A guide to Palermo for children
09 June 2021
Abuzzing confluence of cultures and colours, the vibrancy of Palermo dazzles travellers of all ages. Easily reached from Villa Igiea, the streets and squares of the city offer ancient architecture, enthralling shows and charming museums.
Further out, white sand beaches and quaint fishing villages wait to be explored. Read on for our family-friendly recommendations or let our Concierge curate an itinerary tailored to your wishes.
Covering some 100,000 square metres, Palermo’s botanical gardens are not only scenic, serene and safe, but offer more than enough space for children to burn off any excess energy. Wander the palm grove, pick oranges in the orchard, spot foreign flora in the greenhouse and identify medical plants in the flowerbeds. During your visit, be sure to stop at the central pond, where children can spot lazy turtles sunbathing amidst the waterlilies.
Escape the hubbub of the historic centre and let us arrange a transfer to the former fishing village, Modello, easily reached from the city. Enjoy a day of relaxation, paddling, swimming and sand-castle making on its idyllic white sand beaches, with public and private stretches available, and enjoy al fresco dining at one of many waterside restaurants before a tasty ice-cream topped brioche.
Museo Internazionale delle Marionette
Family-run businesses that honour the art of centuries-old crafts flourish in Sicily, as evidenced at this whimsical museum-meets-puppet theatre. Join generations of artisans in their workshop amidst 4000 colourful marionettes, puppets, glove puppets and shadow figures bound to fascinate your little ones. Together, witness the masters at work bringing puppets to life from scratch or enjoy a show in the charming theatre to a soundtrack of hand-cranked music machines.
Renowned for its 17th century stuccos, which depict the ‘Joyful mysteries’, the ‘Painful mysteries’ and the ‘Glorious mysteries’, the Baroque Oratory of the Rosary of Santa Cita is both ornate and awe-inspiring. Pick up a brochure or audio guide to discover the stories behind them and see if your little ones can point out the corresponding scenes around the walls.
Museo del Giocattolo (Petro Piraino)
A historically significant collection, Palermo’s toy and waxwork museum is set in a striking palazzo and showcases hundreds of valuable playthings from across Europe and spanning a century. From vintage train sets to quaint rocking horses to refined doll houses furnished in fine fabrics, there’s plenty to keep children’s attention, and even a small collection of waxworks.