A play of a thousand facets
A holiday to Italy with MSC Cruises is the perfect chance to visit the regional capital of Sicily.A bustling, lively, noisy port, Palermo yet holds an unrivalled display of Norman art and architecture and Baroque churches, combined with a warren of medieval streets and markets.
With Sicily’s greatest concentration of sights, and the biggest historic centre in Italy bar Rome, Palermo is a complex, multilayered port that can easily feel overwhelming if you try to do or see too much in one Mediterranean cruise visit.
The best thing to do here is just to wander as the fancy takes you, sifting through Palermo’s jumbled layers of crumbling architecture, along deserted back alleys, then suddenly emerging in the midst of an ebullient street market.
Select an area (La Kalsa, or the sprawling markets of Ballarò), and enjoy your cruise excursion.
Across Via Maqueda is Piazza Pretoria, floodlit at night to highlight the nude figures of its great central fountain, with its racy sixteenth-century Florentine design. The piazza also holds the restored town hall, while towering above both square and fountain is the massive flank of Santa Caterina, Sicilian Baroque at its most exuberant, every inch of the enormous interior covered in a wildly decorative relief-work.
On the south of the island, a couple of kilometres below modern Agrigento, a series of Doric temples – the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains and a grouping unique outside Greece – are strung out along a ridge facing the sea. Greek colonists surrounded it with a mighty wall, formed in part by a higher ridge on which stood the acropolis. The southern limit of the ancient city was a second, lower ridge and in the fifth century BC it was here, in the “Valle dei Templi”, that the city architects erected their sacred buildings.
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Reach the Port
From the A19 motorway (Messina), take the last exit and follow the signs for Palermo Port.
- MSC Parking is bookable online up to 48 hours before your cruise departure. Bookings after the 48 hour deadline can be made directly with MSC Parking, and the same reduced rates will be applied when presenting your cruise travel documents
Palermo Stazione Centrale
There is a taxi service provided by Trinacria Service that takes just 10 minutes to drive you to the port depending on the traffic.
Palermo‘s Falcone-Borsellino Airport is within easy reach of the port by taxi (Trinacria Service taking approximately 40 minutes depending on the traffic) or bus (Prestià e Comandè service).
Driving to the airport of departure? With ParkinGO, MSC customers get 5% discount on parking near the main airports in Europe. Book now to get the best deal!