The Palaces of Palermo (Self Guided), Palermo

The palaces of Palermo were and still are a fine manifestation of the historical life of the Palermo region. Amazingly, some of these great palaces still stand while have struggled to retain their original form from centuries earlier. The story of each palace is a terrific visual behind Palermo's rich cultural heritage.
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The Palaces of Palermo Map

Guide Name: The Palaces of Palermo
Guide Location: Italy » Palermo (See other walking tours in Palermo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: Lilly
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Palazzo dei Normanni (Royal Palace of Palermo)
  • Palazzo Arcivescovile
  • Palazzo Asmundo
  • Palazzo delle Aquile
  • Palazzo Mirto
  • Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri
  • Palazzo Butera
Palazzo dei Normanni (Royal Palace of Palermo)

1) Palazzo dei Normanni (Royal Palace of Palermo) (must see)

The Palazzo dei Normanni, or Royal Palace of Palermo, was the seat of the Kings of Sicily during the Norman domination and served afterwards as the main seat of power for the subsequent rulers of Sicily. Today it is the seat of the regional parliament of Sicily.

The palace stands in what is the highest point of the ancient centre of the city, just above the first Punic settlements, whose remains can still be found in the basement. The first building, the Qasr (in Arabic, castle or palace) is believed to have been started in the 9th century by the Emir of Palermo. Parts of this early building are still visible in the foundations and in the basements, where typical arabian vaults are present.

After the Normans conquered Sicily in 1072 (just 6 years after they conquered England) and established Palermo as the capital of the new Kingdom of Sicily, the palace was chosen as the main residence of the kings. The palace contains the Cappella Palatina, by far the best example of the so-called Arab-Norman-Byzantine style that prevailed in the 12th-century Sicily. The wonderful mosaics, the wooden roof, elaborately fretted and painted, and the marble incrustation of the lower part of the walls and the floor are very fine. Of the palace itself the greater part was rebuilt and added in Catalan times, but there are some other parts of Roger's work left, specially the hall called Sala Normanna.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo Arcivescovile

2) Palazzo Arcivescovile

Palazzo Arcivescovile is as an official palace residence erected in the middle of the 15th century, which has since been owned by various archbishops. The residence has undergone significant changes throughout the centuries, however the original medieval tower has stayed in its place until today.
Palazzo Asmundo

3) Palazzo Asmundo

The construction of Palazzo Asmundo, led by Dr. Balian, began in 1615 and dragged all the way to the year 1767. Throughout centuries, the palace has belonged to the Joppolo family, principle of S. Elijah, then the President of Justice Asmundo Josef, Marquis de Sessa.
Palazzo delle Aquile

4) Palazzo delle Aquile

Palazzo delle Aquile is another fine palace that faces the Fountain Pretoria. It was built in 1463. Having now lost much of its original Baroque style appearance, the palace is still wonderfully decorated with majestic balconies and marble balustrades.
Palazzo Mirto

5) Palazzo Mirto

Palazzo Mirto is one of the hidden treasures of Palermo. This noble residence, full of possessions, decorations, tapestries and paintings will give you an idea how the 19-th century aristocracy lived. One of the tourists' favorite rooms is the Chinese Sitting Room and Pomadour Sitting Room.
Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri

6) Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri

Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri was begun in the early 14th century, and was the residence of the powerful Sicilian lord Manfredi III Chiaramonte. He commissioned the decoration of the Sala Magna ("Grand Hall"), with a frescoed wooden ceiling by Cecco di Naro, Simone da Corleone and Pellegrino Darena.

From the late 15th century to 1517 it housed the Aragonese-Spanish viceroys of Sicily; later it was home to the Royal Customs and, from 1600 to 1782, the tribunal of the Holy Inquisition. The palace was restored in the 20th century, with the elimination of numerous elements associated with its role as a jail of the Inquisitions. During the works, the grooves left by cages in which had been hung the severed heads of the nobles who had rebelled against emperor Charles V were discovered in the fa├žade. The palace is now a museum; among the artworks, it houses Renato Guttuso's Vucciria.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo Butera

7) Palazzo Butera

Palazzo Butera originates from the middle of the 15th century. Its facade is especially splendid, as are the panoramic views of the gulf open from the palace. The imposing beauty of the structure has ultimately made it a prime venue for various social and cultural events of the city.

Walking Tours in Palermo, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Palermo

Create Your Own Walk in Palermo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Palermo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Religious Buildings (Part 2)

Historical Religious Buildings (Part 2)

Religion is central to the culture of Italy. Thus, the city of Palermo features a wide variety of religious institutions including churches, cathedrals, and temples. Journey down the part two of Palermo's religious buildings tour and enjoy the sights.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Palermo Introduction Walking Tour

Palermo Introduction Walking Tour

Palermo is one of the most famous and well visited cities in Italy. Located in the north of the Sicilian Isle and directly on the shore of the Mediterranean, the city is magnificently designed and constructed. Here you will find a plethora of architectural masterpieces such as old churches, governmental buildings, and various monuments. Follow this orientation walk to explore the best attractions...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings (Part 1)

Historical Religious Buildings (Part 1)

Religion has always played an important role in the lives of the Italian people. Thus, it is little wonder that the great city of Palermo features a plethora of churches, cathedrals, and temples. Here is the first part of Palermo's religious buildings walking tour.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles