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Things to do in
Piazza Pretoria, Palermo

Piazza Pretoria, Palermo: Our most recommended tours and activities

Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

1. Palermo: NO Mafia Walking Tour

Discover the top sights in Palermo from a unique angle on a guided walking tour. Every stop is a chance to pause for reflection on the realities of the Mafia and consider the civic movement against Mafioso power. Meet your guide and begin your mafia-themed adventure through the streets of Palermo. Explore Teatro Massimo, the open-air market Il Capo, and Piazza Della Memoria (a memorial dedicated to prosecutors and judges killed by the mafia). Along the Cassaro, come across places with orange stickers on their windows, representing owners that have said no to paying the extortion racket and have subscribed to the ethical consumer campaign pago chi non paga (I pay who does not pay).  After strolling by sights like Piazza Beati Paoli, Palermo Cathedral, and the city hall, finish the tour in the heart of Palermo's old town center. Get tips from your guide on how to continue your visit and where to taste the best Sicilian specialties.

Palermo: UNESCO World Heritage Sites Guided Walking Tour

2. Palermo: UNESCO World Heritage Sites Guided Walking Tour

By choosing this small group tour, you will have the opportunity to admire the best attractions, with a tasty local break! This three hours small group tour will take you to the must-see spots of the city centre, crossing the Baroque and Normann-Arab style architecture, including attractions such as the Piazza Pretoria (Praetorian Square), called by the locals Square of Shame. The huge marble fountain you can admire in this square is amazing, and it is also the reason of the square's name, due to the nudity of its statues. The Praetorian Palace is located in this plaza, too, and it hosts the Town Hall, which is usually open to the public so that you may spot the mayor of Palermo. This impressive building was built in the 14th century, and it was renovated in the 19th century. Your cultural and historical experience will be enriched by admiring the Royal Palace, which now hosts the Regional Parliament of Sicily. After the Normans conquered Sicily in 1072, the palace was the main residence of the kings. In 1132, King Roger II added the magnificent Palatine Chapel, which is decorated with unique golden mosaics. When visiting Palermo, we cannot ignore its religious significance, so that they will be part of our small group itinerary, such as the Martorana Church, famous around the world for its beauty and majestic appearance. In fact, an Arabic traveller who visited the Martorana in 1184 called this Christian church "the most beautiful monument in the world", which perfectly resumes all we could have said about this site. One more unmissable stop will be the Cathedral of Palermo, a brilliant and unique example of stratification of styles, from Muslim to Normans to the Christian reconversion. If you are wondering if this culture discovering and walking will make you hungry, don’t worry…we will have another substantial stop included for our small group: a tasty Sicilian cannolo or granita, in a typical local shop.

Palermo: City Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour

3. Palermo: City Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Tour

Get to know Palermo at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Decipher riddles, interact with the most important attractions of the city, and unlock interesting facts. After downloading the scavenger hunt tour on your mobile device, use the mobile app and integrated maps to reach 10 of Palermo most important attractions on foot. In the history-filled city of Palermo you will first visit the beautiful Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel. Then the unique Norman Palace and then the irreplaceable Cattedrale di Palermo. This wonderful route continues to the Chiesa del Gesù. As a fifth stop you will find the Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting Piazza Pretoria. Of course, the Quattro Canti could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the Church of Saint Domenico. The penultimate destination is the enviable Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Massimo Theater.

Palermo: custom tour with a local expert

4. Palermo: custom tour with a local expert

Embark on your extraordinary Palermo adventure, where a warm welcome awaits from your multilingual local expert—fluent in Italian, English, and German—ready to unveil exclusive tips that will transform your experience into a special journey! Whether opting for a rendezvous at your hotel or a central landmark, your cicerone will be a treasure trove of insights into the neighborhood's best dining spots and local highlights. Customize your journey with personalized recommendations tailored to your passions and preferences. Bid farewell to the hustle of big tourist groups and immerse yourself in the enchanting magic of Palermo as you traverse its iconic sites. Beyond absorbing its rich history, you'll gain practical knowledge, enhancing your confidence in navigating the city independently. As the tour concludes, you'll carry a treasure trove of information, ensuring your stay in Palermo is not just memorable but truly unforgettable. Get ready to create enduring memories of this captivating city that will leave you saying, "Wow!"

Palermo di sera: tour del centro storico

5. Palermo di sera: tour del centro storico

(Italian Only) We will meet in front of the Teatro Massimo, in the center of Palermo, to start an evening tour of the Sicilian capital. Ready to immerse yourself in a unique and timeless atmosphere? We will start by admiring the famous Teatro Massimo, the largest opera house in Italy. In front of its imposing facade, (often a set of famous films) we will talk about the history of the Florio family, promoters of the cultural and artistic transformation of Palermo during the Belle Époque as well as the construction of the theater itself. We will pass in front of the Opera dei Pupi theater, where the most famous performances of the Sicilian puppet tradition are staged. Did you know that this art has been declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco? We will head towards Piazza Olivella, where the Regional Archaeological Museum and the church of Sant'Ignazio are located, one of the most sumptuous Baroque temples in the city. Not far away is the birthplace of Santa Rosalia, proclaimed patron saint of the city by popular acclaim for having freed it from the plague. We will cross via Roma, a monumental and busy nineteenth-century street full of theaters and shops to arrive at piazza San Domenico dominated by the imposing mass of the church of the same name, the Pantheon of the city. Inside you can admire many tombs and funeral monuments of illustrious Sicilians including that of Giovanni Falcone. We will enter the Vucciria, the city's celebrated ancient market immortalized in a famous painting by Renato Guttuso. We will then head to the Quattro Canti, a scenic Baroque square, the center of the ancient city. Next to it is Piazza Pretoria with its renowned Renaissance fountain and Palazzo delle Aquile, the center of civil power in the city since '400. We will arrive in Piazza Bellini, entirely surrounded by ancient monuments including the characteristic church of San Cataldo with the three red Arab-style domes, symbol of the city and the church and monastery of Santa Caterina where typical Sicilian sweets are still produced according to the ancient recipes of the nuns. We will be able to stop for a coffee in the historic Torrefazione Stagnitta before reaching Piazza Croce dei Vespri, famous for the famous Sicilian revolution of 1200. We will admire Palazzo Ganci famous for being the famous set of the film The Leopard and Palazzo Bonnet, an imposing palace from the '300 today home to the Modern Art Gallery. We will cross a neighborhood full of young artisans' shops to conclude our evening tour in Piazza San Francesco where the majestic fourteenth-century church stands out, the oratory of San Lorenzo where the stolen Caravaggio was located and where the Antica Focacceria San Francesco has been located since point of reference of popular Palermo cuisine.

From Taormina: Palermo and Cefalù Day Trip

6. From Taormina: Palermo and Cefalù Day Trip

This excursion offers a true Sicilian travel experience, discover the most important Arab-Norman monuments such as the Martorana church, the Cathedral, the Quattro Canti, Piazza Bellini and the Piazza Pretoria. Experience the vibrant, local market il Capo, with its colorful fruit, vegetable and the fish market at the heart of the city. Palermo is Sicily's cultural, economic and touristic capital. It is a city rich in history, culture, art, music and food. See for yourself why numerous tourists are attracted to the city for its good Mediterranean weather, its renowned gastronomy and restaurants, its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches, palaces and buildings. Cefalù is a city and commune in the province of Palermo, located on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Explore the Cathedral, started in 1131 in an Arab-Norman style architecture. Admire the exterior which is well preserved, and is largely decorated with interlacing pointed arches.

Palermo: City Exploration Game and Tour

7. Palermo: City Exploration Game and Tour

Combine the excitement of a sightseeing city tour with a game fun on this self-guided smartphone walking tour in Palermo. Find attractions easily with the app's navigation function. Download the app and start the game by going to the first location. Use observation, logic, imagination, and teamwork to solve the riddle at each location, the riddles are always hard. Pause the app at any point if you want to take a break, stop for coffee, or spend some more time visiting one of the sights. Play the game at your own pace. In the history-filled city of Palermo you will first visit the beautiful Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel. Then the unique Norman Palace and then the irreplaceable Cattedrale di Palermo. This wonderful route continues to the Chiesa del Gesù. As a fifth stop you will find the Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting Piazza Pretoria. Of course, the Quattro Canti could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the Church of Saint Domenico. The penultimate destination is the enviable Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Massimo Theater.

Palermo: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour

8. Palermo: First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour

Walk through a beautiful route of the city, discover hidden gems and visit 10+ of the most important attractions and spots. Learn some introductory information about each place and interesting stories about the city in general. Download the ‘World City Trail ‘app from the store and login. Read the instructions and head to the starting location. Unlock photos of the exterior and the interior of the location. Read some information regarding the attraction and continue walking to the next checkpoint. Note what you liked and did not like and create your bucket list for the next days! Start your walk any time, without a schedule. Pause it for lunch, have a drink, visit an attraction of your choice, and continue later or even another day. With the maps feature, you will never get lost. In the history-filled city of Palermo you will first visit the beautiful Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel. Then the unique Norman Palace and then the irreplaceable Cattedrale di Palermo. This wonderful route continues to the Chiesa del Gesù. As a fifth stop you will find the Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting Piazza Pretoria. Of course, the Quattro Canti could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the Church of Saint Domenico. The penultimate destination is the enviable Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Massimo Theater. Download the ‘’World City Trail ‘’ app from the store. Then start your tour and enjoy!

Highlights & Hidden Gems of Palermo Private Tour

9. Highlights & Hidden Gems of Palermo Private Tour

This is not just another city tour; this is the best of Palermo with hidden gems that only a local can show you. Get to know Palermo on a city tour that gives you the perfect overview, from culture, history, and local lifestyle - this tour has it all! Forget about big touristy groups and the crowds; it's time to see Palermo at its best thanks to your local guide’s knowledge and stories. Check out main landmarks like Palazzo Reale, Teatro Massimo, Piazza Pretoria and Fontana Pretoria and uncover city secrets that will show you the city through a different perspective. As they say, the locals know best! Withlocals Highlights & Hidden Gems Private City Tour™ is one of Withlocals' signature tours available in major cities worldwide. We work with passionate local guides who earn a fair fee. We support local economies by only offering local produce and prevent over-tourism with only small non-intrusive groups. Our tours are carbon-neutral and away from the standard tourist routes.

Palermo: Historical Center Walking Tour with Rooftop Views

10. Palermo: Historical Center Walking Tour with Rooftop Views

Discover Palermo from above on a guided walking tour. Take in the city's top attractions, including picturesque piazzas, grand churches, and Palermo Cathedral. Explore the rooftops to see the city from up high. Learn about Palermo's history and the Sicilian tradition of baking in convents. Meet your guide at the entrance to Piazza San Domenico, before heading along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, where you can admire many architectural gems, including the impressive Palermo Cathedral with its mix of styles. Then, head to Piazza Bellini and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Marvel at its Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo features. Discover this former convent's baking roots in the Dolceria, a project aimed at rediscovering the ancient Sicilian tradition of baking in convents. Next, get a whole new perspective on Palermo by climbing up to the roof of the convent of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, where you can admire breathtaking city views. Take in the beauty of the dome of the Baroque Chiesa del Santissimo Salvatore church and the Cathedral from up high. Finally, visit the enchanting Piazza Pretoria, also known as the square of shame, in the middle of the historical center of Palermo. Admire its majestic marble fountain featuring sixteen nude statues of nymphs, humans, mermaids, and satyrs. Then, finish your tour back at the meeting point.

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What people are saying about Piazza Pretoria, Palermo

Overall rating

4.8
(231 reviews)

It was perfect. The guide Nila especially was outstanding. She was well organized and we went through all the interesting sites in a relaxed but efficient way. She was very professional in her presentations and knew everything. She included some fun facts as well as the important history and culture. Nils was very nice and we learned so much. We were over the moon pleased!! She even helped me get some symphony tickets in Palermo. I wouldn’t have been able to without her help.Grazie to her

Visiting the Cathedral and Santa Caterina Monastery was really amazing. Our guide knew a lot about the Cathedral and explained its beautiful architecture, which made it even more special. The best part of the tour was definitely trying the delicious sweets with recipes that have been passed down for ages by nuns. I think everyone who visits Palermo should do this tour; it's totally worth it!

Very interesting visit of Palermo that helps understand the impact of the Mafia on the city and how people are uniting against it. Excellent guide, passionated by the topic and great at sharing her knowledge

Best tour we’ve done in Palermo. Instead of hearing dry facts, you really learn about the peoples struggles and successes. Great respect for the organization that’s fighting the mafia!

Linda was great: very good English (and German), very knowledgeable, fun and passionate about the subject. Best guide we‘ve had in Palermo so far. Very good value for money.