FORO ITALICO – PORTO DI PALERMO

Foro Italico is a beautiful park with a scenic walking path along the water next to the Port of Palermo.

Venturing along Foro Italico, one can find locals and tourists alike walking, running, and sitting on the rocks enjoying the spectacular view.

On the other side of the path, there is a grassy area where one can find youths playing soccer as well as an area filled with trees.

Foro Italico is unique in that it is one of the only parks, apart from the Port, alongside the water. The park is easy to access: from Balarm Hostel, simply go to Via Vittorio Emanuele and walk down the street in the direction of the water (northeast), then make a right. You can’t miss it!

The park is always open, but it is particularly beautiful around sunset. During this time, many people are out running, walking, and enjoying the cool evening before dinner. You can’t miss it!

BEACH OF PALERMO – MONDELLO

Mondello Beach is the closest beach to Palermo, and it is truly a sight to see. It’s crystal clear water and soft sandy beaches make it an attraction you can’t miss!

The symbol of Mondello is the striking Art Nouveau building on a pier in the middle of the bay, the Charleston. Dating back to the more elegant heyday of the resort, this has been restored and sits in yellow glory over the blue waters of the bay, while children splash around below. There’s a smart restaurant here, a bar and a paying beach establishment.

How to get to Mondello from Hostel?

Even if you don’t have a car, it’s easy to get to in about thirty minutes with public transportation:
1) buy a ticket for Bus 806 at the tabaccheria across the street from Balarm hostel,
2) cross the street and catch the bus number 101 or 102,
3) change the bus in Via Libertà to 806, then ride the bus until you see the beach!

Mondello is a great place for soaking up some sunlight and going for a refreshing swim during the heat of the day, and it is even a great attraction at night! Many walking along Mondello by night, perhaps stopping for a bite to eat or a gelato from one of the many vendors around the beach.

LITTLE GEM FOR FREE – VILLA FLORIO

Il Villino Florio all’Olivuzza is a building, with adjoining garden, located near the Zisa in Palermo, in Viale Regina Margherita at number 38.

The villa, encompassed by a beautiful garden and now surrounded by tall new buildings, was commissioned by the wealthy Florio family to the architect Ernesto Basile (1857-1932) and built between 1899 and 1902.

It is one of the first architectural works in the Liberty style of Italy and is also considered one of the masterpieces of European Art Nouveau. Vincenzo Florio was a man of cosmopolitan attitude and very dedicated to travel. Basile in this work seems to want to recreate all the steps touched by the rich bourgeois, inserting various elements into the structure. The curved baroque surfaces, typically northern trusses , cylindrical turrets that refer to the French castles, Romanesque columns and Renaissance bugnati are all elements cleverly mixed to create a masterpiece of eclecticism and originality. After the golden age of the family, the villa fell into disuse and in November 1962 suffered a violent fire, which seems to have been of malicious origin. The fire devastated, above all, the interiors with the precious furnishings designed by the same Arch. Basile. The paintings and wall frescoes by Ettore De Maria Bergler (1850-1938) and Giuseppe Enea (1853-1906) also suffered severe damage.

After the restoration, it has hosted the offices of the Regional Department for Architecture and Contemporary Art and is one of the representative offices of the Sicilian Region. Its rooms, from time to time, are opened to the city with cultural events and exhibitions.

Free Entry, open from Tuesday to Saturday 9:00-13:00 and the first Sunday of each month.
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Florio Family

This was a most important family during the late 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century. They were also instrumental in starting the Targa Florio sports car races and Marsala wines.

Palermo is Capital of Culture of 2018

Palermo, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy—with a truly enviable historical and cultural legacy.

Palermo’s cultural riches are profound, and in recent years, Italy’s fifth largest city has garnered well-deserved attention. In July 2015, along with neighbors Monreale and Cefalù, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for nine civil and religious structures dating from the era of the Norman kingdom of Sicily that illustrate the socio-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures.

“Palermitani are children of many peoples, who, despite their diverse languages, religions, and cultures, have engaged in a cooperative dialogue throughout the centuries. It’s always been a welcoming city, and that attitude encourages collaboration and reciprocation, and from that grows beauty, cultural richness, and peace.”