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Palermo, 2021’s dream destination

Culture

A golden city in the heart of the Mediterranean, Palermo is both ancient and modern, mysterious and romantic. Discover the newest addition to Rocco Forte Hotels, Villa Igiea, an Art Nouveau masterpiece, where happiness beckons.

 

Celebrated on the New York Times “Where to Go in 2020” list, Palermo is a UNESCO World Heritage site with no fewer than eight Arab-Norman architectural masterpieces to its name. The city has come under Phoenician, Greek, Arab, Norman, Suevian, Angevin, Spanish and English rule and each civilisation has left its indelible mark. The result is a wealth of golden churches built by kings and emperors and breath-taking Baroque palaces where the memory of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s renowned novel The Leopard lives on. Palermo is home to magnificent convents, secret crypts where meditators pondered the afterlife, and museums where you can marvel at the masterpieces of Antonello da Messina and discover the frescoes that inspired Picasso. 

 

To top it all, Palermo is abounding with lush green gardens surrounding medieval monasteries, where palm, orange and olive trees flourish. It is also home to a lavish Botanical Garden, where the first mandarin tree arrived in the Mediterranean at the end of the 18th century, and where, several decades later, that miracle of nature, the first Australian Banyan began to grow in Europe. And finally, how can we forget Palermo’s dazzling coastline, which Oscar Wilde declared “the most beautiful sky in the world”?

 

Palermo’s attractions are not limited to the beauty of the past and its spectacular nature: its contemporary art has adapted to every period of history, which is why the city was selected to host the last edition of the Manifesta, The European Nomadic Biennial.

 

In Palermo, the atmosphere is all about sharing; falling in love with the city as you stroll through its streets hand in hand, discovering the vibrant colours of bustling markets and enjoying some of the most exquisite dishes in Italy. 

 

The luxurious Villa Igiea is the most recent addition to the Rocco Forte Hotels portfolio, a fine example of Sicilian Art Nouveau and the culmination of Palermo’s splendour that has welcomed some of the most illustrious figures in history, art, literature and cinema since the beginning of the 20th century. In his most famous novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera asks “How can you live without seeing Palermo?” You may wish to visit and find out.

 

Book a memorable summer escape to the heart of the Mediterranean with Villa Igiea, nestled in Sicily’s idyllic capital; Palermo. Email reservations.villaigiea@roccofortehotels.com or telephone +39 0632888590.

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