An ebullient city
A great concentration of sights
A display of Baroque architecture

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Traditions, culture and cuisine in Trinacria

A holiday to Italy with MSC Cruises is the perfect chance to visit the regional capital of Sicily. A filthy, bustling, noisy port, Palermo yet holds an unrivalled display of Norman art and architecture and Baroque churches, combined with a warren of medieval streets and markets.

With Sicily’s greatest concentration of sights, and the biggest historic centre in Italy bar Rome, Palermo is a complex, multilayered port that can easily feel overwhelming if you try to do or see too much in one Mediterranean cruise visit.

The best thing to do here is just to wander as the fancy takes you, sifting through Palermo’s jumbled layers of crumbling architecture, along deserted back alleys, then suddenly emerging in the midst of an ebullient street market.

Select an area (La Kalsa, or the sprawling markets of Ballarò), and enjoy your cruise excursion.

Across Via Maqueda is Piazza Pretoria, floodlit at night to highlight the nude figures of its great central fountain, with its racy sixteenth-century Florentine design. The piazza also holds the restored town hall, while towering above both square and fountain is the massive flank of Santa Caterina, Sicilian Baroque at its most exuberant, every inch of the enormous interior covered in a wildly decorative relief-work.

On the south of the island, a couple of kilometres below modern Agrigento, a series of Doric temples – the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains and a grouping unique outside Greece – are strung out along a ridge facing the sea. Greek colonists surrounded it with a mighty wall, formed in part by a higher ridge on which stood the acropolis. The southern limit of the ancient city was a second, lower ridge and in the fifth century BC it was here, in the “Valle dei Templi”, that the city architects erected their sacred buildings.

Must see places in Palermo

  • The Valley of the Temples

    The Valley of the Temples

  • Palatine Chapel

    Palatine Chapel

  • Cefalù


Discover our excursions

4 results found




    Enjoy a 1-hour coach drive to Cefalù, a small yet pretty town situated one hour away from Palermo and which was founded by the Norman King Roger II in the XII century on the site of an earlier historic settlement. We will visit Cefalù Cathedral, the “Duom
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level

      • Duration
        5 h

      • Adults$69.00Price per person

      • Children$52.00Price per person




      Join us as tour through the streets and square of this bustling Sicilian town. Stop at one of Palermo’s key monuments: the Palatine Chapel. The Chapel was commissioned by Roger II of Sicily in 1132 and took eight years to complete. Upon entering the site
      • Best seller

      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$99.00Price per person

      • Children$72.00Price per person




      A coach tour will take you past the key sights, although we will stop for a full visit of the Cathedral, built in an unusual marriage of Norman and Arab architectural styles and which houses the tombs of different Norman kings and Emperor Frederick II. An
      • Best seller

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$75.00Price per person

      • Children$55.00Price per person




      Leave the port for Monte Pellegrino where, set into a local cave, stands the shrine of Santa Rosalia, which was founded in 1625; in the nearby caves, the bones of the Saint were supposedly discovered and are now venerated as religious relics. We will then
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adults$52.00Price per person

        • Children$39.00Price per person

      The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
      Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.


      Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

      Reach the port

      Port of Palermo

      This section contains information on how to reach the port.

      Cruise Terminal:

      Stazione Marittima - Dock Vittorio Veneto

      Reach the port by

      • Car

        From the A19 motorway (Messina), take the last exit and follow the signs for Palermo Port.

        Parking Information

        • Valet service 
        • Reach the luggage drop off zone of the cruise terminal where you'll find the staff of the parking
        Book your parking with MSC


        Car 8 € 75,00
        Suv 8 € 75,00
        Minivan 8 € 75,00
      • Train

        Palermo Stazione Centrale
        There is a taxi service provided by Trinacria Service that takes just 10 minutes to drive you to the port depending on the traffic.
      • Plane

        Palermo‘s Falcone-Borsellino Airport is within easy reach of the port by taxi (Trinacria Service taking approximately 40 minutes depending on the traffic) or bus (Prestià e Comandè service).


      History, gastronomy and fashion
      History, gastronomy and fashion

      A cruise to Italy is an emotional roller coaster. Rome is a tremendous city quite unlike any other, and in terms of historical sights outstrips everywhere else in the country by some way.
      Liguria, the small coastal province along the north-west coast, has long been known as the “Italian Riviera” and is accordingly crowded with sun-seekers for much of the summer.
      In Veneto the main focus of interest is, of course, Venice: a unique city, and every bit as beautiful as its reputation would suggest. Tuscany in central Italy represents perhaps the most commonly perceived image of the country, with its classic rolling countryside and the art-packed towns of Florence and Pisa.

      The south proper begins with the region of Campania. Its capital, Naples, is a unique, unforgettable city, the spiritual heart of the Italian south. Puglia, the “heel” of Italy, has underrated pleasures, too, notably the landscape of its Gargano peninsula and the souk-like qualities of its capital, Bari.

      As for Sicily, the island is really a place apart, with a wide mixture of attractions ranging from some of the finest preserved Hellenistic treasures in Europe, to a couple of Italy’s most appealing Mediterranean beach resorts in Taormina and Cefalù, not to mention some gorgeous upland scenery.

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