- visit Ustica, the small volcanic island off the coast
- take a day trip to the Aeolian Islands nearby
- stroll through the old quarter of town; the main points of interest are Piazza Vigliena with its beautiful fountains and statues and Piazza del Duomo, home to the impressive Duomo, which is one of the largest in the world
- visit the Kalsa District which is also located in the old quarter; it is one of the best places in Italy to appreciate 11th century Arab architecture
- visit the Massimo Theater where parts of The Godfather: Part III were shot
The city was founded by the Phoenicians later becoming part of the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire and eventually part of the Byzantine Empire, for over a thousand years. From 827 to 1071 it 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.
The city is still struggling to overcome its image as a one-time Mafia stronghold. When the mafia began dealing in drug trafficking during the early 70s, the capital city was often used as a battlefield for competing crime bosses. Murders were shameless and performed in broad daylight and the level of brutality and crime rose as it had never done before to take control of the streets.
However, since then violence in the streets has gone. The combined efforts of police and authorities seems to have broken the stranglehold of corruption and the city is relatively safe and crime free, especially where tourists are concerned.
The city has been home to many notable people including:
Palermo has a Mediterranean climate which gives long, hot and often dry summers, and relatively moderate winters. It also experiences the humid sirocco wind in summer.
The video shows a slideshow of photos of Palermo.
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