8. Palermo di sera: tour alla scoperta del centro storico
At the indicated time, we will meet in Piazza Verdi in front of the Teatro Massimo, in the center of Palermo, to start an evening tour of the Sicilian capital. Ready to immerse yourself in a unique and timeless atmosphere?
We will start by admiring the famous Teatro Massimo, the largest opera house in Italy. In front of its imposing facade, (often a set of famous films) we will talk about the history of the Florio family, promoters of the cultural and artistic transformation of Palermo during the Belle Époque as well as the construction of the theater itself.
We will pass in front of the Opera dei Pupi theater, where the most famous performances of the Sicilian puppet tradition are staged. Did you know that this art has been declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco?
We will head towards Piazza Olivella, where the Regional Archaeological Museum and the church of Sant'Ignazio are located, one of the most sumptuous Baroque temples in the city. Not far away is the birthplace of Santa Rosalia, proclaimed patron saint of the city by popular acclaim for having freed it from the plague.
We will cross via Roma, a monumental and busy nineteenth-century street full of theaters and shops to arrive at piazza San Domenico dominated by the imposing mass of the church of the same name, the Pantheon of the city. Inside you can admire many tombs and funeral monuments of illustrious Sicilians including that of Giovanni Falcone.
We will enter the Vucciria, the city's celebrated ancient market immortalized in a famous painting by Renato Guttuso.
We will then head to the Quattro Canti, a scenic Baroque square, the center of the ancient city. Next to it is Piazza Pretoria with its renowned Renaissance fountain and Palazzo delle Aquile, the center of civil power in the city since '400.
We will arrive in Piazza Bellini, entirely surrounded by ancient monuments including the characteristic church of San Cataldo with the three red Arab-style domes, symbol of the city and the church and monastery of Santa Caterina where typical Sicilian sweets are still produced according to the ancient recipes of the nuns.
We will be able to stop for a coffee in the historic Torrefazione Stagnitta before reaching Piazza Croce dei Vespri, famous for the famous Sicilian revolution of 1200. We will admire Palazzo Ganci famous for being the famous set of the film The Leopard and Palazzo Bonnet, an imposing palace from the '300 today home to the Modern Art Gallery. We will cross a neighborhood full of young artisans' shops to conclude our evening tour in Piazza San Francesco where the majestic fourteenth-century church stands out, the oratory of San Lorenzo where the stolen Caravaggio was located and where the Antica Focacceria San Francesco has been located since point of reference of popular Palermo cuisine.