Coffee with Fabrizio from Grand Hotel Wagner

Palermo is the capital of Sicily, founded in 734BC. It’s full of historic delights from the Palermo Cathedral, San Giovanni degli Eremiti church, Ballarò market and the beautiful 12th century Italian Palace – Palazzo dei Normanni. We speak with Fabrizio from Grand Hotel Wagner to gather some insider tips on getting the best out of your stay.

Fabrizio Cassarà, Concierge at the 5-star Grand Hotel Wagner

Fabrizio Cassarà, Concierge at the 5-star Grand Hotel Wagner


What is special about Sicily?

The sea, the sun, the good weather, the volcanoes, the food, the wines, the salt pans, the history, the monuments, the people, the friendliness all make Sicily unique. It’s the kind of place where you can spend a wonderful holiday.

 What’s your best advice for someone visiting your city? 

To wear comfortable shoes, leave the clock in the room, have a camera and let yourself be carried away by the magic of our city so you can enjoy every hidden corner of Palermo

 Where should people eat in Palermo?

In addition to both gourmet and local restaurants where you can taste traditional Sicilian wine, an experience is undoubtedly our street food. Find the best flavours at the historic markets of Palermo.

Where can a traveller find an authentic local experience in your city?

Palermo, capital of culture 2018, is one of the most incredible cities in the world. The historic centre of Palermo, the historical local markets, the Arab-Norman Itinerary of Palermo, the Massimo Theatre (our Opera House) the baroque churches and our villas are all truly unique.

Inside Massimo Theatre, Palermo

Inside Massimo Theatre, Palermo

What are the local customs that travellers should embrace?  

I recommend the Puppet Opera House. There are also many fairs and popular festivals, such as the feast of Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo, which is held in July. Make sure you taste the local cuisine and traditional sweets.

 If you want a fun night out, where would you suggest?

It’s difficult to choose just one place… from walking through the streets of the historic centre where you can pass bands that play live music, spending an evening at the Vucciria market where you can eat street food and dance until the morning, or in Summer you can take a walk on the roofs of the Cathedral of Palermo, a truly unique experience. There are plenty of pubs and bars by the sea where you can drink a good glass of wine and dance the night away!

 Vucciria market nightlife

Vucciria market nightlife

What day trips outside of the city shouldn’t be missed?

Don’t miss Monreale or Cefalù (both a part of our Sicily Bella itinerary). The Marsala salt pans are also a great trip!

 Any other tips, hints or must experience suggestions?

At any time in Palermo you will find a beautiful atmosphere, but probably the perfect time (thanks to its proximity to the sea) is sunset. Sometimes you can see the islands that surround Sicily from Mondello beach. Or you could have an aperitif at the port of Palermo – from any point of view you can enjoy the sunset.
I also recommend discovering the whole of Sicily, it has so much to offer.

See our Sicily Bella tour for a full itinerary – still rated as the best vale tour on the market 3 year running.

The island of Vulcano seen from the island of Lipari. Aeolian archipelago, Sicily, Italy.

If you can, visit all the small islands that surround Palermo, the Pelagie Islands, the Aeolian Islands (see the itinerary here), and the Ustica Island.



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