A walk through the old town of Palermo is a journey through time, in the thousand-year old history that seeps from every alley, stone and corner of the city. The symbols and characters, legends and events related to the religion and the guardians (saints and spirits) of the city are everywhere and are linked like the pearls of a necklace, offering an unprecedented point of view to explore and discover the Sicilian capital, through churches, statues, fountains, squares and alleys.
The route starts from Piazza Verdi (Teatro Massimo) and passes by some of the most important historical and religious sites linked to the life of the patron saints of Palermo. The route is intertwined with the Arab Norman itinerary and allows diversions and digressions towards the most significant places of the old town.
The theme of the walk is the rediscovery of the worship and the relation between Palermo, its people and the patron saints. There were 95 patron saints until 1973, when the decree of Paul VI defined only 10 saints: the main patron saint (Saint Rosalia) and other main and secondary co-patrons. A special attention will also be dedicated to the Genius of Palermo, a guardian of the city. The tour celebrates the most representative places of the city (the Cathedral, the Quattro Canti, the church of Martorana, the historical markets of Ballarò, Capo and Vucciria), but also some unknown corners of great beauty (Churches of St. Francis of Paola, Santa Cristina La Vetere, the Genius of Garraffo). We will eat panelle and crocchè or pane ca ‘meusa, during a stop at one of the many stands along the way.
Distance: 5,5 km
Duration: 4 h (stops included)
Degree of difficulty: easy
9.15 am: meeting at Piazza Verdi, in front of the steps of the Massimo Theatre and beginning of the visit through the streets of the old town (stops at St. Francis of Paola, the historical market of Capo, Sant’ Agata alla Guilla).
10.30 am: Visit of the Norman church of Santa Cristina la Vetere
11.00 am: stop at the bar at the Cathedral
11.20 am: Albergheria, Gate and Doors of S.Agata, Ballarò, Quattro Canti, Santa Ninfa, Sant’Onofrio, Sant’Agostino and Via Bandiera, San Domenico, Genio del Garraffo at Vucciria
1.15 pm: return to Piazza Verdi and end of the walking tour