In just over a month it will be Easter, the perfect occasion for last-minute destinations, either close or far. From this point of view, Sicily is the perfect solution thanks to the proximity between its different destinations of interest and the weather, which will already be turning towards good-season temperatures.
Palermo stands out among the most popular destinations in Sicily, both because it is easily reached (the airport is a few kilometers away and connections with other areas of Sicily are frequent) and for the variety of scenarios in the surrounding area, which offers always different landscapes, ideal for those who decide to spend a few days around the Sicilian capital.
Below are a series of small suggestions for a weekend away during the Easter period, dedicated to those who visit the city and its surroundings for the first time or those who live there and are ready to discover and rediscover it every time.
Palermo has a pluri-millennial history characterized by the presence of the most important civilizations of the past: each of these has left a profound mark on the city, influencing not only its architecture but also its culture and … food, of course!
A key example of this mix between different cultures are the churches of the city, symbol of a suggestive and winning combination of cultures and traditions, offering a unique, fascinating and never banal spectacle. Walking in the center you can find the Cathedral, the Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel) or the Martorana, which combine with elegance and harmony Gothic, Norman Arab, Byzantine and Baroque styles.
In addition to churches, the city offers museums dedicated to its history and archeology (the Salinas Museum, for example) or curious and atypical points of interest such as the Catacombe dei Cappuccini (Capuchin Catacombs), which catches the attention of visitors since the glorious era of the grand tours in the seventeenth century.
To immerse yourself in the very essence of the city, a tour of the historic center markets is highly recommended, a perfect opportunity to discover the typical Sicilian street food and seasonal specialties: Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo markets still have a strong imprint of the historic market tradition, immersed among prestigious ancient buildings and cobbled streets..
Mondello and Cefalù
Choosing the most representative seaside village in the surroundings of Palermo is really difficult, as going both east- and westwards the landscape is full of characteristic beaches, so here are two of the most famous locations.
Mondello is maybe the most famous seaside village, a neighborhood of Palermo, separated from it just by the Parco della Favorita (the Favorita Park): ideal for a break on the beach throughout the year, in April it will not be rare to find bathers swimming under the first hot sun.
Cefalù, on the other hand, is the ideal destination for a long-range walk: although it is farther away, the town deserves to be discovered both for its long and white beach and for the beauty of its center, considered one of the most beautiful in Italy.
Parco delle Madonie (Madonie Natural Park)
For those who have a few more days to spend in Sicily, a visit to the Madonie Park is essential to discover the flora and fauna of the island in its mountain areas.
The Madonie mountain ridge, just above Cefalù, offers breathtaking landscapes, passing through beech woods, shelters on the snow and typical mountain villages: the island nature of the Madonie, however, reveals itself when algae, shell and lichen fossils can be found during the different types of excursions available. The pride of the Madonie Park is Gangi, a small medieval village still surrounded by walls, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views.
As you can guess from this brief overview, the surroundings of Palermo are rich of places of interest and represent a varied and versatile postcard of western Sicily, which certainly does not end in the Palermo area. However, the city remains an important center of interest and a hub for other locations, a perfect and evocative starting point for getting to know the region.