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Piazza Pretoria

Piazza Pretoria

The grandiose Piazza Pretoria captivates with its fountain, spreading proudly in front of Palazzo Pretorio (City Hall) as one of the major symbols of Palermo. The Pretoria Fountain was sculpted by Francesco Camilliani in 1574 and initially placed in Florence for a few years, it was then bought by the municipality and transported to Palermo. The fountain is a true masterpiece and considered being one of the most beautiful fountains in Italy. The nude figures adorning the fountain has got the most prudish population of the city to nickname the square "Piazza della Vergogna", Square of Shame.
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Castello della Zisa

Castello della Zisa

Zisa Castle is a 12th century castle built for King William I of Sicily. Its name derives from the Arabic "al-Aziz", which means splendid. The original Norman building underwent some changes during the years, especially with the decorations added during the Baroque period. The Islamic inspiration for the architecture is clearly visible in the amazing decorations of the vestibole, where Arabic vaults and columns are interposed by Baroque frescoes and marble decorations. Today the castle house a museum of Islamic art.
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Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri

Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri

Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri is a palace built in the early 14th century in Norman Gothic style that was used by the Inquisition as both tribunal and prison between 1600 and 1782. Conveying centuries of Sicilian history, this is one of the symbols of Palermo. The palace is today the head office of the University of Palermo, where visitors can admire the marvelous lecture halls with a decorated wooden ceiling from the 14th century or visit the Inquisition Museum with haunting graffiti and artworks of the prisoners covering the cell's walls.
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Art Nouveau Kiosks

Art Nouveau Kiosks

The three Art Nouveau kiosks by architect Ernesto Basile appear like unexpected gems along the buzzing streets of Palermo. Built about the end of the 19th century, the kiosks once hosted the traditional Sicilian vendors of soft drinks and refreshing beverages but are today converted into tobacconists. Chiosco Ribaudo located in Piazza Verdi, the most famous one, is a crimson and wrought iron building adorned with golden letters. The second Ribaudo kiosk in Piazza Castelnuovo is decorated with colourful majolica and mosaics while the Chiosco Vicari, in front of the Teatro Massimo is a triumph of Moorish, Islamic and Colonial architecture.
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Mondello

Mondello

Just a 30-minute bus ride from Palermo, Mondello is a small coastal resort boasting long beaches of white sand and blue waters. Dominated by the towering art nouveau pier pavilion, Mondello hosts many excellent seafood restaurants, hidden Liberty-style villas and water sports opportunities. The area is popular with locals for its proximity to the city center and can get crowded during the weekends. Nearby is also the mountainous nature reserve of Capo Gallo, ideal for hiking and kayaking.
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