Celebrate Capodanno (New Years) in the charming Palermo

Next time you are in the beautiful land of Italy, ditch the obvious spots like Rome and Venice and head out to a place that is less touristy but encapsulates the famous Italian splendor.

Palermo is a hidden gem in the splendid Roman landscape and is a treasured trove of architecture, natural beauty and an animated Sicilian culture that is both intriguing and intimidating. Steeped deep in history, the city has withstood tumultuous middle-age battles, ravishes of the World Wars, and even skirmishes by the notorious Italian Mafia.

The historic city may still be partly in ruins, and some may call it even a tad dilapidated, but overlook the façade and you will come across a city that is truly multi-cultural, promises many a gastronomic adventures and also architectural wonders with Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Renaissance influences.

So if you live for adventure and want to get seduced by the Sicilian charm then book an Alitalia flight and land at the Falcone-Borsellino airport. When it comes to accommodation we recommend the urban hip Hotel Porta Felice, which is walking distance from all major sites and offers budget accommodation.

people walking on street near brown concrete building during daytime
Michele Bitetto

It is no secret that Italy is rife with economic problems these days, so don’t expect grandiose over the top public celebrations. However, that doesn’t mean you will have a gloomy New Year in Palermo,  as it is great city to spend Capodanno (New Year’s Eve). In evening head out to the city center where fireworks, musical events and other festivities keep rocking out the city. The locals are known for their party enthusiasm so expect the celebrations to become louder by the hour. Usually many  famous rock and pop stars perform at the Piazza Politeama, and since it is in the city center, it is absolutely free.

After partying with the locals in the open, make way to the Olivella, via Candelai (near Olivella) and the Teatro Massimo area – via Principe di Belmonte , as this is the place to party and all the best bars in the city are located here. The Candelai is one the most popular nightclubs in Palermo, but those who prefer bars over dance clubs can grab drinks at the Agricantus, which is on Via XX Settembre 82 and known for its eclectic music choice ranging from classical to pop to even jazz.

Once the New Year festivities are over, get ample rest the next day and then plan to explore the city itself. Places that shouldn’t be missed include; Palermo Cathedral, which is the main city church, the Palazzo dei Normanni, one of the most beautiful Italian palaces, Teatro Massimo Opera House, the Cappella Palatina chapel and the Fontana Pretoria, which is a tiered fountain in the heart of Palermo.

Italians are known for their gregarious nature and they embrace life with gusto. This is witnessed in all their festivals as well, thus making Palermo the perfect place to celebrate il capodanno. And remember when in Rome, do as the Romans do, so don’t forget to wear red underwear as it’s supposed to bring good luck in the New Year.