Best time to visit: Palermo has mild winters and warm, long summers. To avoid the crowds, visit either side of the summer months in April, May, September, and October.
Key cruising areas: Located in the southern part of Italy, Palermo makes an excellent starting place to explore the Italian coast – heading north to Naples and the Amalfi region – or west to the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. You can also spend your entire yacht charter in Sicily, sailing from Palermo to Catania, and discovering all the region has to offer. A seven-day itinerary can include visits to the imposing Mount Etna, the quaint town of Taormina, and the beautiful city of Syracuse.
Don't miss: Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele is Palermo’s grand Neo Classical opera house. An opulent theatre (and the third-largest in Europe), you can book ahead and take a guided tour backstage, have a cocktail on the rooftop terrace, or enjoy one of the many concerts that take place throughout the year – the auditorium is supposedly acoustically perfect. Another incredible place to visit is the baroque Santa Caterina church, which was recently reopened following a decades-long restoration of its interior.
Best spots for wining and dining: Palermo is well-known for its array of open-air markets that sell fresh produce and snacks. These markets are a great destination at lunchtime, so stroll along and choose homemade treats from the many colourful local market stalls. For dinner, Al Genio is one of Palermo’s favourite trattorias and offers guests a wonderful wine selection and delicious Italian fare, with popular dishes such as black octopus pasta and swordfish involtini (stuffed swordfish steaks). If you would like to venture slightly further afield, under an hour from Palermo is Ristorante il Bavaglino, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the quiet beach town of Terrasini. Back in Palermo, mix with the locals and have an evening drink at CiCala, a cozy wine and cocktail bar or dip your toes in the sand at the lively beach bar NautoscopioArte.