The province of Palermo



La città di Palermo
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Palermo (Zip Code 91011) is the chief town of Sicily and is 139 km. distant from Agrigento, 142 km. from Caltanissetta, 249 km. from Catania, 161 from Enna, 259 km. from Messina, 283 km. from Ragusa, 307 km. from Siracusa, 99 km. from Trapani.

Photo © Turi Calvino 

A particular of Palermo

The municipality has 687.855 inhabitants and an area of 15.888 hectares for a density population of 4.329 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a flat area and is 31 metres above sea-level.

The Town Hall is placed in piazza Pretoria n. 1, tel. ++39 091-7401111 toll free number 800293495 (only for Italian residents). E-mail address is:

The name Palermo derives from Greek Panormus and means all port. Maybe uts origins are Phoenician-Punic but its best splendour had had under the Greeks. With the coming of the Romans the city had a period of decline that passed only during the Arabic period.

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Teatro Massimo

The Arabs changed it in one of the most important emporium of Mediterranean. Palermo was conquered by the Normans in 1072.

About in 1200 the city was the residence of the emperor Frederick II of Swabia who changed it into the first cultural centre of the island. Under the Angevin dinasty and since there was the dramatic war of the Vespro (1282), Palermo lived another decline of its prestige both political and economical.

After ending the Spanish domination around 1700 many other people followed one another in dominating it: the Savoia, the Austrians, and the Bourbons. Only on 21 October 1860, thanks to Garibaldi, the city was annexed to the Reign of Italy.

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Palazzo dei Normanni

In the city there are so many monuments such as the Cathedral, made built in 1184 by the archbishop Gualtiero Offamilio and the Chiesa of St. Giovanni degli Eremiti (Church of St. John of the Hermits) in typical Norman style.

Of the same period there are the Chiesa di St. Maria dell'Ammiraglio (Church of St. Maria of the Admiral), known like the Martorana from the name of the homonimous Eloisa Martorana founder of the next benedectine convent. Beautiful is the Chiesa del Magione (Church of the dwelling) of the XII century Romanesque made.

Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) or called Normans', residence of Sicilian Parlament and the Fontana Pretoria (Praetorial Fountain) of 1500 placed in Pretoria square.

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A particular of The Cathedral

Very important are Massimo Theatre, one of the greatest and enchanting theatre of all Europe, and Politeama Theatre both neoclassic.

There is also Palazzo Abatellis (Abatellis Palace) an imposing building in Gothic-Catalan, that houses the Galleria Regionale di Sicilia (Regional Gallery of Sicily).

Many poets, artists and men of letters mention Palermo in their works, from Dante to Petrarca, to D'Annunzio, but in particular Wolfgang Goethe, in one of his letters of 1787 addressed to his friend Carlotta von Stein, wrote that Palermo and all the Sicily were ein unsäglich schönes Land, that is "a land unutterably beautiful".

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