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Yacht Charter Palermo
True to Italy's reputation as a culinary paradise, a yacht charter in Palermo is perfect for food enthusiasts and history aficionados.

Palermo Yacht Charter Guide

Set within Sicily’s spectacular Monte Pellegrino bay, Palermo is a beautiful coastal city in the south of Italy. A major settlement since the 8th century, Palermo’s turbulent history is reflected in the city’s skyline, with striking architecture fusing Norman and Arabic influences. Often overlooked for Naples, Rome, or Florence, Palermo is unlike any other destination in Italy, and in recent years it has re-emerged as one of the country’s most exciting destinations. Palermo has undergone much renovation and refurbishment to bring its plethora of historic buildings and churches back to life. 
In keeping with Italy’s reputation as a gastronomic haven, the culinary scene in Palermo is fantastic. Plus, the rich, fertile lands of Sicily produce some of the world's most highly-regarded wines. A yacht charter here will be particularly well-suited to foodies and history buffs. You can spend hours gazing at Baroque churches and wandering into stunning palazzos before indulging in fresh, world-renowned Italian food at one of the city’s many restaurants. 

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.

Best local dish: Focaccia is one of Palermo's regional delicacies and is a tasty snack that will be readily available throughout the city, particularly within the many buzzing food markets. Cannoli is another of Palermo's popular gastronomic inventions. A tube of fried dough filled with sweetened ricotta, Cannolis will be found at bakeries and street stalls across the city.

Local culture: Palmero is known as Sicily's Capital of Culture, with an abundance of opera, musical performances, and theatres to choose from. And as a result of its varied history, Palermo is a melting pot of several cultures that are still thriving today. The blend of Palermo’s history is most noticeable in the nine UNESCO World Heritage sites across the city that are influenced by Western, Islamic, and Byzantine cultures. 
For a unique insight into the people who have lived in the city for hundreds of years, The Catacombe dei Cappuccini is one of the city’s most famous (and interesting) cultural attractions. A maze of underground burial chambers with over 8,000 mummified corpses, it offers incredible insight into the history of the city and its people – but it is not for the faint of heart.

Best beach: Mondello beach is just 20-minutes from Palermo and is a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike. There is a mix of public and private areas to choose from, with the option to hire chairs, umbrellas, and lidos for the day. A quieter beach to try is Capo Gallo, a nature reserve with beautifully clear waters. This is a popular spot with snorkelers but has a rocky shoreline so may not be the best option for small children.

IYC recommends: Set sail to the small beautiful island of Ustica. A quiet escape where many Italians spend their summer vacations, Ustica is a paradise for divers thanks to its protected status as a nature park. Ashore, the island is blessed with many walking trails that follow the coast and offer spectacular views of the ocean. Ustica is a wonderful destination for a day trip or a tranquil place to spend a few days away from the hubbub of the city.

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