Dating back to the 8th Century BC when it was founded by the phoenicians Palermo has a rich history marked by several invasions by different cultures such as Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines, Spaniards (Argonese & Bourbons) to name a few.
The comune of Palermo has 650,000 habitants and it is a melting pot of different cultures, architecture and culinary delights as each group has left its mark.
Only in Palermo you can stroll down a little street and find a guy that to this day still carries the tradition of painting carts by hand, although he has adapted to the times and in addition to wooden carts, he also paints Vespas and Apes. You can also enjoy a puppet show, with handcrafted fully articulated puppets at one of the two Teatro dei Pupi that are left in Palermo.
A short trip from the city takes you to the Comune of Monreale where you can visit the 12th Century Norman Cathedral which has beautiful mosaics and a wonderful Apse with a Cristo Pancrator, as you can see below. Also an hour ride away from the city takes you to the ancient greek ruins of Segesta, which I will talk about later...