From the Arabs to the Normans

Palermo, the charm of the capital.

The city of Palermo still preserves today the testimonies of the cultures and civilizations of the peoples who conquered it over the centuries. It has been made an exceptional mosaic of ethnic groups, architecture and traditions. It is surrounded on three sides by the mountains of the Conca d’Oro.

Before being occupied by the Greeks, the city, together with nearby Mothya and Solunto, constituted a Phoenician trading base of primary importance.

In these cities the Phoenicians withdrew when the Greeks arrived in western Sicily in the VIII c. a.c.

After the Greeks were followed by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans and the Swabians, the Angevins and the Aragonese, the Spanish, the Sabaudians, the Austrians and the Bourbons.

In the part included by the intersection of the two long arteries, Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda, or the famous ‘Quattro Canti’, is located the historical and artistic heart of the city.

The Cathedral, originally an ancient mosque, is an exceptional example of overlapping architectural styles of different eras.

The Norman Palace has inside the Palatine Chapel. This is called “the wonder of wonders” by Maupassant and is the ultimate expression of the cultural syncretism that distinguished the Norman-Swabian era.