Day 2: DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD
Begin at the Antonio Pasqualino International Puppet Museum ( pictured; €5/ £4.50), dedicated to the art of Opera dei Pupi and featuring puppets and masks from around the world. Performances (€10/£8.80) are also held here between Monday and Saturday.
Stop at Antica Gelatería Ilardo by the marina for gelato, then walk to the pleasantly quiet greenery of Villa Giulia (City Park) and the adjacent Botanical Gardens. It’s a 15-minute walk to Ballarò, one of the city’s biggest markets. Fuel up with a panelle (fried chickpea fritter) sandwich first.
Next, head to Palermo Cathedral. The interior is grand, but be sure to do the roof walk (€5/£4.50) for views out across old and new Palermo.
Across from the cathedral, catch a puppet show at Teatro Pupi di Vincenzo Argento e figli (€12/ £10.50). Shows are in Italian, but the battles of the Crusades are easy to follow and the decapitationheavy fight scenes are hilarious.
In the evening, head to Piazza Rivoluzione’s bars for live bands and a happy hour-style aperitivo (a free buffet). Nearby Vucciria market is lively at night, while Piazza Sant’anna has plenty of bars.