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Palatine Chapel

Palatine Chapel: Our most recommended tours and activities

Palermo: Markets and Monuments City Center Walking Tour

1. Palermo: Markets and Monuments City Center Walking Tour

Get a feel for the rich history, culture, and architecture of central Palermo on a 3-hour guided walking tour. Your guide will take you to Norman Sicily churches and beautiful palaces, through bustling city squares and famous old street markets. Head first to the Teatro Massimo and learn about Italy’s largest opera house, known for its perfect acoustics. Then visit the beautiful Palermo Cathedral, dating from the 12th century and part of Unesco ’s list of World Heritage sites. See the Church of the Gesù, one of the most important Baroque churches in Palermo, as well as the Praetorian Palace, an outstanding palace of the 15th century.   Continue to Pretoria Square, referred to by locals as the “square of shame” for the nudity of its fountain statues. You’ll also visit the nearby Bellini Square where you’ll see the Church of San Cataldo and Martorana Church, two more Norman Sicily–era churches and Unesco World Heritage sites.   Along the way, your guide will lead you through the famous Capo street markets. Observe the lively scenes and multitude of smells, textiles, and colorful foods as you weave among the stalls. You can also buy and taste some of the city’s popular street food, including: panelle, crocché, sfincione and arancina The tour ends in the exact center of historic Palermo, the Baroque Villena Square, also known as Quattro Canti (Four Corners). It was built in the early 1600s at the crossing of the two most prominent streets in Palermo: Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda.

Palermo: Norman Palace and Palatine Chapel Tour with Tickets

2. Palermo: Norman Palace and Palatine Chapel Tour with Tickets

With more than 800 years of history, it’s perfect for culture vultures! Of all the incredible attractions in Palermo, the Palazzo dei Normanni is one that you can’t miss off your itinerary. Once the seat of the King of Sicily, it is the oldest royal residence in Europe and you can learn the history of all the dynasties who had their thrones here - as well as visiting a stunning and sublime channel. Palermo is decorated in history and there are few buildings that offer a window into the past quite as clear as the Palazzo dei Normanni. The Palazzo dei Normanni (or the Norman Palace to English speakers). Construction on the palace started in the 9th century when Sicily was under Islamic rule, though it was renovated by the Normans in 1072 when their empire spread across Europe. Now, it’s the home of the Sicilian Regional assembly. You’ll get exclusive entrance into the palace and its gardens Though not as well known as Rome’s Sistine Chapel or Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, the Cappella Palatina (or Palatine Chapel) is one of the most spectacular in all of Italy. The chapel, on the second-floor of the palace, was built in 1140 and gives an insight into the arts, science and philosophy of the dominant Western and Middle Eastern cultures at that time. See traditional Islamic designs, Byzantine mosaics, and golden decorations in one of the best examples of the Arab - Norman - Byzantine style. Not only do your tickets allow you entrance to the palace and chapel, but you can explore the gardens too with your expert guide. And as the tour is 1.5 hours long, there’s enough time for you to appreciate the stunning historic building and then spend the rest of the day wandering through Palermo’s historic centre.

Palermo: Art and Architecture Walking Tour

3. Palermo: Art and Architecture Walking Tour

Discover the historical monuments of Palermo on a small group half-day tour, and learn the fascinating history of the city, from its birth under the Phoenicians through the Roman Republic and the Byzantine Empire to the modern day. Wander the winding streets of the Politeama sestiere (district) to see iconic buildings such as the Teatro Politeama and Teatro Massimo, one of the largest opera houses in Europe. Learn about the Arab-Norman era and religious rites at sites such as the 12th-century Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel) in the Palazzo Reale. Look in wonder at the splendid façade of Palermo Cathedral, characterized by different architectural styles, from the Gothic through the early Renaissance and Baroque. Learn more about the hidden treasures of the historical center and hear amazing stories that take you on a journey through time.

Palermo: City Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour

4. Palermo: City Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour

Get to know Palermo at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Decipher riddles, interact with the most important attractions of the city, and unlock interesting facts. After downloading the scavenger hunt tour on your mobile device (via a link and login credentials received upon booking), use the mobile app and integrated maps to reach 10 of Palermo most important attractions on foot. In the history-filled city of Palermo you will first visit the beautiful Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel. Then the unique Norman Palace and then the irreplaceable Cattedrale di Palermo. This wonderful route continues to the Chiesa del Gesù. As a fifth stop you will find the Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting Piazza Pretoria. Of course, the Quattro Canti could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the Church of Saint Domenico. The penultimate destination is the enviable Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Massimo Theater.

Palatine Chapel: Private Walking Tour & Sicilian Lunch

5. Palatine Chapel: Private Walking Tour & Sicilian Lunch

Palermo is especially suited for a walking tour, considering its Arabic-influenced urban structure and narrow streets and lanes. Get acquainted with this beautiful Sicilian city on this half-day walking tour. Start by crossing Politeama Square, the main square of Palermo, where the main city avenues meet. Continue along Ruggero VII Street, which is considered the “lounge of Palermo” and pass the Church of St. Lucia before arriving at Theater Massimo, the largest theater in Europe. Continue along Via Maqueda, an ancient commercial street full of churches and historic buildings, to Candelai, which is at the heart of Palermo's nightlife. See Quattro Canti, meaning "four corners," which divides the city exactly into four parts. See the beautiful church, St. Joseph of Theatine and tour the iconic Cathedral of Palermo. The Royal Palace awaits afterward, where you can visit a Jewel of Arab Norman art and also the most visited monument in Sicily: the Palatine Chapel. Throughout the tour, you will see old Arab quarters hidden among the narrow lanes of the inner city, including the community of St. Clare. Admire the nude statues in the Square of Shame and the red Arabic-style domes atop the Church of the Martorana. Shop around the historic market, Vucciria and Saint Dominic Square before lunch. Inside a 16th-century Spanish building, enjoy a rich Sicilian buffet, including panelle, sfincione, anelletti al forno, caponata and cassatelle, along with a traditional Sicilian wine and a dessert of almond biscuits and mocha espresso.

Palermo, Monreale and Mondello Private Tour with Street Food

6. Palermo, Monreale and Mondello Private Tour with Street Food

On this full-day tour visit the magnificent sights in the city of Palermo before moving on to the town of Monreale, where you will visit the fabulous cathedral. Finish off the day with a visit to the beach resort of Mondello. Your private chauffeur will first take you into the center of Palermo to explore its magnificent sights. Here you will visit Ruggiero VII Square (Piazza Politeama), the Theater Massimo, Quattro Canti (Piazza Vigliena), the Royal Palace and the Palatine Chapel – a beautiful chapel representing the best example of Arab-Norman art. After seeing the interesting sights in Palermo, visit the town of Monreale. Here you can admire the magnificent cathedral and cloister, one of the most stunning Norman churches.  Also visit Mondello, a popular beach resort near Palermo which was originally a small fishing village. Here you can enjoy the sight of the small fishing boats before returning to Palermo port, train station, or city center in the late afternoon. This tour will introduce you to some of Palermo's renowned and diverse, local street food.

Palermo: City Introduction in-App Guide & Audio

7. Palermo: City Introduction in-App Guide & Audio

Walk through a beautiful route of the city, discover hidden gems and visit 10+ of the most important attractions and spots. Learn some introductory information about each place and interesting stories about the city in general. Download the ‘World City Trail ‘app from the store and login. Read the instructions and head to the starting location. Unlock photos of the exterior and the interior of the location. Listen or read some information regarding the attraction and continue walking to the next checkpoint. Note what you liked and did not like and create your bucket list for the next days! Start your walk any time, without a schedule. Pause it for lunch, have a drink, visit an attraction of your choice, and continue later or even another day. With the maps feature, you will never get lost. In the history-filled city of Palermo you will first visit the beautiful Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel. Then the unique Norman Palace and then the irreplaceable Cattedrale di Palermo. This wonderful route continues to the Chiesa del Gesù. As a fifth stop you will find the Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting Piazza Pretoria. Of course, the Quattro Canti could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the Church of Saint Domenico. The penultimate destination is the enviable Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Massimo Theater.

Palermo: UNESCO World Heritage Sites Guided Walking Tour

8. Palermo: UNESCO World Heritage Sites Guided Walking Tour

By choosing this small group tour, you will have the opportunity to admire the best attractions, with a tasty local break! This three hours small group tour will take you to the must-see spots of the city centre, crossing the Baroque and Normann-Arab style architecture, including attractions such as the Piazza Pretoria (Praetorian Square), called by the locals Square of Shame. The huge marble fountain you can admire in this square is amazing, and it is also the reason of the square's name, due to the nudity of its statues. The Praetorian Palace is located in this plaza, too, and it hosts the Town Hall, which is usually open to the public so that you may spot the mayor of Palermo. This impressive building was built in the 14th century, and it was renovated in the 19th century. Your cultural and historical experience will be enriched by admiring the Royal Palace, which now hosts the Regional Parliament of Sicily. After the Normans conquered Sicily in 1072, the palace was the main residence of the kings. In 1132, King Roger II added the magnificent Palatine Chapel, which is decorated with unique golden mosaics. When visiting Palermo, we cannot ignore its religious significance, so that they will be part of our small group itinerary, such as the Martorana Church, famous around the world for its beauty and majestic appearance. In fact, an Arabic traveller who visited the Martorana in 1184 called this Christian church "the most beautiful monument in the world", which perfectly resumes all we could have said about this site. One more unmissable stop will be the Cathedral of Palermo, a brilliant and unique example of stratification of styles, from Muslim to Normans to the Christian reconversion. If you are wondering if this culture discovering and walking will make you hungry, don’t worry…we will have another substantial stop included for our small group: a tasty Sicilian cannolo, in a typical local shop.

Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

9. Sicily: 7-Day Sicilian Culture and Art Tour

Day 1 After getting picked up at Catania Airport, enjoy a welcome aperitif in the company of your local guide in Catania. Afterward, enjoy a walking tour of the city during which you will see iconic landmarks such as the Duomo Square, The cathedral fi Saint Agatha, Roman Amphitheatre, and Bellini Park. Day 2 Start your day with a light trek on Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna. After your trek, re-energize with a traditional Italian lunch at a family-run restaurant. You will also be able to sample some local wines from the Etna region. After lunch, enjoy some free time to explore the town of Taormina at your own pace before heading up to Castelmola, where you can sample the region's famous almond wine served with delicious biscuits. Finish the day by watching the breathtaking sunset in the village of Savoca, one of Italy's prettiest villages and the setting for the Godfather movie. Day 3 Today, enjoy a guided tour of the city of Syracuse, including a visit to the island of Ortigia. Here, admire landmarks such as the Cathedral of Saint Lucy, Caravaggio, Archimedes Square, and the Fountain of Aretusa. Afterward, move onto Neapolis Archaeological Park where you can admire the Latomie del Paradiso, Greek Theatre, Roman Amphitheatre, and  The Ear of Dionysius. Stop for lunch in the town of Noto, a baroque-style town with elegant churches and sprawling palaces. In the afternoon, enjoy a chocolate-making masterclass in the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily before heading to the picture-perfect town of Ragusa Ibla, where you will spend the night. Day 4 Start your day at the Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, where one of the largest and richest collections of Roman mosaics in the world awaits you. Afterward, head to the Valley of Temples, where you will discover one of the greatest examples of Greater Greece's art and architecture. Enjoy some free time to explore this sprawling temple complex, with 7 ancient Greek temples. Day 5 In the morning, head to the coastal town of Marsala to sample the town's namesake wine. Learn how to differentiate this unique fortified wine by its amber color and unique scent. In the afternoon, head to the Trapani Salt Museum. Here, learn more about salt production methods in the area and admire a unique landscape dotted with over 100 mills, some of which are still in function. Finish the day with a stroll around the medieval town of Erice, a historic and charming town located in the Sicilian hills. Day 6 Today, you will be visiting the towns of Palermo and Monreale, both of which are famous for their Byzantine-style mosaics. In Palermo, visit the 12th-century cathedral and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant history and culture. In Monreale, admire the fine mosaics in the town's great Norman cathedral. Afterward, take in panoramic views of the surrounding valley, filled with orange, olive and almond trees. Day 7 Spend your last day in Sicily at the seaside town of Cefalu. Spend a few hours getting lost in a maze of tiny streets and ice-cream shops before heading Castelbuono, a picturesque village hidden in the Madonie Mountains. Get dropped off back at the airport at the end of your trip.

Palermo: Guided Walking Tour of Sicilian Art and Food

10. Palermo: Guided Walking Tour of Sicilian Art and Food

The Sicilian capital is known for its art, food and history. You’ll discover all the dishes that make Palermo tick. Sample the island’s original street food snack, arancini, cool down with an icy granita, and indulge in a ricotta filled cannoli. A Palermo walking tour is one of the best ways to get to know the island capital of Sicily. And what better than one that takes in all the top attractions while letting you sample the delicacies? Though you won’t be entering them, you’ll pass by the Royal Palace, Palatine Chapel, the Cathedral, Palazzo dei Normanni and the Teatro Massimo, with your guide explaining the significance of each one over the three-hour duration. Though sight is well and truly taken care of as you discover the historic centre, this walking tour of Palermo is all about smell and taste. As you wander, you can’t fail to notice the delightful scents and aromas which will waft your way throughout. The good news? You’ll be stopping off to investigate some of them in more detail. With five tasting stops throughout, there’s room for a full lunch on the tour. You could enjoy one of the “courses” in one of the city’s picturesque squares, such as Piazza Quattro Canti or Piazza Pretoria. A little more on those delicious dishes that you will taste. No visit to Sicily is complete without gorging yourself on the island’s best-known street food - arancini. These “little oranges” are deep-fried rice balls with fillings such as ragu or spinach and ricotta. There are also cannoli, fried pastry packed with a sweet, creamy cheese filling, while an icy granita will cleanse your palate and cool you down too! To try all of them and much more, join this awesome food tour of Palermo.

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What people are saying about Palatine Chapel

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 230 reviews

Ambra was a remarkable guide on our walking tour of the art and architecture of Palermo. This tour was helpful for our family which had family members ranging from 9 years old to 78 years old. It provided an overarching understanding of the history, architecture and culture of Sicily. Ambra is learned, extremely intelligent and energetic, and deeply passionate about the architecture and history of her city of origin. It was a hot day and her enthusiasm kept us all going. We cannot recommend this tour and Ambra highly enough.

Was very fun. We had 3 children with us between 8 and 11. They also had fun with the puzzles. You get around and are guided along shopping streets and beautiful alleys. On the next city trip we would like to get to know it again in this way.

The most amazing personal tour of Palermo I could have ever imagined. Learned so much and now have a lifelong friend in my guide Patrizia who also owns the tour company. If you are going to Palermo this this the way to learn the city

Fabrizio was very kind prepared and he gave us good suggestions. Highly recommend when back to Palermo Or to Suggest to Anyone who wants to have a professionist

We absolutely loved our guide and the many things we were able to see in a short half-day.