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From Sicily's Gateway Airport to Palermo's Sights

It's a pleasant journey from Palermo airport to the center of the city. The road runs along the north shore of the region, so you'll see the sparkling waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. On the way, the route takes you past the classy resort of Mondello with its palm trees and cafes. I have to say that Sicily is a beautiful part of the world, but being a shuttle driver who regularly takes the journey from the airport to Palermo, I must confess that I am biased.

Traveling on one of the Palermo airport transfer buses, it takes just about half an hour to get from the airport to Palermo's hotels in the town center. Once here, many tourists are advised to visit the Palermo Cathedral; it is certainly a grand structure with its dome and its archways extending across the road. It is decorated with spiral carvings and a roofline adorned with triangles. However, in terms what there is to see inside, I prefer the Cappella Palatina, a chapel at Piazza del Parlamento. The ceiling inside is elaborately painted with a gold setting behind the churchly images and scenes.

The Cappella is part of the Palazzo dei Normanni which houses the regional parliament and is located in the old center of the city at the Quattro Canti. Also known as Teatro del Sole, it lies only about thirty five minutes from Palermo airport and is an open area where you can always see the sun, with curvaceous cast iron lampposts and buildings bedecked with statues.

The Museo Archeologico Regionale, and the Palazzo Abatellis containing the Galleria Regionale are popular places to visit in Palermo. One of the stranger attractions I hear tourists talk about during my Palermo airport transfers are the Capuchin Catacombs. If you have the stomach for it, you can see the remnants of thousands of corpses that have undergone the regional equivalent of mummification. These are arranged in galleries and themed rooms, featuring some remarkably well-preserved residents of Palermo. Airport transfer buses will pass near the Catacombs on their way from the airport to Palermo's center.

Palermo Airport goes by the names of Punta Raisi and Falcone-Borsellino, which can sometimes appear confusing to tourists, especially at the end of their holidays when they are looking to get from the city to Palermo airport. Luckily the Palermo airport transfer drivers will know where they are going.

The airport is Sicily's gateway airport to Palermo's neighbouring regions and attractions. Beyond Palermo is Caccamo, a countryside town that also has catacombs to visit; Castelbuono, with its castle; and Monreale on the mountainside to the south of Palermo, with its ornate cathedral.

Mount Etna is a full three and half hours from Palermo airport, located nearer to the port town of Catania on the east coast, so be sure to choose a comfortable mode of travel. It is well worth the journey, of course. This is one of the world's most active volcanoes, and of the active ones in Europe, it is the second largest, reaching a height of over 3300 meters. It is serviced by 4×4 buses, cable cars, and an observatory. There are awe-inspiring guided walks that enable a safe visit to the crater. Like the beautiful Sicilian landscape and Palermo's historic sites, Mount Etna will 'blow you away'.

Source by Giulio Monreotti

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