Fontana Pretoria - Per gentile concessione AAPIT di Palermo Palermo Travel Guide
The town of Palermo, capital of the Sicily Region, is appeared on the homonym gulf on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the north coast of the Island; the etymology of its name, that derives from the greek Panormos ("all port"), describes the importance that since always the sea put on in the town's story.
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Founded between the VIII and the VII century b.C., the town of Palermo, so like the whole island, suffered numerous dominations that left different cultural signs, let alone magnificent archeological reports and artistics.
From the Roman in the 254 b.C. at the Byzantine (from the 535 at the 831 a.D.), from the Arabian at the Norman, from the Swabian at the French, from the Spanish at the Austrian, everybody have contributed busily to restore Palermo and the territory that surrounds it, the jewel that all today we can admire.
Pretorian Fountain, palermoOf large importance was the arabian domination lasted almost 250 years during that the town was destination of foreigners, increased considerable the number of the inhabitants, developed production and business, growed cultural centre and palaces, gardens, mosques changed of it the town-planning arrangement, that will stay unchaged for almost a millenium; in this period the town is called "ziz", that is "bright" and lives an era of riches never again reached in the future. Of this epoch remains between the other the Palace of the Norman that, at spite of the name, was built from the Arabian in the IX century and only later was seat of the Norman Real (now seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly); at the first plan of the Palace, founded by Ruggero II in 1132 and from him dedicated at San Pietro, decorated with wonderful byzantine mosaics.
At the Arabian followed the Norman: in 1072, the Gran Conte Ruggero of Altavilla and the cousin Roberto the Guiscardo invaded Palermo after five long months of siege. Fortunately was still once more a enlightened domination: they cultivated the arts and raised the trades, maintaining good relations with the wons, so that ordered at the architects the arabian and byzantine hands palaces and churches: so built the Cathedral of Monreale, magnificent example of fusion between islamic, byzantine and roman culture, then the Zisa, the Castle of the Cuba of 1180 and the Castle of Maredolce, indoors of the immense park of the Genoardo. Palermo Cathedral

Since 1250 however the story of Palermo knew almost two centuries of decline, internal wars and poverty under the french government for then grow again with the Aragonese from 1415 at the first of the '600, years in which there was the birth and diffusion of the baroque architecture and art.

All now, of this period, we can admire the Fontana Pretoria, the Palazzo of Aquile and the Oratorio of the Rosario of San Domenico.
However these are difficult years for the people that live in poverty and the revolts are calmed in the blood. In '700 various governments are ollowed quickly: from 1713 at 1718 the Sicily is annexed at the savoy Kingdom of Vittorio Amedeo, passes through the austrian domination until at 1734 and finally, the spanish Carlo III, under the Borbone, like autonomous state in the Kingdom of Naples. The sicilian nobility did not accept the borbonico government of Naples and in 1820 begin new revolts. In 1860 with the historic landing of 1000 Garibaldi is prevailed on the borboniche troops and triumphs in Palermo, realizing of fact the Unit of Italy.

Going out from the town there is an rich territory of story; archaeological zones are at Castellana Sicula, on the Monte Jato (where is possible admire a greek theatre uncovered in 1971), at Solunto (one of the three main punic town of the Sicily) and at Termini Imerese (where were carried at the light fragments of columns and the low part of the cell of the Victory's Temple), while the Town of Carini, at 26 kilometres from the capital, has, other at the magnificent castle of arabian epoch, the Church of Maria Santissima Assunta, that accomodates incredible treasures of art: can be admire the great painting of theAdoration of the Shepherds dated 1575, of the tuscan Alessandro Allori; a precious wooden crucified dated XVI century of unknown author, two big paintings of Vito D'Anna, great teacher of the '700 sicilian, respectively representing, theAddolorata and the Veronica, the baroque Church of the Agonizzanti, of exceptional beauty, and other numerous sacred buildings worthy of renown.

This incredible variety of artistic, historic and cultural treasures is immersed in a natural land that doesn't fear comparisons: wonderful wet beaches from a crystalline sea, to arrive by land or sea. For the loving of the trekking and of the mountain, the palermitano hinterland offers natural reserves and parks, between everything we remember the Park of the Madonie, in the environs of Cefalù: instituted in 1989, includes almost 40.00 hectares of forests, mounts and verdant dells where live foxes, weasels, porcupines, bird of prey, coturnici, reptile and insects of endemic kind and where grows an incredible variety of trees of the north Europe and of the northern Africa: chestnut-trees, nut-trees and almond-trees, ilex and basilisk and species absolutely sole at the world like the ash-tree from manna and the fir-tree of Nebrodi.
Can not be forgotten the gastronomic specialities and the typical products of whom all Sicily is richest; a cookery rather elaborated, that do not grudge in condiments and delight the palate with strong, fried and sweet tastes highly sugary at base of almonds, honey, oranges, ricotta or chocolate. We want to remember between the knownest dishes: spaghetti at the Norma (served with tomato, egg-plants, ricotta and basil), bucatini at the broccolis, spiedini at the palermitana (bunbles of beef stuffed of bread-crumbs, raisins, pine-speeds and cheese with laurel and onion), pilchard cooked in different ways, cassatas (sweet ice cream cake at the spoon at base of ricotta, sugar, chocolate, candied fruits and sponge-cake), grated-ice drinks and pasta of almonds.

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