Città di Palermo
Clockwise from top: Mondello, Teatro Massimo, Cappella Palatina, Zisa, Cathedral, Virgin Annunciate of Antonello da Messina, Quattro Canti in Maqueda Street, Churches of Martorana and San Cataldo, Interior of Santa Caterina Church, Pretoria Square and Mount Pellegrino
Clockwise from top: Mondello, Teatro Massimo, Cappella Palatina, Zisa, Cathedral, Virgin Annunciate of Antonello da Messina, Quattro Canti in Maqueda Street, Churches of Martorana and San Cataldo, Interior of Santa Caterina Church, Pretoria Square and Mount Pellegrino
Flag of Palermo
Coat of arms of Palermo
Coat of arms
The municipality of Palermo within the province
The municipality of Palermo within the province
Palermo is located in Italy
Palermo is located in Sicily
Palermo is located in Europe
Location of Palermo in Italy
Coordinates: 38°07′N 13°22′E / 38°07′N 13°22′E / 38.117; 13.367
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province / Metropolitan city Palermo (PA)
Founded 736 BC
 • Mayor Leoluca Orlando ( I)
 • Total 158.9 km2 (61.4 sq mi)
Elevation 14 m (46 ft)
Population (31 January 2013)
 • Total 676,118 (city)
1,300,000 (metro)
Demonym(s) Palermitani or Panormiti
Time zone CET ( UTC+1)
 • Summer ( DST) CEST ( UTC+2)
Postal code 90100
Dialing code 091
Patron saint Saint Rosalia, Saint Agata, Saint Oliva and Saint Benedict the Moor
Saint day 14 July
Website Official website

Palermo (Italian:  [paˈlɛrmo] ( About this sound  listen), Sicilian: Palermu, Latin: Panormus, from Greek: Πάνορμος, Panormos) is a city of Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old. Palermo is located in the northwest of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Palermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The city was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians as Ziz ('flower'). Palermo then became a possession of Carthage, before becoming part of the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire and eventually part of the Byzantine Empire, for over a thousand years. The Greeks named the city Panormus meaning 'complete port'. From 831 to 1072 the city was under Arab rule during the Emirate of Sicily when the city first became a capital. The Arabs shifted the Greek name into Balarme ( Arabic: بَلَرْم‎), the root for Palermo's present-day name. Following the Norman reconquest, Palermo became the capital of a new kingdom (from 1130 to 1816), the Kingdom of Sicily and the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Frederick II and King Conrad IV.

The population of Palermo urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 855,285, while its metropolitan area is the fifth most populated in Italy with around 1.2 million people. In the central area, the city has a population of around 676,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Palermitani or, poetically, panormiti. The languages spoken by its inhabitants are the Italian language and the Palermitano dialect of the Sicilian language.

Palermo is Sicily's cultural, economic and tourism capital. It is a city rich in history, culture, art, music and food. Numerous tourists are attracted to the city for its good Mediterranean weather, its renowned gastronomy and restaurants, its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches, palaces and buildings, and its nightlife and music. [1] Palermo is the main Sicilian industrial and commercial center: the main industrial sectors include tourism, services, commerce and agriculture. [2] Palermo currently has an international airport, and a significant underground economy.[ citation needed] In fact, for cultural, artistic and economic reasons, Palermo was one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean and is now among the top tourist destinations in both Italy and Europe. It is the main seat of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale. The city is also going through careful redevelopment, preparing to become one of the major cities of the Euro-Mediterranean area. [3]

Roman Catholicism is highly important in Palermitano culture. The Patron Saint of Palermo is Santa Rosalia whose Feast Day is celebrated on 15 July. The area attracts significant numbers of tourists each year and is widely known for its colourful fruit, vegetable and fish markets at the heart of Palermo, known as Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo. [4]


Palermo lies in a basin, formed by the Papireto, Kemonia and Oreto rivers. The basin was named the Conca d'Oro (the Golden Basin) by the Arabs in the 9th century. The city is surrounded by a mountain range which is named after the city itself. These mountains face the Tyrrhenian Sea. Palermo is home to a natural port and offers excellent views to the sea, especially from Monte Pellegrino.


Monte Pellegrino pictured at the end of the 19th century; the mountain is visible from everywhere in the city

Palermo is surrounded by mountains, formed of calcar, which form a cirque around the city. Some districts of the city are divided by the mountains themselves. Historically, it was relatively difficult to reach the inner part of Sicily from the city because of the mounts. The tallest peak of the range is La Pizzuta, about 1,333 metres (4,373 ft) high. However, historically, the most important mount is Monte Pellegrino, which is geographically separated from the rest of the range by a plain. The mount lies right in front of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Monte Pellegrino's cliff was described in the 19th century by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as "the most beautiful promontory in the world", in his essay " Italian Journey".


Today both the Papireto river and the Kemonia are covered up by buildings. However, the shape of the former watercourses can still be recognised today, because the streets that were built on them follow their shapes. Today the only waterway not drained yet is the Oreto river that divides the downtown of the city from the western uptown and the industrial districts. In the basins there were, though, many seasonal torrents that helped formed swampy plains, reclaimed during history; a good example of which can be found in the borough of Mondello.

View of Palermo from Monte Pellegrino
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Palermo
Alemannisch: Palermo
አማርኛ: ፓሌርሞ
العربية: باليرمو
aragonés: Palermo
asturianu: Palermo
Aymar aru: Palermo
azərbaycanca: Palermo
تۆرکجه: پالرمو
Bân-lâm-gú: Palermo
беларуская: Палерма
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Палерма
български: Палермо
bosanski: Palermo
brezhoneg: Palermo
català: Palerm
čeština: Palermo
corsu: Palermu
Cymraeg: Palermo
dansk: Palermo
Deutsch: Palermo
dolnoserbski: Palermo
eesti: Palermo
Ελληνικά: Παλέρμο
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Palèrum
español: Palermo
Esperanto: Palermo
euskara: Palermo
فارسی: پالرمو
français: Palerme
furlan: Palermo
Gaeilge: Palermo
galego: Palermo
한국어: 팔레르모
Հայերեն: Պալերմո
हिन्दी: पलेर्मो
hornjoserbsce: Palermo
hrvatski: Palermo
Ido: Palermo
Bahasa Indonesia: Palermo
interlingua: Palermo
Interlingue: Palermo
Ирон: Палермо
íslenska: Palermo
italiano: Palermo
עברית: פלרמו
Basa Jawa: Palermo
ქართული: პალერმო
қазақша: Палермо
Kiswahili: Palermo
Kurdî: Palermo
Кыргызча: Палермо
Latina: Panormus
latviešu: Palermo
Lëtzebuergesch: Palermo
lietuvių: Palermas
Ligure: Palermo
lumbaart: Palermo
magyar: Palermo
македонски: Палермо
मराठी: पालेर्मो
მარგალური: პალერმო
مصرى: پاليرمو
Bahasa Melayu: Palermo
монгол: Палермо
Nederlands: Palermo (stad)
Nēhiyawēwin / ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ: Palermo
日本語: パレルモ
Napulitano: Palermo
нохчийн: Палермо
norsk: Palermo
norsk nynorsk: Palermo
occitan: Palèrme
олык марий: Палермо
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Palermo
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਪਾਲੇਰਮੋ
پنجابی: پلرمو
Papiamentu: Palermo
Piemontèis: Palerm
Tok Pisin: Palermo
polski: Palermo
português: Palermo
Qaraqalpaqsha: Palermo
română: Palermo
Runa Simi: Palermo
русиньскый: Палермо
русский: Палермо
संस्कृतम्: पलेर्मो
Sängö: Palermo
sardu: Palermo
Scots: Palermo
shqip: Palermo
sicilianu: Palermu
Simple English: Palermo
slovenčina: Palermo
slovenščina: Palermo
српски / srpski: Палермо
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Palermo
suomi: Palermo
svenska: Palermo
tarandíne: Palermo
татарча/tatarça: Палермо
tetun: Palermo
тоҷикӣ: Палермо
Türkçe: Palermo
Twi: Palermo
українська: Палермо
اردو: پالیرمو
vèneto: Pałermo
vepsän kel’: Palermo
Tiếng Việt: Palermo
Volapük: Palermo
Winaray: Palermo
ייִדיש: פאלערמא
粵語: 巴勒摩
中文: 巴勒莫