Take a peek inside the walls of Palermo, deep into its back alleys as you hear the city's street stories. Ghosts, fairies, saints, and crooks all have tales to be told to adventurous ears! We’ll lead you into the city’s corners, where stories abound and fact and fiction is blurred.
Your Palermo tour will officially kick off when you pass through the old city gate of Porta Carini, and it’s there that our story — complete with a cast of characters! — will begin.
We’ll walk through the market, which is a story in itself, filled with all kinds of personalities — think fish mongers shouting out, locals shopping for their weekly supplies, and crowds snacking amid trays of colourful Italian produce. As you mingle with the crowd, you’ll learn the secrets of the market, like how to recognise what’s fresh versus what’s past its prime.
From there, your Palermo walking tour will introduce you to our first character of the morning, the so-called “Pupa ru Capo.” This beautiful women lives in a mosaic on an old bakery wall behind a church, and it’s said that Saint Rita sometimes appears here — ghost or miracle? We’re still not sure, so you can decide!
Our Palermo tour will then take us to Piazza Beati Paoli, where you’ll learn the story of a medieval secret sect that’s been compared to the modern-day Mafia. (Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.)
We’ll then move on to the Cathedral square where one of the city’s most important characters is commemorated. The patron saint of Palermo, Santa Rosalia, is said to have retreated to a cave atop a nearby mountain, ignoring worldly possessions (and the advances of a less-than-ideal suitor), and devoting herself to god until the day she died. Hear her story at this holy spot dedicated to her life.
Of course, a good story goes best with a good drink, so we’re going to stop the walk for a break at an old taverna in Ballarò Street Market. Here you’ll get to taste Zibibbo, a dry, sweet wine that originated in Sicily. You’ll also hear the story of the Duke Cagliostro, an 18th-century Palermitan man who was renowned across Europe for tricking the most influential royal families with his alleged magical powers.
We’ll finish up with a walk through the fairies’ square, where men used to disappear at night and mysteriously re-appear at home a day later. Lastly, we’ll bid ciao at Piazza Bologni, one of the main squares of the city centre — from here you can spend the rest of your day exploring Palermo.