Palermo Cathedral picture1 of 3
Palermo Cathedral2 of 3
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Key Info

Via Vittorio Emanuele

Details

Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.6

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Built by the Normans beginning 1184, the Palermo Cathedral is a must-see for the many architectural styles incorporated into its façade. Altered throughout the centuries since its inception, the cathedral demonstrates Catalan Gothic architecture and features hints at its past life. The site the cathedral now occupies once housed a mosque (among other religious edifices), and you'll see an inscription from the Quran on one of the cathedral's columns. Inside, you will find a crypt, the crown of Constance of Aragon and the tombs of several royal figures.

Recent visitors described the cathedral as an architectural and cultural masterpiece and recommended going up to the roof for fantastic views of Palermo. If you're visiting in the summer, reviewers suggest you stop by early in the day to avoid the queue. Others advised wearing sensible shoes to easily traverse the narrow steps up to the roof.

It's free to visit the cathedral, though a ticket is required to access the tomb, crypt and roof areas. Prices depend on which areas you want to visit and start at 1.50 euros (about $1.70). The cathedral is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Access to the crypt, roof and tombs is available Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. These areas of the cathedral operate on shortened winter hours. For more information, visit the cathedral's website (in Italian).

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There are many lovely islands off the coast of Sicily, and the hardest part may be choosing which ones to see. A popular choice is the Aeolian Islands, located near Messina and composed of seven main islands, which were created by active volcanoes. There you will find incredible sites like a Greek acropolis, a Norman cathedral, beautiful beaches, volcanic vents and even lava running into the sea.

Past visitors recommended visiting Stromboli volcano (seeing it at night when erupting is extra spectacular), the Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano on Lipari, the Scalata al Cratere on Isola Vulcano and Chiesa Vecchia di Quattropani on Lipari, as well.

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