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Palermo Province



 

With over 1.2 million residents, the province of Palermo is the most populated, with a population density higher than the national and regional average. As much as a quarter of the population of Sicily is concentrated in the city of Palermo alone with a dense and compact residential fabric along the coastal plains, which thins out, however, in the valleys and mountainous areas inland.
 
 
 
 
The province  consist of 82 municipalities and twenty nature reserves of which the Madonie  Park alone has thirty-nine thousand hectares. 
A wealth of incredible natural interest within the reach of all those who wish to rediscover nature while walking along woodland paths, visiting ancient shrines high in the mountains , mills, country churches, and spas.
 


 
The seafront is fascinating due to its fantastic colors ranging from intense blue of the sea to the greenness of the vegetation, from the dark hues of the rocks against the whiteness of the sandy beaches. 
 
 
The splendid coast with its beaches and rocky expanse is a tempting invitation to spend a relaxing holiday by the sea, to practice sailing and all the water sports.  
 

 
Cefalù is a renowned and most frequented beach resort, famous also for its artistic legacy like the Cathedral which dominates the entire town, a building dating to the Norman times, and the Mandralisca Museum with its rich art and archeological collections.
 

 
...and Sferracavallo, an ancient village of fishermen, has become a haven for scuba diving.
 
 
The territory is prevalently mountainous and includes the group of the Madonie that extend toward the Pollina and the Imera Valleys, including a part of the coast.
 
 
This environment is protected by the Madonie Regional Park which offers spectacular panoramas and a great variety of landscapes.

 
...from the rough rocky mountains and cliffs diving straight down into the sea...
 

...up to the hilly expanse of the hinterland.
 
 
Besides the beauty of nature, renowned localities and marvelous  artistic treasures of different eras make this territory unique and special, a popular tourist spot well-known among visitors.
 
 
From the Solunto ruins to the archeological area of Monte Jato, from Monreale to Palermo, the entire territory is full of art treasures, enchanting landscapes and attractive remains of ancient civilization. The protected areas and natural reserves propose an infinity of routes for walking or trekking on the Madonie highlands.
 
 
Palermo shines in the center of the Gulf bearing its name, a city with a rich past that in ancient times was the melting pot of European and Arab civilization.
 
 
The province is full of attractions, from the historical villas punctuating the Bagheria area to the food and wine delicacies, and from the traditional folklorist celebrations to the relaxing holidays by the sea. Palermo and all its territory is a tourist spot for all seasons and for all demand.
 
 
Palermo is the starting point of a touristic itinerary through the territory, and stands facing its gulf, surrounded by orange and lemon groves of the Conca D’Oro
 
 
The city denotes a picturesque feature, dominated by the polychromatic marble of its buildings, the Arabian-like domes...
 
 
...the most colorful "Vucciaria market" ...
 
 
...and the lushness of its green areas such as those of the  Parco  della Favorita, Villa Giulia and the Garibaldi gardens.
 
 
Easter celebrations are particularly attractive. The Holy week rites in Piana degli Albanesi trace Greek-Orthodox traditions whereas “Holy Representations” are held in  Mondello  and Prizzi.
On Easter Sunday the Abballu di li diavoli (dance of the devils) is held.  All of these fairs narrate of the allegorical battle between winter and spring, between darkness and light.
 
 
Countless and tasty food and wine delicacies are what this land offers.
Typical starters are the arancini and the pani ca’ meusa", a roll of bread stuffed with veal entrails.
 
 
Fish-based dishes stand out among the second courses:  beccafico sardines...
 
 

 
...tuna with onions, tuna with ragù sauce, and hakes cooked the Palermo way.
Lamb and mutton meat are the specialties of the Madonie area.
 
 
 
 
Included in the territory is the island of
Ustica, also known as "the black pearl of the Mediterranean"... 

 

...the remains of a group of former volcanoes, rich in naturalistic beauty with coves, caves, and archeological findings. 
 
 
The Isle of Ustica is a renowned tourist spot because of its impressive coastal caves diversity, thick vegetation and a picturesque town center. 
 

Monreale is one of the most renowned touristic spots of Sicily and of all Italy because of its artistic heritage, represented by the Cathedral, one of the highest samples of Norman times, with its interior completely adorned with decorations.
 

The small town of Bagheria, surrounded by a rich vegetation, is known for the presence of some noble 18th century villas, especially the luxurious Villa Valguarnera ...
 

 
...and the picturesque Villa Palagonia...
 

 
...also called “villa of monsters” due to the many sculptures it contains in the form of monstrous characters.
 

 
The San Cipirello territory also hosts the archeological site known as the settlement of Monte Jato: one of the most ancient cities of the island, as revealed by the different development phases.
 
 
Close to Santa Flavia, along a rocky slope you can admire the ruins of the ancient city of Solunto, a very interesting site due its unusual position and the richness of its findings.

 
The diversity of the province itself is represented by five macro areas characterized by a historical-cultural heritage and natural environment and of great value, excellent products from all to discover and secular traditions.
 
Alto Belice Corleonese
 


Costiera occidentale partenicense


 
Costiera Orientale Termitana


 
Lercarese sicano

 
Madonie
 

The spas of Termini Imerese and Sclafani Bagni offer treatments and therapies for a regenerating stay.
 

The local calendar is punctuated by events like the feast of Santa Rosalia in Palermo (July)...


 

 
 ...or the Targa Florio international rally of Sicily (July).


 
There are countless country fairs and festivals dedicated to typical products: in Gangi a characteristic country fair is held, dedicated to the wheat stalk which evokes the customs of country life of the past. 
 

 
Unforgettable dishes of the territory are the pasta with sardines, baked “aneletti” al forno and “sfinciuni” tuna.
 

 Other local specialties are the “cchi mascolini” pasta, “spaghetti alla carrettiera,” typical Ustica fish soup, and fish broth with “attuateddi” pasta.


 
As to desserts, there is a wide range: martorana fruits, “cassate” “cannoli” and “mostaccioli”.
 

Outstanding wines are Corvo di Casteldaccia and Partinico wines.


 
In Cerda we have the artichoke country fair, and in Isnello that of the “tuma” and cottage cheese (July).

 
Among the most typical events, we highlight the carnival of Termini Imerese and the ”Estate Cefaludese” in Cefalù.
 




 
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