Casa4Casa is located in the centre of Palermo, in the middle of the Massimo Theatre and the Politeama Theatre. By foot you can visit the historic mansions, churches, fountains and many other monuments of the city.
The Massimo Vittorio Emanuele Theatre in Palermo is the largest lyrical theatre building in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. The opening dates from the late nineteenth century. The project of Giovanni Battista Filippo Basile was started in 1875 and then completed by his son Ernesto, master of the Italian Liberty, making Palermo one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The opera, which inaugurated Massimo's theatre, was Verdi's Falstaff: since then, the theatre has hosted famous opera directors, opera singers and orchestras from all around the world. The Massimo Theatre is also an ideal starting point for a tour in the historic centre to discover the monuments, historic buildings and churches, which are mostly concentrated in the area between Piazza Verdi and Central Station.
The Theater Politeama Garibaldi is located at the Ruggero Settimo square, often called "Piazza Politeama". The artwork is based on symmetry, with the characteristic elements of the triumphal arches of Napoleon. At the entrance there is a bronze chariot of Mario Rutelli, with Apollo, god of music, and Euterpe, muse of opera. The theatre was inaugurated in 1874 and the first performance was "I Capuleti e i Montecchi" by Vincenzo Bellini.
At the intersection of the two main streets of Palermo, Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Maqueda, the convex facades of four beautiful seventeenth-century buildings can be found. The facades are decorated in three overlapping orders (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) with fountains in the middle with images of the four seasons above. In the niches of the higher orders, the images of Spanish kings and those of the protectors of Palermo, the saints Cristina, Ninfa, Oliva and Agata (later repressed by Santa Rosalia) can be seen. The intersection also marks the four areas in which Palermo was once divided: Palazzo Reale, Mezzomonreale, Castellammare and Oreto, each entrusted to a saint.
Piazza Pretoria, commonly called "Piazza della Vergona" because of the nudity of the statues that form the beautiful fountain, is completely carved in white Carrara marble by the sculptor Francesco Camilliani. The fountain was made in Florence in 1554 and later bought by the city of Palermo. It is an example of the Tuscan Renaissance, it occupies the entire centre of the square and it is one of the most beautiful fountains in Italy. The beautiful square is not far from the Quattro Canti, right in the middle of the historic city.
Palazzo dei Normanni
The Palace of the Normans, also known as Palazzo Reale, is currently the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly. The palace is the oldest royal residence in Europe, home to the sovereigns of the Kingdom of Sicily, the imperial office of Frederick II and Corrado IV and the historic Sicilian Parliament. On the first floor of the palace is located the Palatine Chapel. It was built between 1130 and 1143 on command of King Roger II. The richness of the decorations is impressive, in particular that of the Byzantine mosaics that cover all the upper walls of the aisles
The Cathedral of Palermo is one of the symbols of the city. It is located at the beginning of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, just beyond Porta Nuova. The building is connected to the nearby Archbishop's Palace and is located in the middle of an area full of monuments, churches, and noble palaces. The building that today can be admired at the entrance of Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the result of many alterations that took place over the centuries, under the different dominations that have alternated on the throne of Sicily, like the Arabs and the Normans. Located along the right side of the cathedral, there is the chapel of Santa Rosalia. The Palermitani invoke her as patroness, for the miracle she performed in saving the city from the plague that broke out in 1624.
The church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio and known as La Martorana is adjoins the church of San Cataldo. The Byzantine building from the Middle Ages is a testimony of the religious culture and oriental art in Italy. The church was a reference for the Albanian refugees who moved to Sicily in the fifteenth century, under pressure from Turkish-Ottoman persecutions in the Balkans. This last influence has left significant traces in the painting of icons, the religious rite, the language, and the traditional costumes, which are characteristic for some Albanian colonies in the province of Palermo. The community is part of the Catholic Church, but follows the ritual and spiritual traditions of the Orthodox Church.
Chiesa di San Cataldo
The church of San Cataldo is located near Piazza Bellini in an elevated position compared to the square. The religious building is a precious testimony of that architecture flourished under the Norman domination. The coronation of the building consists of turrets of Arabic style, with above it three characteristic red domes, which cover the aisle and give the building a special exotic charm. Inside the church, marked by the sober and severe nudity of the undecorated walls, the three square bays of the nave jump out, closed by two short aisles, covered with cross vaults.
Mondello beach is set between Monte Pellegrino and Monte Gallo, which give a touch of nature and greenery to the white and the crystal clear sea. Throughout the year you can enjoy the solitary and wild beauty of the beach, while in the summer months it is transformed to accommodate the many tourists who choose Mondello as a destination for their beach holidays. There are numerous Art Nouveau villas, known as the best expression of Art Nouveau in Italy.
The antique bathhouse of Mondello, called Charleston, one of the architectural art works in Art Nouveau style, was built at the beginning of the twentieth century. The project of the building, located on a wide platform supported by pillars immersed in the water, is due to the architect Rudolf Stualker, who originally designed it for the Belgian city of Ostend. The realization of the bathhouse was entrusted to the company of Giovanni Rutelli, the son of the famous sculptor Mario Rutelli. The result was an elegant building decorated with volutes, friezes, sculptures and stained-glass windows in bright colors.