Palermo Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Palermo, Sicily, Italy)
The Italian city of Palermo is a true mixture of history, sophistication, charisma and beauty, although as with any large city, there are run-down areas where life away from the glamorous side of tourism is less appealing. Palermo prides itself on its strong Sicilian character and coastal charm, with many grand mosques, majestic buildings, popular theatres and tall palm trees.
Although tourists head to Palermo during its sunny summer season, many others also enjoy its mild winters, when package details are readily available and often extremely good value. As the island's principal city, Palermo was founded more than 1,000 years ago and as a result of its age, has plenty of ancient attractions worth exploring. Here are some helpful travel tips worth noting.
Useful Contact Details
The main tourist information centre in Palermo can be found on the Piazza Castelnuovo and features an array of leaflets and brochures about the island. However, other outlets are plentiful and located at the airport and the train station, along with a series of tourist booths.
Tourist Information Booths
Locations: Molo Piave, Piazza Bellini, Piazza Marina, Piazza della Vittoria and Via Cavour
Open hours: Monday to Thursday - 09:00 to 14:00 and 15:00 to 20:00, Friday and Saturday - 08:30 to 20:30, Sunday - 09:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 19:00
Palermo Tourist Office
Address: Piazza Castelnuovo 35, Palermo, Italy, IT
Tel: +39 091 605 81 11
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 14:00 and 14:30 to 18:00
Language and Dialect
Sicilian Italian, the language of Palermo, is known to be romantic and often known as the 'language of love'. Basic Italian phrases are simple to learn and many phrasebooks are available for those wishing to make the effort.
- Good morning. - Buongiorno.
- Good evening. - Buonasera.
- When? - Quando?
- Where? - Dove?
- Are there? - Ci sono?
- Please may I have the bill? - Posso avere il conto, per favore?
- I like... - Mi piace...
- Where is the closest bus stop? - Dove la fermata di autobus più vicina?
- Turn left. - Giri a sinistra.
- Turn right. - Giri a destra.
- Straight on. - Avanti.
- Do you have any rooms available? - Avete camere libere?
- I have lost my passport. - Ho perso il mio passaporto.
Dos and Don'ts
- Internet Access - those needing access to the web in Palermo will find the Aboriginal Cafe on the Via Spinuzza and the popular Internet Point on the Corse Vittorio Emanuele, amongst other outlets.
- Left Luggage - tourists are able to leave their suitcases at Palermo's train station between the hours of 07:00 to 23:00
- Medical Services - the main hospital in Palermo is the Ospedale Civico on the Via Carmelo Lazzaro, while the 24-hour Farmacia da Naro (pharmacy / chemist) on the Via Roma may also be of interest
- Police Station - tourists who have lost important documents or had personal items stolen should visit the Main Police Station on the Piazza della Vittoria
- Smoking - the legal age for smoking in Palermo and throughout Italy is 14, although you must be aged 16 years old or over to actually purchase cigarettes. Many smoking restrictions now exist in public spaces
- Telephone - public phone booths are scattered around Palermo city centre and are particularly plentiful at the ferry terminal and train station
- Travel Agencies - a number of travel agencies exist in Palermo and are able to book tickets for trains, ferries and planes. These include the CTS on the Via Nicolò, the Record Viaggi on the Via Marino, and the Sestante CIT on the Via delle Libertà