The Treasures of Palermo - 5th October > 4th November

Arab, Norman and Baroque. Palermo mixes centuries and styles with an eclecticism that amazes and marvels.

After the binge of events of 2018, when it was the Italian Capital of Culture and seat of Manifesta 12 (the most important Biennial of traveling contemporary art), the city is increasingly a destination for art, with historic buildings, churches and chapels transformed into suggestive locations splendidly refurbished for the occasion.

You can get a taste of this Renaissance at the Festival  of Le Vie dei Tesori (leviedeitesori.com/palermo), five weekends between the end of September and October, in which Palermo becomes an unprecedented widespread museum.

For 12 years, the festival has put the spotlight on hidden beauties, with many places open to guided visits, to which are added Unesco monuments, thematic urban tours and concerts in secluded venues.

Alongside the unusual sites, such as the Qanat, the underground tunnels of the Arab aqueduct, there are still unmissable destinations such as the Crypt of the Cathedral, Palazzo dei Normanni and Palazzo Branciforte, former Monte di Pietà (pawnshop) transformed by Gae Aulenti into a cultural center: inside a library, an auditorium and collections of archeology, majolica and sculptures.

Palermo
(Photo credit Le Vie dei Tesori)

Where to sleep: Palazzo Brunaccini. A 3-night stay starts at £345 per person including breakfast and private airport transfers

Where to eat:
I Pupi (ipupiristorante.it)

Travel's tip:
Palermo can be visited on foot, by bicycle, on a Vespa or aboard an Ape-carriage, convenient for getting around the city center and reaching Palazzo dei Normanni, Palazzo della Cuba, the Capuchin Catacombs.

Palazzo Brunaccini, Palermo