Palazzo dei Normanni

Sicily has been a crossroads of cultures for many centuries, and it can be clearly reflected in the architecture, purpose, and decor of the Palazzo dei Normanni.

Palazzo dei Normanni is settled on top of the highest part of Palermo, it is resting above the Punic settlements, which can be found in the basement levels of the building.

The island was Arab-ruled from 831 to 1072, and they enriched Palermo with intriguing edifices and decorative elements. When the Normans took over, the ruler Roger I promptly went about turning the Palazzo of the Emirs into his personal and political statement, and it became the Palazzo of the Normans. It was the seat of the Kings of Sicily with the Hauteville dynasty and served afterwards as the main seat of power for the subsequent rulers of Sicily. Since 1946 it has been the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly. The building is the oldest royal residence in Europe; and was the private residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Sicily and the imperial seat of Frederick II and Conrad IV.

The palace is a blend of styles, as exotic as Palermo itself. You’ll find elegant and opulent spaces, rooms festooned with frescoes and mosaics, inlaid staircases with exquisitely carved columns, and the regal interior courtyard tiered with three levels of arcades. In short, this is one sight in Palermo that you have to see!

Today, the palace is home to the Sicilian Regional Parliament, but you can visit the royal apartments, courtyard and chapel. The Sala Gialla with its frescoed ceiling was a ballroom, now used for events and meetings. The Sala dei Vicere’ is a vast portrait gallery, a who’s-who of the Bourbon dynasty. The Sala di Ruggero is a masterpiece of Islamic art, used by Roger I.

The breathtaking highlight, though, is the Cappella Palatina, with combines Latin, Byzantine and Islamic elements. Awe-inspiring mosaics cover the chapel, a true masterpiece that doesn’t fail to astound visitors.

Read what others share about their experience

  • K JE
    a month ago
    Ticket Cost: 22€ per person Includes entrance to all exhibits. Visit Duration: 2 hours Bathroom...
  • Gabriele Amorelli
    a month ago
    The palace is actually used by the Sicilian Parliament for regional government. The rooms used by...
  • mariia s
    2 weeks ago
    Very nice. Capella Palatina is magnificent with all the mosaics, decorations and details, really...
  • Adrian Tudosache
    2 weeks ago
    Nice hour to spend visiting. Embodies perfectly the mix of cultures. With a bit of better service...
  • Must-See in Palermo? Only one star, unfortunately, due to the disappointing visitor experience...

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