Palermo: As vital as any Coppola epic, the capital of Sicily makes other Italian cities feel positively sleepy. Its vibrancy lies in a collision of people and ideas spanning 3,000 years: every one from marauding Vandals to Romans and Normans have left their mark here.
But, while the past is celebrates, there’s a modern edginess too — so if you’re keen to mix opera with late-night gigs, or Palatine churches with cutting-edge art, you’ve picked the right place.
Every empire-builder worth this salt has made a bid for Palermo:. Founded by the Phoenicians in the eight-century BC, the port’s strategic position at the centre of the Mediterranean made it a coveted nexus of trade and power.
Editor: Jan Fucscoe:
Chapter by Jonathan Lee: Palermo
Publisher: Ebury, Time Out