Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Palermo, Sicily

Palermo, Sicily

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Sicily evokes images of saucy spaghetti and The Godfather movies. And yet it’s so much more than that with its classic Greco-Roman architecture, mild and sunny climate, and diverse geography. You haven’t seen Italy until you’ve also seen Sicily—it’s truly a unique place.

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AMBIENCE OF SICILY

As a Mediterranean island, Sicily basks in the warmth of the sun and summers are very hot and dry. Sicily’s largest city, Palermo, is also its capital city—it’s a thriving metropolitan area well known for its great food, street markets, puppets, citrus groves, plazas, and monuments. Palermo’s long history of occupation and siege by many Mediterranean powers molded its culture and architecture greatly—you’ll find a fascinating melting pot of Byzantine, Norman, Arab, and Baroque influences. In fact, the cathedral pictured above was originally a mosque. And we mustn’t forget that Palermo is notorious for the mafia—it was originally established here to provide protection for the citrus-growing estates around the city.

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HISTORY OF SICILY

The name Palermo comes from the Greek word panoramus, which refers to the city’s excellent natural harbor. Recorded history begins in the 6th century B.C. when Phoenicians colonized the area. The First Punic War in 241 B.C. brought the region under Roman rule. Arabs conquered the city in 827, followed by the Normans in 1060. It bounced back into Roman control in 1194, but passed to French and Spanish rule later. Eventually, Sicily and Naples unified into the “Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.” The harbor and city center were nearly destroyed during World War II. In 1946, the island of Sicily became an autonomous region of Italy.

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FACTS ABOUT SICILY

Size: 61 sq. mi. (158 sq. km.)
Climate: Mediterranean Temperatures: 72°F (22°C) to 82°F (28°C)
Population 675,000 (Olbia) Busy Season Summer
Language: Italian, Sicilian Money: Euro ()
Time Zone: Central European Transportation: Walking, taxis, trains
Phones: Dial 011-39 from U.S., dial 112 for emergencies
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Top Photo Slice: (℗ 53551) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx



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