the mountain chain that surrounds Palermo; almost as if protecting the city. Santa Rosalia Sanctuary is full of precious ex-voto, bearing witness to the countless miracles performed, it is also a destination for pilgrims. Enjoy a guided tour here and discover the importance of the sanctuary to the town, as well as admiring the wonderful views over the city.

 

Also see the spectacular Opera House, Politeama Square, Royal Palace, the Four Corners, the so called Shame Square and the Arab-Norman styled Martorana Church with its beautiful golden and coloured mosaics decorating the walls and altar area, and the 12th  century Cathedral, world famous for its architecture.

 

Back on board the coach, you drive through the main streets of the town before travelling back towards Palermo. A stop will be made to taste the local ice cream before returning to the quayside and your awaiting ship.

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is considered suitable for all guests, as long as you can board and disembark the coach unaided. There are steps to encounter at the Sanctuary, however ramps are available. The tour does involve some winding roads and is therefore not considered suitable for guests who suffer from vertigo. Toilets will be available in local bars and cafés – however you may be asked to purchase something in exchange of use. The order of visits may vary due to traffic regulations.

 

 


Segesta (TourI)

• Segesta is regarded as one of the best preserved and most beautiful archaeological sites in the Mediterranean
• Learn about Segesta’s important history
• Admire the timeless landscape

 

Price£45.00 -£50.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Enjoy a visit to Segesta, where in addition to the Greek temple, you can admire unspoilt rolling green countryside, and views that stretch right down to the sea.

Travelling from the ship you will enjoy an hour long drive to Segesta, admiring the glorious Sicilian countryside. Arriving in Segesta, you will firstly visit the great temple, located at the edge of a deep ravine, because of its location, this temple is certainly one of the most fascinating temples in Sicily, dating back to 426 - 416 B.C and is composed of 36 columns.

After visiting the temple, you will next board a shuttle bus, which will take you to the Theatre, which dates back to the third century B.C. With the arrival of the Romans in Sicily, it was restored and remains today. Enjoy some free time to explore independently before your onward journey back to your awaiting ship.

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a strenuous amount of walking, over hilly, cobbled and gravelled terrain with many steps to negotiate at the archaeological site. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Comfortable sturdy shoes are recommended. Sun cream and a bottle of water would be a handy addition to your bag.

 

 


Palermo Cathedral, Sicily

TOUR A - PANORAMIC DRIVE

  • Admire the highlights of Palermo from the comfort of your coach
  • Savour in a taster of one of Italy’s most famous exports – Ice cream! 
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApprox. 3 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Discover the true beauty of Palermo on this half day tour.

Palermo is located on the northwest coast of Sicily, by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city was founded by the Phoenicians, but named by the Ancient Greeks as Panormus meaning 'always fit for landing. From 827 to 1071 Palermo was under Arab rule during the Emirate of Sicily, when it first became a capital. Following the Norman reconquest, Palermo became capital of a New Kingdom (from 1130 to 1816), the Kingdom of Sicily. Eventually it would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860.

Departing the quayside you will drive through the town of Palermo discovering the main modern streets and historical corners. You will pass some of the main monuments, such as; Teatro Politeamo, Teatro Massimo (Opera house), Quattro Canti (a fashionable square dating back to the 16th century which divides the city in four), the Cathedral and the Norman Palace.

Continuing on, your tour will take you to Mount Pellgrino which stands isolated from the mountain chain that surrounds Palermo; almost as if protecting the city. Santa Rosalia Sanctuary is full of precious ex-voto, bearing witness to the countless miracles performed, it is also a destination for pilgrims during the “Festino della Santuzza” (feast of the saint). Enjoy a guided tour here and discover the importance of the sanctuary to the town, as well as admiring the wonderful views over the city. Should time permit, enjoy some free time at leisure.

Next, enjoy a relaxed drive to admire Palazzo Reale, Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the Piazza Marina, a big square surrounded by edifices of unquestioned beauty that are rich in historical and artistic interest en-route to Mondello, a lively but small fishing village – which is nowadays an elegant summer resort.

Once we are back on board our coach, you drive through the main streets of the town before travelling back towards Palermo. A stop will be made to taste the local ice cream before returning to the quayside and your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN CRUISES.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is considered suitable for all guests, as long as you can board and disembark the coach unaided. There are steps to encounter at the Sanctuary, however ramps are available. The tour does involve some winding roads and is therefore not considered suitable for guest who suffer from vertigo. Toilets will be available in Mondello in local bars and cafes – however you may be asked to purchase something in exchange of use. The order of visits may vary due to traffic regulations.


Cruises to Palermo

TOUR B - HISTORY OF PALERMO

  • Enjoy a panoramic tour of Palermo
  • Visit the unusual Catacombs of Cappuccini
  • Admire the stunning architectural design of Palermo Cathedral
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox. 4 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Explore the delights of Palermo and its surroundings on this fascinating tour of the area.

Departing the quayside you begin your tour with a leisurely drive through the City via Liberta – considered to be the most important street in the city due to its size, elegance of the shops and the double row of trees which line the route.

You will also pass by Teatro Politeama – the main theatre, via Ruggero Settimo – named after the admiral and senator, the Teatro Massimo – Palmero’s Opera House before continuing past the Cathedral of Palermo and the Royal Palace, the seat of the Sicilan Government.

Your visit of the day will be to the Catacombs of Cappuccini, a historical curiosity of the past where it is still possible to see the 8,000 mummified corpse’s of the monks, nobles and commoners still with their dresses on. After your visit, you travel to Zisa Castle a wonderful example of Arab architecture that used to be the hunting residence of the Norman Kings.

As you continue on along the main streets of Palermo, you will reach the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Palermo is an architectural complex. It is characterised 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. Here you can enjoy approximately 30 minutes to explore this architectural gem, before re boarding your coach and returning to the quayside. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN CRUISES.
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is not considered suitable for guests with walking difficulties, as extensive walking is required, there will also be steps to negotiate throughout the tour. Please dress conservatively for the visits to the Cathedral (shoulders and legs should be covered). Due to traffic on the day, the order of the visits may be changed. 


Monreale, Sicily

TOUR C - OLD CITY & MONREALE

  • Visit two of Sicily’s greatest architectural treasures
  • Explore some of the fascinating history the island has to offer
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox. 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

Discover the stunning old town of Palermo before exploring the charming village of Monreale.

Departing the quayside, you will drive to the centre of Palermo once considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, situated in the middle of the gulf that bears the same name. Palermo’s history traces its roots to the beginning of the Mediterranean civilisation as it has been ruled by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Cartagineses, the Romans, the Arabs and the Norman’s.

You drive through the city via Libertà – considered one of the most important streets in the city due to its size, elegance of the shops and the double row of trees planted along the route. You also pass by Teatro Politeama - the main theatre of the town before continuing via Ruggero Settimo - named after the admiral and senator, to Teatro Massimo – Palermo’s Opera House. Pass by Quattro Canti - the Four Corners where four statues symbolising the four seasons and four statues stand.

Your first stop of the tour will be to the 12th century Cathedral. This magnificent Cathedral is the centerpiece of Palmero and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It also houses the burials of King Fredrick II and King Roger II.

Afterwards,enjoy a drive along the road that climbs up to Monreale, a small village of Arab origin surrounded by the “Conca d’Oro”. Famed for its orange, olive and almond trees, the produce of which is exported in large quantities. The town has a population of approximately 30,000, and it is located 12 miles south of Palermo.  Here you will enjoy a visit to the Cathedral, famous for its beautiful mosaics. You will also be able to admire a wonderful panorama over the gulf of Palermo, where your camera is a must! 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN CRUISES.
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour has a moderate amount of walking involved, approximately two and a half hours at the various sites visited. There will also be approximately 90 steps to negotiate from the parking area in Monreale to the Cathedral. The order of your visits may be changed depending upon traffic conditions. Please dress conservatively for your visit to the Cathedral (covering arms and legs).


TOUR D - MONDELO BEACH

Upon arrival in Mondello, we can enjoy some free time to soak up the sun & delight in enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.

 

Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox. 4 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Free time includedFree time included
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

Departing the quayside we travel to Mondello beach, a pleasant resort just outside the centre of Palermo, which is well known for the its white sandy beach.

Our drive from the quayside will be across the streets of Palermo along the coast and then crossing the Favorita Park. It is recounted that Ferdinand III of Bourbon, having fled from Naples in 1798 with his wife Marie Caroline and having taken refuge in Palermo, wishing to cultivate his hunting hobby, purchased an estate of approximately 400 hectares on the slopes of Mount Pellegrino, which he called Favorita.

Upon arrival in Mondello, we can enjoy some free time to soak up the sun & delight in enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Our return journey will be along the same route as our outbound journey.

TOUR NOTES: This is a beach transfer only, Please ensure that you bring a towel and wear your swimsuit underneath casual clothes. A sun bed and one sun umbrella per family is included in this tour. We will have two and a half hours of free time to enjoy the beach. This tour is not guided, therefore please exercise due care & attention when swimming or bathing.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2012 CANARIES & MED SEASON
 


TOUR E - VILLAGE OF CEFALU

  • Visit one of Sicily’s most charming villages
  • Admire the breath-taking views along the northern coast of Sicily
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox. 5 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included

On this tour discover the quaint, medieval, rustic town of Cefalu.

Departing from the quayside you proceed directly to the motorway for your drive along the Sicilian coastline which affords superb views of the countryside and the sea.

Cefalu is a charming fisherman’s village, where most of the old houses still retain their typical Sicilian charm even if they have been turned into shops or ateliers. The town is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Despite its size, every year it attracts millions of tourists from not only all parts of Sicily, but from all over Italy and Europe. Here you wil; visit the Cathedral, built in the typical Gothic-Norman style during the reign of Roger II. Inside the Cathedral you can admire the fine interior and mosaics. A visit will also be made to the Lavatoio, a 16th century wash-house. As you climb down the flight of stairs into the low-ceilinged cave-like room, you will see how the water cascades from ornate spigots into bathing pools, allowing you to imagine how the woman of the village used to wash their clothes.

Time at leisure will allow you to stroll along the beautiful narrow streets or taste the famous Sicilian ice creams and cakes (at your own expense). 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CANARIES & MED SEASON
 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour has approximately two hours of walking involved. Coaches are not permitted in the centre of the town and guests will be required to walking from the parking area into Cefalu. There are also approximately 35 steps to negotiate throughout the tour. Please dress conservatively for the visit to the Cathedral (covering arms and legs). This tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or passengers with limited mobility. 


TOUR F - HISTORY & PERFUMES IN PALERMO

Today we will learn about the History of Palermo. Human settlement in the Palermo area dates back to the Prehistoric Age. It is considered to be one of the most ancient sites in Sicily. Interesting graffiti and prehistoric paintings were discovered in the Addaura grottoes in 1953 by archaeologist Bovio Marconi.

Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApprox. 4 hours
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included

Today we will learn about the History of Palermo. Human settlement in the Palermo area region dates back to the Prehistoric Age. It is considered to be one of the most ancient sites in Sicily. Interesting graffiti and prehistoric paintings were discovered in the Addaura grottoes in 1953 by archaeologist Bovio Marconi. They portray dancing figures performing a propitiatory rite, perhaps shamans.

Departing the quayside we will drive along via Libertà, to Teatro Politeama, before passing Ruggero Settimo and Teatro Massimo. We also drive via Maqueda to Quattro Canti before reaching the Martorana Church, a beautiful Greek Orthodox church in Arab-Norman style.We will enjoy an external explanation of the Church before proceeding to the Ballaro market, a unique market which takes its name from the Arab word. It is a lively open-air market with stalls covered by colorful vegetables and fruits.

Our walk continues to Palazzo Federico, one of the most historical mansions in Palermo. The Owners will open the is doors to show us the treasures of such a noble mansion. Our visit will be followed by a tasting that will allow us to enjoy the typical Sicilian products, including the "panelle" and the "sfincione".

Afterwards, we proceed to the Cathedral, a symbol of Palermo and one of the most beautiful monuments in the town. Here we will re board our coach and return to our awaiting ship.

TOUR NOTES: This tour is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility as most of our tour is on foot. The Cathedral will be viewed from the outside only. This tour will only be operated in the morning. The order of sites visited may vary due to traffic conditions.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2012 CANARIES & MED SEASON


Underground City of Palermo (Tour K)

• Discover the mysterious secrets of Palermo’s underground city
• Learn about the past and present mafia culture
• Relive the story of Beati Paoli as you wander the catacombs

 

Price£45.00-£55.00
DurationApproximately 3.75 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

During your tour, you will discover one of the most fascinating underground treasures of Palermo, the Paleo-Christian Catacombes of Porta d’Ossuna, discovered in 1739 but actually date back almost a thousand years. The Catacombes were at first a cemetery, then one of the privileged access to the ways of the underground Palermo in the days when the novel the Beati Paoli by Luigi Natoli was set.

 

The novel of Beati Paoli are both in the popular imagination and in the philosophy of mafia groups, it is said that the Mafiosi should follow the example of the Beati Paoli. Sicilian Mafiosi love to portray themselves as the successors of the Beati Paoli. The novel is still alive today in Mafia culture and its main characters are models of the ideal attitudes and behaviour of a Mafioso. Your knowledgably guide will tell you stories of the past and delve in the mafia culture that still thriving today.

 

Next, enjoy a walking tour of the city, begin towards the Cape Market, one of the most characteristic markets in the city. Then continue towards serenario Palace and the Torre Albamontes, followed by a visit to the church of Santa Maruzza of Canceddi, that houses a vast crypt accompanied by an altar for funeral rites. Directly behind the mani alter lies a secret passage that led directly to the cave of the Beati Paoli. At the end of the visit return to the ship by bus.

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

 

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a considerable amount of walking over cobblestones and uneven terrain. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for passengers with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Comfortable sturdy shoes are recommended. Please note that shoulders, knees and arms should be covered when entering the church. Should our call be during a religious time, guides would give an explanation before entering the church.

 

 


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