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Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)
Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)

Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)

Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Palermo, 90040

The Basics

The Palermo Cathedral (also called Santa Maria Assunta or simply the Duomo) was begun in the late 12th century under Norman rule, and was expanded and renovated over the subsequent six centuries. Today, the imposing church is a striking mix of architectural elements, making it one of the most unique in Italy. The interior contains tombs of several members of the Sicilian royal family; the treasury’s collection of religious art, objects, and vestments; and the crypt with sarcophagi from the Roman era.

Because of its rich history and complex architecture, the Palermo Cathedral is best visited with a guide as part of a small-group or private tour. Most walking tours of the historic center of Palermo include a visit to the Cathedral along with other attractions like the Royal Palace and the Massimo Theater. Otherwise, you can join a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and explore the church and other sights independently.

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Palermo Walking Tour and Street Food
Palermo Walking Tour and Street Food
$44.97 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Palemmo’s best street food tour with Fabrizio
Fabrizio is a wonderful guide, he came to meet us at our apartment and straight away his enthusiasm, humour and fantastic knowledge brought the city to life. We had great food . So good we went back the next day to have some more “Arancino” . He even extended the tour to include the cathedral and would of continued had our kids not needed a break after more than 3 hours. I would certainly recommend him and this tour . Thanks Danny and family
Danny, Aug 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Palermo

star-5
Experienced guide, good compact tour through Palermo’s history of the mafia and the fight against it.
Swetlana_H, Oct 2021
Palermo No Mafia walking tour: discover the Anti-mafia culture in Sicily
Linda is a friendly and experienced guide. The tour was educative and compact to get a good overview about the topic (mafia’s influence on the city and the society and the fight of the citizens’ against it). We enjoyed the information, the pace of the tour and Linda as guide. We would recommend the tour to visitors who are the first time in Palermo.
star-4
Interesting, tasty and historic walk!
Marille_S, Oct 2021
Palermo Walking Tour and Street Food
It was a very interesting walk throughout the city! Fabrizio told us a lot of historic details about the buildings and the food we tasted along the way. Also our children (14 and 17 years old enjoyed it a lot!
star-5
Engaging adventure!
Marjan_M, Oct 2021
Discover Palermo
We had a wonderful time exploring Palermo with Manuela! She gave such a thorough and engaging history of the city but also Sicily as a whole! She showed us some great spots and then helped to let us know what else to see! We cannot wait to come back ❤️
star-5
Do it!
Heinz_K, Aug 2021
Palermo No Mafia walking tour: discover the Anti-mafia culture in Sicily
Really enjoyed the tour and got a lot of great insights into this field I didn’t know much about. Very knowledgeable and friendly guide.
star-5
An amazing day in the Palermo area!
Vicki_M, Jun 2021
Full Day City Tour in Palermo , Monreale and Mondello, from Palermo
We loved learning the history of the area, seeing so many beautiful churches, and lunch in Mondello! A great day out!
star-5
Excellent value
Julia_T, Aug 2020
Markets and Monuments: Walking Tour in the Center of Palermo
Paulo, our guide, was excellent. He spoke good English and he certainly knew his city and seemed proud to show it to us. The three hours' duration of the walking tour was just right - we saw a lot without feeling rushed.
star-4
Bus tour
Jennifer_M, Feb 2020
Palermo City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
The tour gave a good overall view of the city. At times you could not hear through the ear buds. But I did not say anything to guide
star-5
Great food tour - Palermo
markkagan, Jan 2020
Palermo Walking Tour and Street Food
Great to mix history lesson with food markets and several amazing sites with local food tasting at selected food stores.
star-5
Great experience
Lamont_T, Jul 2021
Palermo No Mafia walking tour: discover the Anti-mafia culture in Sicily
Love the deep history and all the sites. The guide (Linda) was very knowledge and really showed the group a lot of things.
star-4
Spend your timely practically boring
Wander67756299684, Oct 2019
Discover Palermo
Would say that the tour is quite lean, taking out visits of two churches and one cathedral. The guide had all the infos, but delivered very dry and not so entertaining. Good way to get introduced to Palermo, however moneywise it wasn't justified from my opinion.
star-5
Worth every minute!
Thomas_D, Sep 2019
Mysteries of Palermo - UNESCO Walking Tour
Our guide was wonderful! Knowledgeable, pleasant, funny and personable. A view of the city and its history that we could not have gotten by ourselves. Highly recommended!
star-5
Fantastic Palermo Tour
Kristy L, Sep 2019
Markets and Monuments: Walking Tour in the Center of Palermo
Despite a rainy day in Palermo, we had a truly awesome tour and would never have experienced the city this way had we just went out on our own. Fabrizio was a great tour guide and very knowledgeable in all things historical. This is a tour packed with information and we learned a ton about the history, foods and culture in Palermo. I would highly recommend this specific walking tour!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Walking tours of Palermo largely take place outdoors, so wear sunscreen and a hat in summer.

  • You will be doing a fair amount of walking if you’re joining a tour of the historic center, so wear comfortable footwear.

  • The Palermo Cathedral requires modest attire that covers the knees and shoulders.

  • The main part of the church is accessible to wheelchair users; however, the crypt isn’t.

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How to Get There

The Palermo Cathedral is located in the city’s historic center within walking distance from the port and train station. You can reach Sicily from mainland Italy by ferry, train, or plane.

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When to Get There

Sicily can be uncomfortably hot in summer, so try to visit the island in spring or fall. The second week of July, the city holds its annual U Fistinu festival, featuring processions, fireworks, street food, and music.

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The Crown Jewels

The highlight the Palermo Cathedral is the 13th-century crown of Queen Constance of Aragon, crowned Queen of Sicily in 1209 and Holy Roman Empress in 1212. The crown was entombed with Constance’s body in 1222; in the 18th century, the tomb was opened and the crown was removed so it could be displayed in the treasury.

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