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How walkable is Palermo?

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Tallahassee, Florida
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How walkable is Palermo?

Even though I haven’t posted a question yet (I’ve been reading current/past posts and doing searches for specific information), I wanted to thank Vagabonda for her wealth of information. I am unexpectedly going to Sicily in April (originally I was leaving in March for Tunisia but the tour company I was going with has let me rebook another trip so I’m going to Sicily instead). Sicily was one of my future trips (probably with a friend I usually travel with and we would have done the trip independently) but now I’m going with a tour group and although I’ll be seeing most of what I want to see, I’m going to consider this trip a reconnaissance mission for another future trip to Sicily.

Anyway, my question is how walkable is Palermo? Would you compare it in size to Florence? We’re in Palermo for 4 nights (day trips to Monreale, Erice and Cefalu) and I do have a day on my own in Palermo (the tour includes a ½ day tour that first day). I’m trying to set up an itinerary for that free day and have on my list: the Archeological Museum, Duomo, Capella Palatina, one of the Oratorios (I’m not sure which one) and walking through the Kalsa area. Too ambitious for one day?

Thanks for any advice. I usually don’t have just 10 weeks to research a trip but I’m very excited to be going to Sicily!

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

Welcome to Sicily ljaguar – Prego!

Unfortunately, this isn’t the time to visit Tunisia.

April is a glorious time to visit Sicily…….

Sicily In April - Weather?:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k2111…

Palermo is very walkable and AMAT also runs buses through the city – Some lines more reliable than others.

http://www.amat.pa.it/

Palermo is a large and gritty city, not to everyone’s taste – Palermo is Sicily’s largest city with a total area of 158.9 km2 (61.4 sq mi). Florence’s total area is only 102.41 km2 (39.5 sq mi).

Palermo would be an excellent base for day excursions to Monreale, Cefalù, and even Erice, and hopefully you will also visit the ruins at Segesta.

Palermo’s main attractions include the Palazzo dei Normanni/Cappella Palatina, Galleria Regionale della Sicilia, Museo Archeologico Regionale, La Kalsa, and the markets - Capo is still frequented by locals, unlike La Vucciria which draws tourists. Visit the markets as early as possible – Saturday is a very busy day at the markets, but avoid Sundays.

Your plan isn’t overly ambitious….

Palermo in one day:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187890-i418-k2204…

Where will you stay?

Okay, vagabonda or biondi - tell the truth:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187890-i418-k4123…

Sicily will not disappoint!

Best Wishes!

Vagabonda

Tallahassee, Florida
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2. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

Thank you so much for all the wonderful information Vagabonda!

Unfortunately, I don't get to choose the hotels I'm staying at since I'm going with a tour group but I think the hotel for Palermo is Cristal Palace Hotel, which I think is on Via Roma.

Thanks for the distinction between the 2 markets, now I know it's the Capo market I want to visit.

Is the hop-on hop-off bus worth it as just as an easy way to get around or is the bus system the easiest way?

Incredibly, I don't think this tour goes to 2 places that I would like to visit which are Segesta and Piazza Armerina - but that's a good reason to return to Sicily! The cities we're staying in are (with day trips): Palermo, Agrigento, Siracusa and Taormina, so at least it'll give me a good first time overview of Sicily.

Edited: 26 January 2011, 15:10
Here & There
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3. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

Palermo's Cristal Palace Hotel is 4-star and the via Roma location is convenient – A lively area near the Teatro Politeama, Teatro Massimo, the Museo Archeologico Regionale….

Which bus service would depend on what you would want to see and do, but the one-day AMAT pass is much less expensive and adequate.

Viator Hop On Hop Off Bus Palermo:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187890-i418-k1482…

But you might just also do a self-guided walking tour.....

Palermo Walking Tours:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187890-i418-k3486…

Since you will pass Segesta between Palermo and Erice, ask about a stop in Segesta..

But since you can’t possibly see everything in Sicily in such a short time, your tour has probably determined that Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples would be your introduction to Greek temples in Sicily.

Vagabonda

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4. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

Grazie mille Vagabonda! At least I feel like I have a tentative plan for my day in Palermo. Knowing I can get a one-day AMAT pass is very helpful. Thanks for all your help!

UK
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5. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

ljaguar

Palermo Is as flat as Venice, but much bigger, a lovely City with a day just here you will be fine,

Tallahassee, Florida
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6. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

Thanks sophie! I was feeling rather overwhelmed when I realized I had to change my plans to visit Tunisia and am very glad I chose Sicily instead. One of the things I love to do is research where I'm going and this feels a bit rushed even though I have 3 guidebooks to Sicily which I'm enjoying reading. Guidebooks can give you the black and white information so it's nice to know I can rely on TA to give me the nitty gritty of what I need to know!

I'll eventually find my way back to my beloved Venice!!

palermo
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for Palermo
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7. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

If you like historical markets, even Ballarò is lively, huge and worth a look (walking distance from the Capo market)

Tallahassee, Florida
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8. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

Thanks biondo! I'll put that on my list.

Here & There
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9. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

Sicily will strike just the right balance for you ljaguar – Lots to see, but manageable, and very diverse for all interests.

With so little time in Palermo, “feel” the city – Walking La Kalsa, and visiting the markets is a good way to do that, but don’t miss the Palazzo dei Normanni, especially the Cappella Palatina.

The Palatine Chapel...a climb to paradise.... :

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187890-i418-k1585…

Vagabonda

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10. Re: How walkable is Palermo?

I love mosiacs so the Cappella Palatina is defintely on my must see list for Palermo. In my reading, I read that artisians who did the mosiacs in St. Marks Basilica in Venice also helped out on the mosiacs in Monreale Cathedral. Not sure how true that is but I'm certainly going to be seeing a lot of great mosiacs!